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Something for the Boys

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Something for the Boys
MusicCole Porter
LyricsCole Porter
BookHerbert Fields
Dorothy Fields
Productions1943 Broadway
1944 WestEnd
1944 film

Something for the Boys is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and a book by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields. Produced by Mike Todd, the show opened on Broadway in 1943 and starred Ethel Merman in her fifth Cole Porter musical.[1]

Productions

Out of town tryouts began on December 18, 1942 at the Shubert Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts.[2]

The musical opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on January 7, 1943 and closed on January 8, 1944 after 422 performances. It starred Ethel Merman (Blossom Hart), Bill Johnson (Rocky Fulton), Betty Garrett (Mary-Frances), Paula Laurence (Chiquita Hart), and Allen Jenkins (Harry Hart). The director was Hassard Short, choreographer Jack Cole, costumes were by Billy Livingston and the set design was by Howard Bay.[2] A national tour starred Joan Blondell who would go on to marry producer Mike Todd.

The musical premiered in the West End at the Coliseum Theatre on March 30, 1944[3] and closed on May 20, 1944. It starred Evelyn Dall (Blossom), Daphne Barker (Chiquita), Bobby Wright (Harry), Leigh Stafford (Rocky) and Jack Billings (Laddie).[2]

The most recent production of the show was by Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana in May 2013 on the Rodeheaver Auditorium stage. Director Michael Yocum was able to find almost all of the original orchestrations making this one of the first productions in decades to feature the original score.[4]

Plot

Three cousins inherit a Texas ranch that is next to a military base. Blossom Hart is a worker in the war department, Chiquita Hart is a night club dancer/singer, and Harry Hart is a carnival pitchman. Although none of the cousins know each other, they join together to convert the ranch into a boarding house for soldiers' wives. However, Lieutenant Colonel Grubbs thinks the activities at the house are suspicious and he tries to close it down. Meanwhile, Blossom and Rocky Fulton, a bandleader in the Army band, begin a romance, much to the displeasure of his fiance, Melanie.

Recordings

In 1985, the Original Cast Recording was released on the AEI Records label derived from long lost transcriptions made for shortwave radio transmission.[2]

A version of the title song was recorded by Ethel Merman for her Ethel Merman Disco Album in 1979.

PS Classics released a complete recording in December 2018, using the original orchestrations. The cast included Elizabeth Stanley (Blossom Hart), Danny Burstein (Harry Hart), Andréa Burns (Chiquita Hart), Edward Hibbert, Sara Jean Ford, and Philip Chaffin (Rocky Fulton).[5]

Songs

Response

Life Magazine wrote that the musical was "gay and glittering" and that "from start to finish the show belongs to the exuberant Ethel Merman".[6]

References

  1. ^ "Ethel Merman Biography" pbs.org, accessed January 10, 2011
  2. ^ a b c d "'Something for the Boys'" sondheimguide.com, accessed January 10, 2011
  3. ^ "London Shows Chronology, 1944" guidetomusicaltheatre.com, accessed January 10, 2011
  4. ^ http://www.gcsbnews.com
  5. ^ "PS Classics - Cole Porter's Something for the Boys - 2018 Studio Cast Recording".
  6. ^ (author unknown). "Review:'Something for the Boys'" Life Magazine, February 8, 1943, p. 79, 81-82
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