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Mercenary Mary

Cover to piano selction

A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 3 Scenes. Book and lyrics by William B. Friedlander & Isabel Leighton. Music by Con Conrad & William B. Friedlander
based on Herbert Hall Winslow and Emil Nyatray's farce What's Your Wife Doing?

Longacre Theatre, New York - 13th April  - 8rd August, 1925 (136 perfs).
London Hippodrome, 7 October, 1925 (262 perfs.)


Chris and Mary Skinner had married despite the objections of Chris's grandfather. They fear he will disinherit them so they decide to stage a divorce, get back in the will, and then quietly remarry. Chris's friend, Jerry, agrees, for a fee, to play co-respondent in his apartment. Mary is so nervous she drinks too much and almost spoils everything, but grandfather relents and all ends well.


Jerry Warner is in love with Joan, the nice of Sir Henry Somers, but the hard=-hearted uncle does not favour the suit because of Jerry's impecuniously. However, the latter comes in for two thousand pounds, which he is induced by a friend to invest ion a Texas oil company. Jerry, in turn, inducess his best chum, Chris Skinner, to put money into the same venture, which he readily does in the hope that it will make him independent of his grandfather who has wired threatening to stop his allowance if he marries Mary. But Chris and Mary are already married and they plan to outwit the grandfather. It is arranged that Mary shall be found by the latter in a compromising position with Jerry, that a divorce shall follow, and then when grandfather has returned to America thee shall be a re-marriage.

But Joan is not let into the secret, and she and her uncle, as the plot develops, become righteously indignant at that young gentleman's behaviour. Things don't happen exactly as the conspirators desire, and when Chris arranges for the grandfather to break in upon the guilty pair some unforeseen incident occurs, with the result it is not Mary who is in evidence.
However, eventually the grandfather becomes very fond of Mary and all ends well, especially as the oil speculation, which had come to be regarded as a wild-cat affair, turns out a huge success - pleasing even to Joan's Uncle.

Musical Numbers


  1. Over a Garden Wall - Jerry, Edith, Guests
  2. Just You and I and the Baby - Patrick, Norah
  3. Charleston Mad - Edith, Guests
  4. Honey, I'm in Love (with You) - Jerry, Edith
  5. They Still Look Good Grandpa Skinner, Guests
  6. Tomorrow (Melody suggested by Chopin's Nocturne No 12) - June, Lyman
  7. Dance - Norah, Patrick
  8. Come On Along - Soloist, Guests
  9. Mercenary Mary - Mary, Company
  10. Finale -  Company


  1. Dance - Norah
  2. Beautiful Baby - Lyman, Guests
  3. (I Want To Be a) Chaste Woman (I've Got to be a Chaste Woman) - Mary, Jerry
  4. Cherchez la Femme (Get Your Woman) - Patrick, Norah, Guests
  5. Everything's Going to Be All Right - Lyman, June
  6. Finale - Company



Scenes and Settings