AN R&H THEATRICALS TITLE

Babes in Arms (Oppenheimer Version)

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, George Oppenheimer

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.
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3f, 12m
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
Description
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.
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.

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Church / Religious Groups

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 1950s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Setting:

Babes in Arms takes place at The Surf and Sand Playhouse during the summer of 1959.

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

Casting

3f, 12m
Cast Attributes
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
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

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway, Jazz
  • Dance Requirements: Moderate
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Large
  • Chorus Size: Medium

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

Materials

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
25 Libretto Vocal
1 Piano Vocal

1 Piano
1 Reed I
1 Reed II
1 Reed III
1 Reed IV
1 Trumpet I&II
1 Trombone
1 Percussion
1 Violin A-B
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Logo Pack

Piano Only:

25 Libretto Vocal
1 Piano Vocal
1 Logo Pack

Additional Resources And Services Available

Media

Press

"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

Music Samples

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

More videos +

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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 lights of Broadway, London an ...

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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. Rodgers & Hart began their career writing ...

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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 1955 to write t ...

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