The musical premiered on Broadway
in 1930. It is based on a story by a cartoonist for The New Yorker
, Peter Arno
, and E. Ray Goetz
. The musical satirizes New York types, from high society matrons to con men, bootleggers
, thieves and prostitutes during Prohibition
. The musical includes Porter's famous, sad song about a prostitute, "Love for Sale
", which was banned from the radio for its frank lyrics. The original Broadway production received mostly good reviews and ran for 168 performances.
The musical was "built to order around star comic Jimmy Durante
, indisputably featured special material (songs as well as bits) that wouldn't scan without Schnozzola himself delivering it."
In fact, Durante himself wrote 5 of the 17 songs featured in the musical—the only 5 songs in which he was a featured performer.
Ray Goetz, who was the producer of the show as well as production supervisor, wanted to help audiences forget the Great Depression
and so made The New Yorkers
"as bright and sparkley as possible-from the variegated costumes and the Arno settings to the large and dynamic cast...He also featured a young group that had never appeared on Broadway as the stage band for the show: Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians." The clean-cut band sang as well as played instruments.
Wealthy New York socialite
Alice Wentworth has a romantic interlude with Al Spanish, a nightclub
owner and bootlegger
. During their time together, they escape from the police and go to the bootlegging factory, among other adventures. Jimmy Deegan and his buddies Ronald and Oscar aid in their escapades, invent a new alcoholic drink, murder Feet McGeehan and assist with the gangland wedding of Al and Alice, while offering tributes to money, wood, and "The Hot Patata".
Jokes and songs about alcohol, and how far people will go to get it, such as "Drinking Song" and "Say It With Gin", reflect the musical's origin from the Prohibition period
Music and lyrics by Cole Porter except as noted
- Go Into Your Dance – Mona Low, Lola McGee and Toro Girls
- The Hot Patata (Music and Lyrics By Jimmy Durante) – Jimmie Deegan, Ronald Monahan and Cyril Gregory
- Where Have You Been? – Al Spanish and Alice Wentworth
- Say It With Gin – Ensemble and Trainor Brothers
- Venice – Alice Wentworth, Ronald Monahan, Jimmie Deegan and Cyril Gregory
- Love for Sale – May and Three Girl Friends
- I'm Getting Myself Ready for You – Mona Low, James Livingston, Lola McGee and Alfredo Gomez
- Drinking Song (Lyrics By Charles Henderson, Music By Fred Waring)–Waring's Pennsylvanians
- The Great Indoors – Mona Low and Girls
- Money (Music and Lyrics By Jimmy Durante) – Jimmie Deegan, Ronald Monahan and Cyril Gregory
- Wood (Music and Lyrics By Jimmy Durante) – Jimmie Deegan, Ronald Monahan, Cyril Gregory and Company
- Sheikin Fool (Music and Lyrics By Jimmy Durante) – Jimmie Deegan, Ronald Monahan and Cyril Gregory
- Let's Fly Away – James Livingston, Alice Wentworth and Ensemble
- I Happen to Like New York – Mildew
- Let's Fly Away (Reprise) – James Livingston, Alice Wentworth and Ensemble
- Sing Sing for Sing Sing – Al Spanish and Waring's Pennsylvanians
- Sing Sing for Sing Sing (Reprise) – Mona Low, Three Girl Friends and Waring's Pennsylvanians
- Data (Music and Lyrics By Jimmy Durante) – Jimmie Deegan, Ronald Monahan, Cyril Gregory and Waring's Pennsylvanians
- Sing Sing for Sing Sing (Reprise) – Waring's Pennsylvanians
- Take Me Back to Manhattan – Entire Company
The New Yorkers
began pre-Broadway tryouts at the Chestnut Street Opera House, Philadelphia
, on November 10, 1930
and then moved to the Shubert Theatre, Newark
on November 24, 1930.
