Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  5f, 8m

Music by Richard Rodgers / Lyrics by Lorenz Hart / Book by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart

A Depression-era political satire about economic anxiety and the three branches of the US government.
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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5f, 8m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Period, Parody / Spoof
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
The unique collaboration of Rodgers & Hart and Kaufman & Hart brought George M. Cohan back to Broadway after an absence of ten years, resulting in the largest advance sale in Broadway history. This Depression-era political satire, set in NYC's Central Park, poses the question, “What's a young couple to do when they can't get married until he gets a raise, and his boss won't give him a raise until the President balances the budget?” Who should come strolling through the park but FDR himself, and soon he is determined to resolve the country's economic crisis on behalf of his young new friends. The ensuing machinations bring on the entire cabinet, the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice, the Federal Theatre's production of Spring in Vienna, and the President's mother. No one escapes unscathed in this hilarious political sent-up which, over eighty years after its creation, still plays as if inspired by last week's headlines.


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

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


I'd Rather Be Right takes place in Central Park, New York City, during the Roosevelt Administration.

Central Park, New York, dusk of a summer evening
Central Park, later that evening


5f, 8m
Cast Attributes
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
1 Woman
2 Men

4 Women
6 Men

Large singing-dancing Ensemble with numerous small roles

Peggy Jones
Phil Barker
The President of the United States
His Secretary
The Postmaster General
The Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of State
The Secretary of Labor
The Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of Commerce
The Secretary of Agriculture
The Secretary of War
The Secretary of the Interior
The Attorney-General
The Chief Justice
James B. Maxwell
Federal Theatre Director
Social Securities Messenger
The President's Mother
A Butler
The Judge's Girl
The Acrobats (2)


  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements: Moderate
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Piano Only
  • Chorus Size: Medium
1. "Manhattan" - First Girl, First Sailor, Second Girl, Second Sailor, Man II, Woman II,
2. "The Cabinet Song (A Homogenous Cabinet)" - Cabinet Members
3. "Have You Met Miss Jones?" - Phil, Peggy, Roosevelt, The Cabinet, Miss McIntyre
4. "Beauty Sequence" - Women, Roosevelt, Hairdressers
5. "Take And Take And Take" - Women of America
6. "Spring In Vienna" - Director, Girls
7. "Constitutional Fun" - The Justices, Girls
8. "Sweet Sixty-Five" - Phil, Peggy, Mrs. Roosevelt, Landon
9. "We're Going To Balance The Budget" - Roosevelt, Whole Park Crowd, Phil
10. "Everybody Loves You" - Peggy
11. "Labor Is The Thing" - P.W.A. Group
12. "Off The Record" - Roosevelt
13. "A Baby Bond For Baby" - Morgenthau
14. "Have You Met Miss Jones? (Reprise)" - Phil
15. "We're Going To Balance The Budget (Reprise)" - All
16. "I'd Rather Be Right" - Phil, Peggy, Roosevelt, Couples, Company

Full Orchestration



Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
25 Libretto Vocal
1 Piano Conductor
1 Logo Pack

Piano Only:
25 Libretto Vocal
1 Piano Conductor
1 Logo Pack

Additional Resources And Services Available


“Theater as it used to be: rip-roaring, flag-waving, and unremittingly uplifting.” – Curtain Up

“Rich in amiable applies a droll and delightful slapstick to the seat of government and amounts to as happy a sport as the theatre has provided in some time.” – Newsweek

"Provides quite a bit of amusement for persons well-versed in American history. The jokes come fast and furious." – Taoyue



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 S. Kaufman

George S. Kaufman was born in Pittsburgh in 1889. During his early career as a reporter and drama critic , he began to write for the theatre. For 40 years, beginning in 1921 with the production of Dulcy, there was rarely a year without a Kaufman play — usually written in collaboration. His ...

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Moss Hart

MOSS HART began his career as a playwright, director and producer in 1930 when, with George S. Kaufman, he wrote Once in a Lifetime. Subsequent Kaufman and Hart successes include Merrily We Roll Along, You Can't Take It With You and The Man Who Came To Dinner, among others. In collaboration with Irving Berlin, he wr ...

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