September 2001

Girl Crazy
(George & Ira Gershwin)

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Girl Crazy (1930) marked the celebrated Broadway debut of Ethel Merman and the seventh and second-to-last musical comedy written by George & Ira Gershwin. The story was also the second stage musical for Ginger Rogers. The story is about a wealthy New York playboy whose father sends him West to get him away from Damon Runyon types. However, the city slicker brings his friends with him and they clash hilariously with the locals as the tenderfeet try to convert a rundown lodge into a money-making dude ranch. The songs include "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You," "But Not For Me," "Could You Use Me?," Broncho Busters", "Barbary Coast," "Goldfarb, That’s I’m," "Sam and Delilah," "Land of the Gay Caballero," "Treat Me Rough," and "Bidin' My Time."

Guy Bolton (Book) was born in England in 1884 and worked in musical theatre in both New York and London. Most of his librettos were collaborations - 13 with P.G. Wodehouse and 15 with Fred Thompson. His first Broadway successes were written with composer Jerome Kern - Very Good Eddie, Oh, Boy!, Oh, Lady! Lady!, and Leave It To Jane. His theatre work stretched over half a century - his first show, 90 In The Shade, opened in 1915 and his last show, Anya, opened in 1965. His biggest successes included Sally, Simple Simon and Anything Goes. His work with the Gershwins included Lady Be Good!, Rosalie, Treasure Girl, and Girl Crazy.

Fred Thompson (Book) was born in England in 1884 and worked in musical theatre in both New York and London. His 15 collaborations with Guy Bolton included Lady Be Good!, Tell Me More, Tip Toes, The Five O'Clock Girl, Treasure Girl, Girl Crazy and Follow The Girls.

George Gershwin (Music) was born in New York City in 1898. By the age of 14, he was earning a living playing piano in the Catskills and plugging songs on Tin Pan Alley. In 1917, he was rehearsal pianist for Jerome Kern. Two years later, he wrote his first hit song, "Swanee," with lyricist Irving Caesar and La La Lucille, his first complete Broadway score, was produced. From 1920-1934, he worked on five consecutive George White's Scandals. "The Man I Love" was the first hit song he wrote with his brother Ira, and that successful collaboration produced the shows Lady, Be Good!, Tell Me More!, Tip-Toes, Oh Kay!, Funny Face, Rosalie, Treasure Girl, Show Girl, Strike Up The Band, Girl Crazy, Of Thee I Sing, Pardon My English, and Let `Em Eat Cake. Gershwin's output also included the folk-opera Porgy And Bess, many piano-based classical works including "Rhapsody In Blue" and "An American In Paris." The Gershwin brothers moved to Hollywood in 1936 and their film work included Shall We Dance, A Damsel In Distress and The Goldwyn Follies - the latter was completed after George's untimely death in 1937.

Ira Gershwin (Lyrics) was born in New York City in 1896. Initially, he wrote under the pseudonym "Arthur Frances" (combining the first names of his younger brother and sister). His first Broadway success, Two Little Girls In Blue, was in collaboration with composer Vincent Youmans. After working exclusively for ten years with his brother George, he wrote shows with Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Vernon Duke, Kurt Weill, and Arthur Schwartz (Life Begins at 8:40, Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, Lady In The Dark, The Firebrand of Florence and Park Avenue). His film work continued after his brother's death and included Cover Girl, Where Do We Go From Here?, The Barkleys of Broadway, Give A Girl A Break, A Star Is Born, and The Country Girl.

Director & Choreographer Thomas Mills
Music Director, Vocal Arranger
James Stenborg

With Keith Benedict, Kirstie R. Bingham*, Courtney Blythe, Liz Casasola*, Matthew Ellison*, Josheph Franchini*, Rachel Hale, Michael Lluberes, Michael McGuirk*, Matthew Morgan*, Fabio Monteiro, Perry Laylon Ojeda*, Liz Pearce*, Kelli Rabke*, Rebecca Rich*, Shelby Rose*, Matt Seidman*, Will Woodrow.

*Denotes member of Actors Equity Association

Producer Mel Miller
Stage Manager
Shih-hui Wu
Casting Director
Stephen De Angelis
Set Design
Stan Pearlman, Impact Creative Group
Perry Pizarro
Set Construction
Frank Getz

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