An army of Greek warriors set off for the land of the Amazons on a mission to capture the Sacred Girdle of Diana, currently flattering the figure of the Queen of the Amazons. Upon their arrival they are dumbfounded to discover that, in this land, the women rule and do battle while the men mind the children and buy new hats. The Greeks are seized and hauled before the female council, who are initially nonplussed by the notion of equality for men. However, over the course of two hilarious acts, a dozen captivating Rodgers & Hart songs, and a meeting of the minds, there's the inevitable meeting of the hearts.
Rodgers and Hart’s BY JUPITER opened at the Shubert Theatre in New York on June 3, 1942, and enjoyed the longest run (427 performances) of any of their shows – thus surprising several critics who praised it but called it a “summertime hit.” The book, by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, was based on the play “The Warrior’s Husband” by Julian F. Thompson, with music by Mr. Rodgers and lyrics by Mr. Hart. One of the most memorable songs from this score is “Wait Till You See Her,” a charming waltz. Strangely enough, this was cut from the show for a time in New York only because the show was running late. Fortunately, it was put back towards the end of the run. Other musical highlights are: “Nobody’s Heart,” and “Ev’rything I’ve Got.”
By Jupiter was the last show Rodgers wrote with Hart, although they did write several new songs for a 1943 revival of A Connecticut Yankee (a Rodgers and Hart hit of the 1920’s). Lorenz Hart died on November 22, 1943, a few months after BY JUPITER had completed its Broadway run. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart worked together for twenty-five years, during which time they wrote the songs for 26 Broadway musicals, 3 London musicals, and 9 films. They also collaborated on one night club revue and one non-musical play. Mr. Hart died in 1943 at the age of 48. Mr. Rodgers then entered another extraordinary partnership with a man he had known from their Columbia University days – Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, with whom he worked exclusively until Mr. Hammerstein’s death in 1960. Mr. Rodgers continued to entertain Broadway and television audiences with his music until his death in 1979.
From "Buried Treasure" in Happy Talk
Volume 9, Issue 3 - Summer 2002:
"Rodgers & Hart’s final Broadway musical comedy was also one of their biggest hits, and their longest running show: By Jupiter (1942) introduced Nobody’s Heart, Ev’rything I’ve Got and Wait Till You See Her. As musical theatre scholar Laurence Maslon remarked to R&H President Ted Chapin, after attending a performance at the York Theatre in early April, Imagine a time when a musical comedy lyric could be filled with classic literary allusions of the ancient world ‘ and the audience got it!
Today’s audiences get By Jupiter, too, judging by the two concert presentations given this spring on opposite coasts. The topsy-turvy tale, based on The Warrior's Husband, is set in an ancient land (told of in Homer’s The Odyssey), where women do the hunting and men do the housework. The classic-retro tone, witty score and great character parts make for a crowd-pleaser among both cast and spectators. The brassy Amazon queen Hippolyta (played at the York by Klea Blackhurst as a combination of Catherine the Great and Ethel the Merman), and the youthful Sapiens who captures her heart (played originally by Ray Bolger, and at the York by Kevin Cahoon), are just two of the choice roles.
Following the York’s early April stagings of By Jupiter, the widely heralded 42nd Street Moon of San Francisco presented it over a series of weekends from April 17 through May 12, with Lesley Hamilton (as Hippolyta) and Bill Fahrner (as Sapiens) heading the cast. The show is a joy, cheered the San Francisco Chronicle. Every song is a reminder of Rodgers’ incomparable skill and Hart’s seemingly inexhaustible wit, and the book is an irreverently frivolous delight."