March 2004

Gay Divorce
(Cole Porter)

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Gay Divorce opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on November 29, 1932 and ran for 248 performances. It starred Fred Astaire and Claire Luce. The show was Fred Astaire’s first stage musical without his sister Adele and his final Broadway appearance before leaving for Hollywood (to star in some 30 musical films).

The film version, known as The Gay Divorcee (1934), included only one Cole Porter song, "Night And Day," and replaced Claire Luce with Ginger Rogers. The title change reflected the producer’s concern that censors would infer that the original title glorified the process of divorce.

American novelist, Guy Holden (Paul Castree) is smitten by Mimi Pratt (Stephanie Lynge), a woman he meets by chance. Her ardor is dampened by concern over her divorce, which is to be engineered at an English seaside resort using the services of a professional co-respondent, Tonetti (Jedidiah Cohen). Guy’s best friend, Egbert (Tom Sellwood) is the solicitor arranging this marital three-ring circus and they journey to the hotel together. Mimi’s friend Hortense (Kathy Newman) is suspicious of the entire arrangement and the anxious Mimi becomes convinced that Guy is in fact the hired gigolo. Barbara (Pamela Bob) is one of the single women at the resort dismayed at the lack of available men. The cast also has Heather Mieko, Suzy Myers, L.J. Mitchell, David Perlman, Brian S. Pollack, Greg Roderick, Sandie Rosa, Jana Rumbaugh, and Billy Clark Taylor.

Songs include: “I Still Love The Red White And Blue,” “Mister And Missus Fitch,” “How’s Your Romance?” “What Will Become Of Our England?” “After You, Who?” “I’ve Got You On My Mind,” and “Night and Day.”

Director: Thomas Mills
Music Director: Barbara Anselmi

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