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Yanky Doodle Dandy

Poster detail

also known as

George M!

Music and lyrics by George M. Cohan : Book by Michael Stewart and John & Fran Pascal : Lyrics and musical revisions by Mary Cohan
Produced on Broadway by David Black, Konrad Matthael and Lorin E. Price
Directed and choreographed for Broadway by Joe Layton
Palace Theatre, Broadway - 10 April, 1968 (435 perfs)


Jerry Cohan learns of the birth of his son while on a vaudeville stage in Providence, Rhode Island. Years later we find the four Cohans in Cedar Rapids working their way towards Broadway. Finally there is the big break - vaudeville impresario E.F. Albee will see their act. Albee wants only sister Josie, but relents and agrees to use the whole act for an out-of-town circuit. George blurts out, "It's Broadway or nothing!" Blowing their chance the Cohans move to New York to try to make their way on their own. In the process of building a name, George meets Ethel Levy. During the period of their courtship, the four Cohans and Ethel achieve fame. She and George are married. Not satisfied with vaudeville success, George seeks a new form of entertainment. He writes his first musical comedy but it turns out to be a flop. Undaunted, he starts to produce Little Johnny Jones. Auditions are held, numbers run through, scenery built all of which climaxes in the full productions of Give My Regards To Broadway. George M. Cohan has his first hit.

Now a success on Broadway, George and his partner, Sam Harris, seek to become the kings of Broadway. They sign the biggest star of the day, Fay Templeton, to appear in their show. George is now on top but wife Ethel feels totally neglected and the two are divorced. This event has a tremendous effect of George's ego, Later he runs into Agnes Nolan from the cast of Little Johnny Jones and confides his troubles to her. Soon after this meeting, she becomes the second Mrs Cohan. Together with Agnes, George writes some of his more enduring work, "Yankee Doodle Dandee", "Nellie Kelly", "Harrigan", "Over There" and "You're A Grand Old Flag". But then things begin to happen to the people that George has held most dear. His father has died; his sister Josie has married and left the theatre, and the actors, whom he has always paid more than any other producer, have voted in Actors' Equity and are presenting their "demands". Rather than recognise the union, he declares he will write no more shows. With the success of the union George retires from the Broadway scene. True to life, however, George comes out of retirement in the 1930s to help his friend Sam Harris by starring in a new show, I'd Rather Be Right. Things have changed, and George is forced to eat humble pie by taking orders instead of giving them.

George confides to Agnes that he us a but shaken by the experience but is happy in one fact - he is on Broadway again.

Musical Numbers:

In his lifetime George Michael Cohan was THE great towering giant of the American musical theatre and George M! is his story. It is colourful, exciting and, above all, fast moving as any show needs to be to cover the hectic 60 year career of this amazing performer.

George M Cohan
George M. Cohan
  1. All Aboard For Broadway
  2. All In the Wearing
  3. All Our Friends
  4. The American Ragtime
  5. Barnum and Bailey Rag
  6. The Belle of the Barber's Ball
  7. Billie
  8. The City
  9. Dancing Our Worries Away
  10. Down By the Erie Canal
  11. Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway
  12. Give My Regards To Broadway
  13. The Great Easter Sunday Parade
  14. Hannah's A Hummer
  15. Harrigan
  16. I Want To Hear a Yankee Doodle Tune
  17. I Was Born In Virginia
  18. I'd Rather Be Right
  19. Mary
  20. Musical Comedy Man
  21. Musical Moon
  22. My Town
  23. Nellie Kelly I Love You
  24. Oh, You Wonderful Boy
  25. Over There
  26. Popularity
  27. Push Me Along In My Pushcart
  28. Ring To the Name of Rosie
  29. So Long, Mary
  30. Twentieth Century Love
  31. Yankee Doodle Boy
  32. You're a Grand Old Flag


Violin 1 & 2; Viola; Cello; Bass; Reed 1, 2, 3, & 4; Horn; Trumpet 1, 2 & 3; Trombone 1 & 2; Percussion; Piano-celeste; Accordion


25 parts, 6 principals (supporting roles play up to 7 walk-ons each).
George M - highly versatile singer, actor and tap-dancer
Jerry, Nellie & Josie Cohan - also versatile singers and dancers who can act
Ethel Levey - Actress who sings and dances
Agnes Nolan - actress who sings
Fay Templeton - sings "Mary"
Sam Harris - actor who leads company in "All Our Friends" number

Cast should be extremely versatile. The chorus members sing and dance.

Scenes and Settings


Scene 1: Prologue
Scene 2: Providence, Rhode Island 1878
Scene 3: Onstage Columbia Theatre, Cedar Rapids
Scene 4: Street in Cedar Rapids
Scene 5: Madame Grimaldi's Boarding House
Scene 6: En route to New York
Scene 7: Adams Street Theatre: Various other theatres, New York , 1901-03
Scene 8: General area, New York then front of Savoy Theatre
Scene 9: Stage of Liberty Theatre, New York


Scene 1: Office of Cohan and Harris; Fay Templeton's Apartment
Scene 2: On Stage, New Amsterdam Theatre
Scene 3: Rector's Restaurant, January 1, 1907
Scene 4: Street Outside Rector's - the next morning
Scene 5: The years until 1919
Scene 6: The years until 1937
Scene 7: Midtown New York, February, 1937
Scene 8: Stage of the Alvin Theatre
Scene 9: Epilogue