The Cocoanuts (Bedard Adaptation)

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  5w, 7m

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by George S. Kaufman
Adapted by Mark Bedard

At Cocoanut Manor, the service stinks but the gags are four-star in this Marx Brothers romp featuring an Irving Berlin score.

The Cocoanuts (Bedard Adaptation)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5w, 7m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Christmas/Holiday, Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
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Groucho owns a bum hotel in Florida and peddles dubious real estate to gullible Northerners seeking a place in the sun. He's after a rich society dame, who's after an eligible match for her daughter, who's in love with the hotel's head clerk. Trouble rolls in with the tide when the other Marxes arrive and mama's eligible match turns out to be anything but. Mark Bedard's adaptation of The Cocoanuts premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2014 and is designed for a small cast of 12.
The Cocoanuts opened on Broadway on December 8, 1925 at the Lyric Theatre, where it ran for 218 performances. Produced by Sam H. Harris, the show featured 14 principal actors and an ensemble of 45 singer/dancers. The production returned to Broadway the following season for a special two-week engagement. On February 16, 2014, Mark Bedard's adaptation of The Cocoanuts premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, featuring just 12 actors playing all the roles.
5 Women
7 Men

NATE – A member of the Cocoanut Trio. Could be a maintenance man, janitor, chef, doorman, etc of the hotel.
TRIXIE – A member of the Cocoanut Trio. Could be a maid, housekeeper, chef, server, etc of the hotel.
COCO – A member of the Cocoanut Trio. Could be a maid, housekeeper, chef, server, etc of the hotel.
ROBERT JAMISON (Zeppo) – high-strung, jittery, bottled-up, unconfident. He is the only remaining clerk and bellhop in the hotel. Loves Polly Potter.
PENELOPE MARTIN – a conwoman of the upper class. Cunning.
HARVEY YATES – a member of the privileged class. Secretly broke. He wants to marry Polly Potter for her money.
MRS. POTTER – the embodiment of the privileged, upper class.
POLLY POTTER – torn between her upbringing and her own forward thinking. Loves Robert Jamison.
MR. HAMMER (Groucho) – Jamison's boss. Proprietor of The Cocoanuts Hotel and Cocoanut Manor.
CHICO (Willie Wony Diddydony) – a petty thief with an Italian accent.
HARPO (Silent Red) – a mute, petty thief.
DETECTIVE HENNESSEY – large and intimidating. Very serious. Represents authority and the right arm of the one percent. Can also play a random guest in the beginning of the play.
  • Time Period 1920s
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)


"Fish fly. Teacups soar. Doors slam and puns fall like rain. Welcome back, Marx Brothers... a delirious jalopy of awful jokes, brilliant physical comedy and caustic improvisations with a cackling audience.” – David Stabler, The Oregonian

“Uproariously hilarious... a side-splitting laughter based on the Marx Brothers classic 1930 film, the bros are back and creating more wacky joy in Cocoanuts.” – Lee Juillerat, Herald and News

“Amid the mayhem are Irving Berlin's gorgeous songs, including the beloved ‘Always’... If there's a criticism at all, it's that it is nearly impossible to hear all of the clever lines penned by George S. Kaufman, the Marx Brothers and Bedard: The audience is laughing just too dang much.” – Cathy Noah, Ashland Daily Tidings

“It is, in fact, one of the funniest and most satisfying evenings of entertainment I’ve experienced at [Oregon Shakespeare Festival].” – Alan “Rosey” Rosenberg, Ashland Play Reviews

“The perfect amount of classy, quirky comedy... Don’t blink, or else you may miss a knee-slapping uproar.” – Emily Havens, The Spectrum, July 08, 2016

The Cocoanuts so gleefully demonstrates, we don’t need the real Marx Brothers to generate the kind of merry mayhem that made them movie legends.” – Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review Journal


1. "Overture" - Shimmer Choir, Trio: Nate, Trixie & Coco
2. "The Clerk" - Jamison & Trio
3. "The Guests" - Jamison, Penelope, Mrs. Potter & Trio
4. "The Bell Hop" - Jamison, Harvey, Mrs. Potter, Polly, Penelope & Trio
5. "My Family Reputation" - Polly, Jamison & Trio
6. "A Hit With The Ladies" - Hammer & Penelope
7. "Lucky Boy" - Chico, Hammer, Harpo, Nate, Jamison & Male Band Members
8. "A Little Bungalow" - Jamison, Polly & Trio
9. "Reprise: A Little Bungalow" - Hammer
10. "Florida By The Sea" - Jamison, Hammer & Trio
11. "Heavenly Lot 26" - Trio
12. "Finale Act One" - Polly & Trio
13. "Five O'Clock Clock Tea" - Mrs. Potter, Hammer, Chico & Harpo
14. "Always" - Polly & Jamison
15. "Yes Sit, That's My Baby" - Jamison, Chico, Hammer, Mrs. Potter & Hennessy
16. "Guilty Face" - Hammer
17. "Everyone In The World Is Doing The Charleston" - All except Hennessy
18. "Tango Melody" - Trio, Penelope, Harvey & Mrs. Potter
19. "The Tale Of A Shirt" - Hennessey, Penelope, Polly & Company
20. "Why Do You Want To Know Why?" - Chico
21. "Ting-A-Ling The Bells'll Ring" - Jamison, Polly & Company
22. "When My Dreams Come True" - Company
Full Orchestration Piano Bass Drums Guitar Violin
  • Musical Style Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size Medium

Licensing & Materials

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Music Rentals

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14 Libretto
14 Piano-Vocal
1 Drums
1 Guitar
1 Violin
1 Bass
14 Libretto
14 Piano-Vocal


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Irving Berlin

With a life that spanned more than 100 years and a catalogue that boasts over 1,000 songs, Irving Berlin (1888-1989) epitomized Jerome Kern’s famous maxim that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music.” Berlin wrote scores to 13 Broadway musicals, ...

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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 coll ...

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Mark Bedard

Mark Bedard

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