The Boys From Syracuse

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  6f, 8m

Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Book by George Abbott

This madcap musical adaptation of The Comedy of Errors will have you roaring with laughter.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6f, 8m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Farce, Adaptations (Literature), Adaptations (Shakespeare)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
The Boys From Syracuse


Twins! More twins! Women-chased and chaste! The first musical ever adapted from Shakespeare remains the most madcap musical farce ever to animate the stage. Antipholus and his wily servant, Dromio, travel to Ephesus in search of their respective twins, from whom they were separated in a shipwreck. Naturally, they are immediately taken for their brothers and we're off and running on a riotous chase from marketplace to marital bed. Perplexed wives, disgruntled courtesans, outraged constables and an audience roaring with laughter are left in its wake before this show's tangled web is unraveled, and Rodgers & Hart & Abbott have triumphed once again!

When The Boys from Syracuse opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York City on November 23, 1938, Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times said, “Rodgers and Hart have written some of their gayest songs… a beautiful feast of rollicking mummery,” and Richard Watts of The Herald Tribune called it “the finest and most satisfying musical comedy that has reached New York in many a season.” The original production ran for seven months, but the 1963 New York revival ran twice as long and received even more enthusiastic notices.

The book, based on William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, was by George Abbott, but it was Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart who first thought of using one of the bard’s plays as the basis of a musical comedy. This inspired idea gave them the opportunity to write a score which included such songs as “Falling in Love With Love,” “This Can’t Be Love” and “Sing for Your Supper.”

It is rare in show business for nepotism to pay off – but in the case of The Boys from Syracuse, it did so handsomely. Lyricist Hart’s younger brother Teddy was often mistaken for a popular comedian of the day, Jimmy Savo, and they were therefore a natural choice for the twin Dromios in the play, servants to twin brothers. The Comedy of Errors is a story of mistaken identity and as both Dromios state at the beginning of The Boys from Syracuse: “If it’s good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for us.”

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart worked together for 25 years, during which time they wrote the songs for 26 Broadway musicals, three London musicals and nine films. They also collaborated on one nightclub 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 II, 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.

3 Women
4 Men

3 Women
4 Men

Singing-dancing ensemble with several small roles

Antipholus of Ephesus
Dromio of Ephesus
Antipholus of Syracuse
Dromio of Syracuse
Merchant of Syracuse
Maids (3)
Courtesans (2)
Merchant of Ephesus
Amazons (3)
  • Time Period Greek; Roman & Biblical
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)


“I believe it will be regarded as the greatest musical comedy of its time.” – New York World Telegram

“The kind of show we've almost lost the ability to create.” – New York Post

“Light as a feather and fresh as a day in spring.”The Wall Street Journal

“It doesn't get much better than this.”The New York Observer

“Set to the most captivating, thrilling, humorous music and lyrics in the long and honorable history of Messrs. Rodgers and Hart, and it has a modern and swift moving book.” – New York World Telegram


  • "Sing For Your Supper" - Rebecca Luker, Debbie Shapiro Gravitte and Christine Ebersole

  • The Boys From Syracuse - SIU Theater


Music Samples

Act I

1. Overture - Orchestra
1a. Opening Fanfare - Orchestra
2. Opening: "I Had Twins" - Sergeant, Angelo, Duke, Aegeon & Ensemble
2a. Exit - Orchestra
2b. Duke's Fanfare And Entrance - Orchestra
2c. Opening Reprise - Orchestra
3. "Dear Old Syracuse" - Antipholus
4. "What Can You Do With A Man?" - Luce & Dromio
4a. Blackout - Orchestra
5. "Falling In Love With Love" - Adriana
5a. Coo Music (Dance Reprise) - Orchestra
5b. Blackout - Orchestra
5bb. Drum Effects - Orchestra
5c. Sorcerer's Music - Orchestra
5d. Entrance Of The Courtesans - Orchestra
5e. Sorcerer's Music - Orchestra
5f. Drum Cue - Orchestra
6. "The Shortest Day Of The Year" - Antipholus & Luciana
7. "This Can't Be Love" - Antipholus
7a. Reprise: "This Can't Be Love" - Luciana
7b. Blackout: This Can't Be Love - Orchestra
8. Finale Act I - Orchestra
8a. Ladies' Choice (Ballet) - Orchestra

Act II

9. Entr'acte - Orchestra
10. "Ladies Of The Evening" - Girls & Sergeant
11. "He And She" - Luce & Dromio
12. "You Have Cast Your Shadow On The Sea" - Antipholus & Luciana
12a. Blackout: You Have Cast - Orchestra
13. "Come With Me" - Sergeant, Angelo & Antipholus
13a. Encore: "Come With Me" - Men
15. Twins' Dance (Ballet) - Orchestra
15a. Exit: Twins' Dance - Orchestra
16. "Sing For Your Supper" - Adriana, Luciana & Luce
16a. "Sing For Your Supper" Encore 1 - Adriana, Luciana & Luce
16b. "Sing For Your Supper" Encore 2 - Adriana, Luciana & Luce
16c. Blackout: Sing For Your Supper - Orchestra
17. "Oh Diogenes!" - Courtesan & Ensemble
17a. Blackout: Oh, Diogenes - Orchestra
17b. Drum Effects - Orchestra
18. Duke's Return - Orchestra
19. Finale Act II: "This Can't Be Love" - Company

Full Orchestration

Reed I (Piccolo, Flute, Optional Clarinet)
Reed II&III (Clarinet I, Clarinet II (Doubling Bass Clarinet))
Trumpet I&II
Violin I&II (Divisi)
Cello (Divisi)
Trap Set
Suspended Cymbal
Finger Cymbals
Temple Blocks

ORCHESTRATION NOTE: 1963 Off Broadway Revival Orchestrations by Larry Wilcox

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway, Jazz
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Medium
  • Chorus Size Medium

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: There are multiple versions of this title. Before you proceed, please double-check to ensure that you are applying for the version you want. We will not be able to refund rental or shipping fees if you pay for the wrong version. If you’re not sure which version best suits your needs, you may purchase a perusal for each available version.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
16 Libretto-Vocal
1 Piano-Vocal
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2 & 3
1 Trumpet 1 & 2
1 Trombone
2 Drums
2 Violin 1 & 2
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Harp
1 Piano
1 Digital Logo

16 Libretto/Vocal
1 Piano Vocal
1 Digital Logo


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


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 ...

View full profile

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 ...

View full profile

George Abbott

A Broadway actor, director, playwright and producer, George Abbott (1887-1995) wrote and starred in his first comedy, Perfectly Harmless, while attending Harvard. In the 20's/30's, his plays were mostly comedies, including Twentieth Century, Three Men on a Horse and Room Serv ...

View full profile


Now Playing

Community Experiences