powered by FreeFind


Darling of the Day


A musical in 2 acts. Music - Jule Styne; Lyrics - E.Y. Harburg; Book by Nunnally Johnson based on the novel Buried Alive by
Arnold Bennett

George Abbott Theatre, Broadway, New York - Opened 27th January, 1968: closed 24 February, 1968 (31 perfs)


In 1905 London, Priam Farll is an artist, brilliant, unconventional and shy, although he can be violently outspoken. He once offended Queen Victoria and was exiled to the South Pacific (shades of Gauguin), but Edward VII has succeeded to the throne, and Farll has been recalled to London to receive a knighthood.

Appalled by "society's" expectations of its "darling of the day" (a common Victorian/Edwardian term meaning something like "fashionable celebrity") Farll seizes the chance to "get out of the world alive" when his faithful butler Henry Leek suddenly dies, and their identities are confused by an official. Instead of correcting the error, Farll quietly assumes the identity of the deceased, and Leek's corpse is officially buried in Westminster Abbey as the famous artist.

He soon finds himself married to Alice Challice, a bright, well-to-do widow who had been corresponding with the real Henry Leek - and settles down to a happy "upper working class" existence. Farll continues to paint, and when his wife runs into financial difficulties he sells a few paintings. Complications naturally ensue, and his "cover" becomes increasingly flimsy. Just as it looks as if he will be compelled to resume his real identity, a piece of truly Gilbertian nonsense brings all to a satisfactory conclusion, and he is allowed to stay plain Henry Leek after all.

Musical Numbers

  1. Overture (From 'Darling Of The Day')
  2. He's A Genius
  3. To Get Out Of This World Alive
  4. It's Enough To Make A Lady Fall In Love
  5. A Gentleman's Gentleman
  6. Let's See What Happens
  7. Panache
  8. I've Got A Rainbow Working For Me
  9. Money, Money, Money
  10. That Something Extra Special
  11. What Makes A Marriage Merry
  12. Not On Your Nellie
  13. Sunset Tree
  14. Butler In The Abbey
  15. Finale


  • Priam Farll
  • Alice Challice
  • Lady Vale
  • Alf
  • Oxford
  • Equerry
  • Constable
  • Mrs. Leek
  • The King
  • Rosalind
  • Duncan
  • Bert
  • Sydney
  • Pennington
  • Doctor
  • Judge
  • Cabby
  • Old Gentleman
  • Daphne
  • Curate
  • Henry Leek
  • Herb Wilson