The musical opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre
on December 8, 1930, this theatre's first stage production,
and closed on May 2, 1931 after 168 performances.
Direction was by Monty Woolley
, choreography by George Hale,
special numbers staged and directed by Fred Waring
, and production supervised by E. Ray Goetz
. Costumes were by Peter Arno and Charles Le Maire, and the set design was by Dale Stetson, based on sketches by Peter Arno
. The conductor was Max Meth
The cast featured Frances Williams as the hostess Mona Low, Charles King
as Al Spanish, Hope Williams as Alice Wentworth, Ann Pennington
as Lola McGee, Marie Cahill as Gloria Wentworth,
the Fred Waring Orchestra
, Lou Clayton
as Cyril Gregory, Eddie Jackson
as Ronald Monahan, Jimmy Durante
as Jimmie Deegan, Kathryn Crawford
(later replaced by Elisabeth Welch
and Oscar Ragland as Mildew.
(Clayton, Jackson & Durante were a successful vaudeville act.)
, theatre critic for The New York Times
wrote that the musical "manages to pack most of the madness, ribaldry, bounce and comic loose ends of giddy Manhattan into a lively musical." As for Porter's songs, "most ... hold well to the average of song-and-dance scores."
The song "Love for Sale" was sung by an actress playing the role of a prostitute ("advertising young love for sale"). As recounted by Charles Schwartz in his biography Cole Porter
, the critic for the World
, Charles Darnton, "excoriated" the song and called it "in the worst possible taste." The song was subsequently banned from the radio.
The reviewer of the "Musicals Tonight!" 2003 concert noted that Peter Arno (who provided the story) was a cartoonist whose drawings appeared on the cover and pages of the magazine The New Yorker.
"His subjects were jazz babies, society dames, gangsters, café habitues, with a specialization in the lusty and lustful. Herb Fields's book...is full of that kind of sexuality, with a heaping helping of puns and double (and triple) entendres."
- ^ Denton, Martin."2002–03 Theatre Season Reviews" nytheatre.com, April 5, 2003 Archived October 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ a b Schwartz, Charles (1979). Cole Porter. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80097-7, pp. 115–116
- ^ a b "The New Yorkers. Original Broadway production". sondheimguide.com. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- ^ "Review: The New Yorkers, Lilian Bayliss Theatre, Sadlers Wells". karinski.net. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- ^ Chestnut St. Opera House pre-Broadway tryout program
- ^ a b c d Green, Stanley; Green, Kay (1996). Broadway Musicals Show by show (5 ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 74. ISBN 0-7935-7750-0.
- ^ a b c d e The New Yorkers at the Internet Broadway Database
- ^ "Elisabeth Welch". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- ^ "Jimmy Durante", redhotjazz.com, accessed August 31, 2009
- ^ Golden, Eve. "Jimmy Durante - That Well Dressed Man", filmsofthegoldenage.com, Fall 1998
- ^ Bakish, David (1994). "Jimmy Durante", McFarland. ISBN 0-89950-968-1, p. 26, accessed August 31, 2009
- ^ Bommer, Lawrence (18 April 1996). "The New Yorkers". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- ^ Reviews: The New Yorkers by Donald Lyons, New York Post, April 11, 2003, via musicalstonight.org, accessed March 8, 2017
- ^ McHugh, Dominic. "Cole Porter: The New Yorkers", musicalcriticism.com, accessed August 23, 2009
- ^ "Lost Musicals, 2009", lostmusicals.org, accessed August 23, 2009
- ^ Clement, Olivia. "The Encores! Revival of The New Yorkers Finds Its Cast" Playbill, February 23, 2017
- ^ Atkinson, Brooks. "The Play: Gilded Gotham", The New York Times, December 9, 1930, p. 34
- ^ Mackler, David."Upper crust and other assorted flakes"The off-off-Broadway Review, accessed August 24, 2009
Last edited on 1 June 2021, at 16:32
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