Musical (1924)

Musique: George Gershwin
Paroles: Ira Gershwin
Livret: Fred Thompson • Guy Bolton
Production à la création:

For all purposes, Lady, Be Good! put brothers George and Ira Gershwin as well as brother-and-sister Fred and Adele Astaire in the pantheon of theatre immortals. The composer and lyricist had for years been separately busy on Broadway, and never before had teamed up for a full-fledged Broadway collaboration. Of course, George Gershwin had composed a number of hits, such as “Swanee,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise,” and “Somebody Loves Me,” and Ira Gershwin had enjoyed the successful Two Little Girls in Blue (where he wrote under the pseudonym of Arthur Francis).

The story of the musical is about a brother and sister who are out of money; both are eager to sacrifice themselves to help the other. This was the first Broadway collaboration of the Gershwin brothers.

Synopsis complet

Original Version [1924]
Stock Revision [1940] prepared for stock and amateur performance
London Revival Version [1968] prepared for the 1968 London revival
Goodspeed Version [1987] prepared for the Goodspeed revival
Licensed Version [1992] prepared for the studio cast recording

Lady, Be Good! was a huge hit that ran over three-hundred performances and yielded a treasure-trove of memorable songs, including “Fascinating Rhythm,” “Oh, Lady, Be Good!,” “The Man I Love,” “Hang on to Me,” “Little Jazz Bird,” and “The Half of It, Dearie, Blues” (“The Man I Love” was cut during the tryout, and “Little Jazz Bird” was dropped when featured performer Cliff Edwards left the show during the Broadway run). This was a superb and exciting score, and some even praised the ballad “So I Am” (which is somewhat plod ding and predictable). With Lady, Be Good!, the brothers embarked on a series of “smart” musical comedies (including Oh, Kay! and Funny Face), and then explored the satiric political waters of Strike Up the Band (1930), Of Thee I Sing (1931), and Let ’Em Eat Cake (1933).

Lady, Be Good premiered on Broadway at the Liberty Theatre on December 1, 1924 and closed on September 12, 1925, after 330 performances. The musical was staged by Felix Edwardes with musical staging by Sammy Lee and scenic design by Norman Bel Geddes. It starred brother and sister performers Fred and Adele Astaire.

The musical opened in the West End at the Empire Theatre on April 14, 1926, again starring Fred and Adele Astaire. It played strongly there, running for 326 performances. The best-known songs from the score are "Oh, Lady be Good!" and "Fascinating Rhythm."

The Ohio Light Opera produced 11 performances of "Lady, Be Good!" as part of their 2013 Summer Festival Season.

The Encores! staged concert version of Lady, Be Good ran from February 4 to February 8, 2015. Directed by Mark Brokaw and choreographed by Randy Skinner, the cast featured Tommy Tune and Douglas Sills, with Danny Gardner and Patti Murin as the brother and sister act.

Act I
Hang on to Me - Dick Trevor and Susie Trevor
A Wonderful Party - Guests
End of a String - Ensemble
We're Here Because - Daisy Parke, Bertie Bassett and Guests
Fascinating Rhythm - Susie Trevor, Dick Trevor and Jeff
So Am I - Jack Robinson and Susie Trevor
Oh, Lady be Good! - J. Watterson Watkins and Girls

Act II
Weatherman/Rainy Afternoon Girls - Ensemble
'The Half of it, Dearie' Blues - Shirley Vernon and Dick Trevor
Juanita - Susie Trevor and Boys
Leave It to Love - Susie Trevor, Jack Robinson, Shirley Vernon and Dick Trevor
Little Jazz Bird - Jeff
Insufficient Sweetie (Music and Lyrics By Cliff Edwards and Gilbert Wells) - Jeff
Who Takes Care of the Caretaker's Daughter? (Music and Lyrics By Chick Endor) -
It's All the Same to Me (Music and Lyrics By Chick Endor) -
Carnival Time - Ensemble
Swiss Miss (Lyrics By Arthur Jackson and Ira Gershwin) - Susie Trevor and Dick Trevor

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Lady be good

The New York Times didn’t single out any particular songs but noted the music was “excellent” and the lyrics “capable throughout and at moments excellent.” The décor by Norman Bel-Geddes was “exceptionally handsome,” and the choreography by Sammy Lee was “excitedly and rhythmically” danced by the chorus. The review’s headline exclaimed that “Adele Astaire Fascinates in Tuneful Lady, Be Good: She Vividly Recalls Beatrice Lillie.”

The reviewer found her “as charming and entertaining a musical comedy actress as the town has seen on display in many a moon.” She was as “hilarious a comedienne” as Beatrice Lillie, and after her London stint in Stop Flirting she returned to Broadway “with an added freshness and a previously unrevealed dancing talent.” And Fred Astaire gave a “good account” of himself and participated “enthusiasti cally and successfully” in most of his sister’s dance sequences.

