AN R&H THEATRICALS TITLE

Babes in Arms (Oppenheimer Version)

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  3f, 12m

Music by Richard Rodgers / Lyrics by Lorenz Hart / Book by George Oppenheimer

Based on the original by Rodgers & Hart

This quintessential "Hey, kids, let's put on a show!" musical boasts one of the greatest scores ever written. A group of young summer stock apprentices attempt to stage an original revue, despite resistance from the underhanded theatre owner.
  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3f, 12m
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Details

Summary
Set at a summer stock theatre many years ago, Babes In Arms concerns a group of young apprentices and their conviction to mount an original revue, despite the underhanded attempts of the surly theatre owner to squash their efforts at every turn. Further complications stem from the overbearing stage mother of a beautiful ex-child star and the inflated ego of a hack southern playwright. But of course the show must go on, and so it does — in a spectacular musical resolution of comeuppance, reconciliation and romance.

This version is the 1959 adaptation by George Oppenheimer. The 1978 John Guare adaptation is also available.
History

Babes in Arms opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on April 14, 1937, starring Ray Heatherton, Wynn Murray, Alfred Drake, Mitzi Green and the Nicholas Brothers. The show later transferrred to the Majestic Theatre, playing a total of 289 performances.

In 1959, under the supervision of Richard Rodgers, George Oppenheimer revised the script for a production mounted at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach, starring Julie Wilson. That revision became the officially licensed script, presented across the country and through the decades with success at such prestigious venues as the Goodspeed Opera House (featuring Andrea McArdle) in 1979, as well as countless high schools, colleges and community/summer stock theatres.

Cast Attributes
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Performing Groups
  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Church / Religious Groups
PRINCIPALS
3 Young Women
6 Young Men

FEATURED
2 Adult Men
4 Young Men

ENSEMBLE
Singing-dancing ensemble consisting of the Gang.

CHARACTERS
(in order of appearance)
The Press Agent
Terry Thompson
Gus Field
Apprentices:
Peter
Betty
Libby
Ann
Don
Nancy
Valentine White
Susie Ward
Seymour Fleming
Bunny Bryon
Lee Calhoun
JenniferOwen
Phyllis Owen
Steve Edwards
  • Time Period 1950s
  • Setting

    The Surf and Sand Playhouse. Summer 1959.

  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)

Media

“Babes in Arms is almost too enjoyable for a theatergoer's good!” – Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“The show is charming, the numbers sizzle, what more can you ask?” – The Cincinnati Enquirer

“A score that is altogether superb...fresh, youthful, and utterly captivating.” – The New York Times

“Pace, humor and presence that belies its age...there hasn't been a musical written in this decade with anywhere near as many first class numbers.” – The Day

“It is cheering to rediscover the authentic joys of this 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical. An exhilarating hymn to youth... Hart's acerbic wit perfectly counterpoints Rodgers' innate romanticism, and his lyrics are a triumph of ingenious wordplay.” – Michael Billington, The Guardian

“A pleasant outing featuring one of Broadway's most memorable scores.” – Jonas Schwartz, Theatermania

Videos

  • "Where Or When" - Brian d'Arcy James, Susan Egan

  • "I Wish I Were In Love Again" - Audra McDonald

  • "My Funny Valentine" - Jane Krakowski

  • "Johnny One Note" - Judy Garland

Music

Music Samples

Act I

Overture
1. Opening Act I - Orchestra
1a. "A Wonderful Guy" (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) - Terry
2. "Babes In Arms" - Val and Apprentices
2a. Babes in Arms Dance - Orchestra
3. "All At Once" - Val and Susie
3a. Change of Scene - Orchestra
4. "I Wish I Were In Love Again" - Gus and Terry
4a. In Love Again Piano - Orchestra
5. "Where Or When" - Val and Jennifer
6. "Way Out West" - Bunny and Apprentices
7. Where Or When Dance - Orchestra
8. "Where or When (Reprise)" - Jennifer
9. "My Funny Valentine" - Susie
9a. Change of Scene - Orchestra
10. Finale, Act I ("Babes in Arms") - Susie and Apprentices

Act II

11. Prelude to Act II - Orchestra
12. "Imagine" - Susie
12a. Imagine Ballet - Orchestra
13. "You're Nearer" - Val and Jennifer
14. "The Lady Is A Tramp" - Bunny
15. "My Funny Valentine (Reprise)" - Susie
15a. Change of Scene - Orchestra
16. "The Lady Is A Tramp (Reprise)" - Susie
16a. Change of Scene - Orchestra
17. Change of Scene - Orchestra
18. Deep North Opening - Orchestra
19. End of Scene V - Orchestra
20. "I Wish I Were In Love Again (Reprise)" - Gus and Terry
20a. Change of Scene VI - Orchestra
21. "Johnny One Note" - Bunny
22. Finale, Act II ("Johnny One Note) - Company
23. Curtain Calls ("Where or When") - Company

Full Orchestration

Piano I
Piano II
Reed I (Alto Sax, Clarinet (Optional Flute, Optional Piccolo)
Reed II (Tenor Sax and Clarinet)
Reed III (Alto Sax, Clarinet)
Reed IV (Tenor Sax and Bass Clarinet)
Trumpet I&II
Trombone
Percussion
Violin A-B (Divisi)
Viola (Divisi)
Cello (Divisi)
Bass
Percussion
Trap Set
Timpani
Bells
Wood or Temple Blocks
Triangle
Cow Bell

  • Musical StyleClassic Broadway, Jazz
  • Dance RequirementsModerate
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra SizeLarge
  • Chorus SizeMedium

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
Specific Locations
Exterior of The Surf and Sand Playhouse
Section of the Playhouse Stage
The Old Barn Bedroom at the Inn Behind the Playhouse Curtain
A Country Road
25 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Vocal
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trombone
1 Piano
1 Percussion
1 Violin A-B
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Logo Pack
25 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Vocal
1 Logo Pack

Add-Ons

Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!

Authors

Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers' contribution to the musical theatre of his day was extraordinary, and his influence on the musical theatre of today and tomorrow is legendary. His career spanned more than six decades, his hits ranging from the silver screens of Hollywood to the bright light ...

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Lorenz Hart

Lorenz Hart was born in New York City on May 2, 1895, the oldest of two sons of Frieda and Max Hart. Hart graduated from Columbia Grammar School and attended the Columbia School of Journalism. In the late teens a mutual friend introduced Hart to composer Richard Rodgers. Rodg ...

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George Oppenheimer

George Oppenheimer (1900-1981) was a drama critic for Newsday for twenty years, but also contributed to publishing, entertainment and gossip columns. He was co-founder of Viking Press, an MGM screenwriter, a playwright and author of several books.

Oppenheimer joined Newsday in ...

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