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The New Moon


A Romantic Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 12 Scenes. Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab : Music by Sigmund Romberg

Imperial Theatre, Broadway - September 19, 1928 (519 perfs)
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane - 4 April, 1929

This is vintage Romberg, The Desert Song (1924), Student Prince (1925), The New Moon; no other composer produced three in a row like this, of such quality and with such success. Perhaps The New Moon is his most impressive, for in the production at Drury Lane the composer called for 50 chorus men, 40 chorus ladies and 20 or more principals!

The Story

(1792 - 3 in New Orleans and the Caribbean)

Robert is a young French aristocrat whose revolutionary inclinations force him to flee his country. He sells himself as a bond-servant to planter and ship owner Monsieur Beaunoir and his family in New Orleans.

As the police of Paris are looking everywhere for him, Robert cannot tell Beaunoir or his beautiful daughter Marianne whom he has fallen in love with, that he is of noble blood. Eventually he is tracked down by Vicomte Ribaud, the detective villain, and put aboard The New Moon so that he can be deported back to France. Robert thinks he has been betrayed by Marianne, who has gained her father's consent to travel on the same ship, pretending she is in love with Captain Duval.

There is a mutiny but Robert takes charge and the bond-servants come into power. Everyone goes ashore on the Isle of Pines and a new republic is founded which flourishes under Robert's guidance. But Marianne, her pride hurt, at first refuses to marry Robert. Then Vicomte Ribaud makes a final attempt to conquer the island for the King of France. He is surprised to hear from the French Commander that there has been a revolution in France, and that all aristocrats like himself must die unless they renounce their titles. While he, ever the Royalist, goes to his inevitable doom, there follows a happy reunion for Citizen Robert and Citizeness Marianne.


(plus Chorus)

Cast {in order of appearance}:

Courtiers, Ladies, Pirates, Servants, Sailors, Pirates, etc.

Musical Numbers

  1. Opening ("Dainty Wisp of a Thistledown") - Ensemble
  2. Marianne - Robert
  3. The Girl on the Prow - Marianne, Ensemble
  4. Gorgeous Alexander - Julie, Alexander, Girls
  5. An Interrupted Love Song - Paul Duval, Marianne, Robert
  6. Tavern Song (Red Wine) - Flower Girl, Dancer, Ensemble
  7. Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise - Philipe, Ensemble
  8. Stouthearted Men (Liberty Song) - Robert, Philipe, Men
  9. Tango (Fair Rosita) - (Girls), Danced by Rosita, Ramon
  10. One Kiss - Marianne, Ensemble
  11. Ladies of the Jury (The Trial) - Alexander, Julie, Clotilde Lambaste, Girls
  12. Wanting You - Marianne, Robert
  13. Finale Act I - Ensemble
  14. Opening Act II (A Chanty) - Besac, Men
  15. Funny Little Sailor Man - Clotilde Lambaste, Besac, Ensemble
  16. Lover, Corne Back to Me - Marianne
  17. Finaletto - Marianne, Robert, Philipe, Men Scene 2
  18. Love Is Quite a Simple Thing - Clotilde Lambaste, Besac, Alexander, Julie
  19. Try Her Out at Dancing - Alexander, Julie, Girls
  20. Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise - Philipe, Men
  21. Never (for You) - Marianne
  22. Lover, Come Back to Me (reprise) - Robert, Men
  23. Finaletto - Marianne, Robert
  24. Finale - Company


(Total number of books = 16)

2 Violins 1
1 Violin II
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Double Bass
1 Flute
1 Oboe
1 Clarinets I/II
1 Bassoon
1 Horns I/II
1 Trumpets I/II
1 Trombones I/II
1 Percussion
1 Harp
1 Conductor Scores - annotated vocal score

Libretto and Vocal Score on Sale

Scenes and Settings




It should be emphasised that this is a stupendous task for any Society to undertake, needing first-class singers and a dozen good actors: most satisfying if artists and facilities are available but disastrous if tackled half-heartedly. A young soprano should play the feminine lead, two soprano-soubrettes the supporting leads, and a manly tenor or high baritone is required for the hero. The second male singing lead has exacting tenor solos but neither he nor the other singing principals are of any specified age group. There is an excellent part for a comedian and great acting opportunities for the detective villain.

The play is as full of action as it is of music. Costuming is colourful in the period of 1792 and although the settings are complicated and heavy, a competent producer can make light of the apparent intricacies. There is not a great deal of work for the choreographer.