Once President Harry S. Truman appointed Washington hostess Perle Mesta as Ambassador to Luxembourg, the foundation was laid for a musical comedy that would kid politics-foreign and domestic alike. Ambassador Sally Adams, with slim credentials, is sent off to administer in the tiny duchy of Lichtenburg. It's not long before her down-to-earth, typically undiplomatic manner has surprised and charmed the local gentry, especially the handsome Prime Minister. A second romance is blossoming between her young Ivy League aid and Lichtenburg's enchanting young Princess. The course of love is threatened by the stuffy opposition, who eventually succeeds in wrangling Sally's recall, but not before all has resolved happily for both pairs of lovers.
Call Me Madam opened on Broadway on October 12, 1950 at the
Imperial Theatre, where it ran for 644 performances. The original
production, directed by George Abbott and choreographed by Jerome
Robbins, starred Ethel Merman and Russell Nype. Elaine Stritch led the
cast in the subsequent national tour. In 1995, Tyne Daly played the
"hostess with the mostess" in an Encores! production at New York's City
Center. The show returned to Encores! in 2019, starring Carmen Cusack.
For a more detailed history of Call Me Madam, check out the below article in Breaking Character:Call Me Madam: A History of the Irving Berlin Hit
by Robert Kimball