Time praised Gershwin’s music, Bel-Geddes’s décor, the “agile and pictorial” chorus, and the Astaires, Catlett, and Edwards. Brett Page in the Great Falls (MT) Tribune said the Astaires “hit the high spot of their career” with Lady, Be Good!, and they were supported by Gershwin’s “excellent” music and a “capital” com pany. And Burns Mantle in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentioned that the Astaires had “just returned from London and are much improved because their success over there has given them a new confidence.” Arthur Pollock in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle said “no musical entertainment of the season has revealed

Version 1

Lady be good (1924-12-Liberty Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Opera Comique (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 9 mois 2 semaines
Nombre : 330 représentations
Première Preview : lundi 01 décembre 1924
Première : lundi 01 décembre 1924
Dernière : samedi 12 septembre 1925
Mise en scène : Felix Edwardes
Chorégraphie : Sammy Lee
Producteur :
Avec : Fred Astaire (Dick Trevor), Adele Astaire (Susie Trevor), Alan Edwards (Jack Robinson), Jayne Auburn (Josephine Vanderwater) Walter Catlett (J. Watterson Watkins), Kathlene Martyn (Shirley Vernon), Cliff Edwards (Jeff), Victor Arden (Victor Arden), Patricia Clarke (i) (Daisy Parke), Gerald Oliver Smith (Bertie Bassett)

Version 2

Lady be good (1926-04-Empire Theatre-London)

Type de série: Original London
Théâtre: Empire Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 9 mois 1 semaine
Nombre : 326 représentations
Première Preview : mercredi 14 avril 1926
Première : mercredi 14 avril 1926
Dernière : samedi 22 janvier 1927
Mise en scène :
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Avec : Adele Astaire, Fred Astaire, William Kent, Buddy Lee, Sylvia Leslie, Ewart Scott, George Vollaire
Commentaires : The closing night of Lady, Be Good! was the final time that the Empire Theatre was used. It was demolished soon after. The final performance was a gala with many old performers who had trod the boards of the Empire.

Version 3

Lady be good (1926-04-Empire Theatre-Londres)

Type de série: Original London
Théâtre: Empire Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 9 mois 1 semaine
Nombre : 325 représentations
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : mercredi 14 avril 1926
Dernière : samedi 22 janvier 1927
Mise en scène :
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Commentaires : Because of the General Strike all performance information for 4/ 5 through 17/ 5 must be regarded as tentative. The piece was essentially a vehicle for Adèle and Fred Astaire who had performed the same roles in the first New York production.

Version 4

Lady be good (1941-09-Film)

Type de série:
Théâtre: *** Film (*** - ***)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : lundi 01 septembre 1941
Première : lundi 01 septembre 1941
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Norman Z. McLeod
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Avec : Eddie Crane (Robert Young), Dixie Donegan (Ann Sothern), Marilyn Marsh (Eleanor Powell), Joe 'Red' Willet (Red Skelton), Judge Murdock (Lionel Barrymore), Nightclub Compere (Phil Silvers), Lull (Virginia O'Brien), Buddy Crawford (John Carroll), Bill Pattison (Dan Dailey), Mrs. Wardley (Rose Hobart), Singer (Connie Russell)

Version 5

Lady be good (1968-07-Saville Theatre-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Saville Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : jeudi 25 juillet 1968
Première : jeudi 25 juillet 1968
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Hugh Goldie
Chorégraphie : Georges Bizet
Producteur :
Avec : Lionel Blair (Dick Trevor), Aimi MacDonald (Susie Trevor), Joe Baker (i) (Watty Watkins), George Clarkson (1st Removal Man), David Russell (2nd Removal Man), Patrick Rose (Jack Robinson), Bernard Clifton (Rufus Parke), Pauline Garner (Daisy Parke), Elizabeth Connor (Shirley Vernon), Gaby Vargas (Josephine Vanderwater)

Version 6

Lady be good (1992-07-Open Air Theatre Regent's Park-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : mercredi 29 juillet 1992
Première : mercredi 29 juillet 1992
Dernière : mercredi 09 septembre 1992
Mise en scène : Ian Talbot
Chorégraphie : Kenn Oldfield
Producteur :
Avec : Simon Green (Dick Trevor), Joanna Riding (Suzie Trevor), Jane Maud (Josephine Vanderwater), Bernard Cribbins (J. Watterson Watkins), Antony Howes (Jeff), Zubin Varla (Jack Robinson), Gavin Muir (Bertie Bassett)

Version 7

Lady be good (2007-07-Open Air Theatre Regent's Park-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : mardi 17 juillet 2007
Première : jeudi 19 juillet 2007
Dernière : samedi 25 août 2007
Mise en scène : Ian Talbot
Chorégraphie : Bill Deamer
Producteur :
Avec : Chris Ellis-Stanton (Dick Trevor), Kate Nelson (Suzie Trevor) , Rachel Jerram ( Shirley Vernon), Hattie Ladbury (Josephine Vanderwater), Paul Grunert (J. Watterson Watkins), Giles Taylor (Bertie Bassett), Norman Bowman (Jack Robinson), Charlotte Warren, Thomas Padden, Steve Watts, Joseph Pitcher
Commentaires : This was a re-creation of the same production staged by Ian Talbot at the Open Air Theatre fifteen years earlier .

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