Of Thee I Sing
A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 11 Scenes. Book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. Music by George Gershwin. Lyrics by Ira Gershwin.
Opened 26, December 1931 at the Music Box Theatre, moved 10 October 1932 to the 46th Street Theatre, and closed 14 January, 1933 after 441 (perfs).
Of Thee I Sing opens on an election year in the early 1930s as National Party campaigners herald their president nominee, John P. Wintergreen. Inside the campaign suite, however, party committee members are less than jubilant. Public trust in the Party is low - especially as they sold Rhode Island - and their candidate's only qualification is his presidential-sounding name. Newspaperman Matthew Fulton suggests they adopt a platform that, "Everybody's interested in, and that doesn't matter a damn!" What could be better than a platform based on love, already a national obsession? Plans are laid: the Party will sponsor a beauty contest in Atlantic City - and Wintergreen will marry the winner.
On the boardwalk in Atlantic City, bathing beauties from every state vie for the title of Miss White House. But while the judges are deliberating, Wintergreen falls in love with Mary Turner, a secretary at the pageant and proposes. The announcement of the winner - the fairest flower of the South, Diana Devereaux - comes too late. Wintergreen has pledged his heart to Mary, a girl who can make corn muffins - even without corn! One taste of Mary's muffins and the Committee and the Judges rally around Wintergreen.
The campaign is a joyous one. National Party secretaries Jenkins and Ms Benson observe that love is sweeping the country as John and Mary re-enact their courtship in each of the forty-eight states. On election day, the Wintergreen ticket wins by a landslide.
Appropriately, John and Mary choose the inauguration as their wedding day. After Wintergreen bids a farewell to his bachelor days, he and Mary exchange vows. Diana Devereaux show up to serve Wintergreen with a summons for breach of promise, but even the Supreme Court turns a deaf ear to her complaint.
Months pass, and the new administration settles into a comfortable routine. The most pressing item on Wintergreen's agenda is picking a horse to bet on at Pimlico. But Diana has been spreading her tale of woe across the country and has turned public sentiment in her favour. Wintergreen manages to appease the press with his old campaign strategy until the French Ambassador arrives to join Diana's cause: Diana Devereaux, it seems, is of French descent and France insists that Wintergreen declare his current marriage invalid and marry her. Wintergreen refuses and the National Party threatens to have him impeached.
At the Senate impeachment proceedings, Vice President Throttlebottom leads the roll call. Following testimony by the French Ambassador, Diana tells of the suffering she has endured. Before the Senators can vote on the impeachment, in bursts Mary: "I'm about to be a mother!" The United States has never impeached an expectant father: the charges against Winterbottom are dropped.
Months later, Americans everywhere anxiously await the baby's arrival. When Mary delivers twins, congratulations flood the White House but the French Ambassador is unwilling to forget how his country has been slighted. With the President unable to fulfil his duty, Wintergreen reasons that responsibility for Diana should fall to the Vice-P resident. Throttlebottom happily agrees.
Scene and Settings
Scene 1: Main Street.
Scene 2: A Hotel Room.
Scene 3: Atlantic City.
Scene 4: Madison Square Garden.
Scene 5: Election Night.
Scene 6: Washington.
Scene 1: The White House.
Scene 2: The Capitol.
Scene 3: The Senate.
Scene 4: Again the White House.
Scene 5: The Yellow Room.
- Wintergreen for President - Ensemble
- Who Is the Lucky Girl To Be? - Diane Deveraux, Ensemble
- The Dimple on My Knee - Diane Deveraux, Sam Jenkins,
- Because, Because - Diane Deveraux, Sam Jenkins, Ensemble
(As the Chairman of the Committee)- Matthew Fulton, Company
(How Beautiful) - Company
- Never Was There a Girl So Fair - Company
- Some Girls Can Bake a Pie - John P. Wintergreen, Company
- Love Is Sweeping the Country - Sam Jenkins, Miss Benson,
- Of Thee I Sing - John P. Wintergreen, Mary Turner, Company
- Entrance of Supreme Court Justices - Supreme Court Justices
- (Here's) a Kiss for Cinderella - John P. Wintergreen,
- I Was the Most Beautiful Blossom - Diane Deveraux
- Some Girls Can Bake a Pie (reprise) - John P. Wintergreen,
Diane Deveraux, Judges, Ensemble
- Hello, Good Morning - Sam Jenkins, Miss Benson, Secretaries
- Who Cares? - John P. Wintergreen, Mary Turner, Reporters
Garçon, S'il vous plaît - French Soldiers
Entrance of French Ambassador - French Ambassador, Ensemble
- The Illegitimate Daughter - French Ambassador, Ensemble
- Because, Because (reprise) - Diane Deveraux, Ensemble
- We'll Impeach Him - Senator Robert E. Lyons, Francis
X. Gilhooley, Ensemble
- (Who Cares?) (reprise) - John P. Wintergreen, Mary Turner
- The (Senatorial) Roll Call - Alexander Throttlebottom,
Impeachment Proceeding - Alexander Throttlebottom, Matthew Fulton, Louis Lippman, Francis X. Gilhooley, Senator Robert E. Lyons, Senator Carver Jones, Senate Clerk, Ensemble
- Garçon, S'il Vous Plaît (reprise) - French
Ambassador, French Soldiers
- The Illegitimate Daughter (reprise) - French Ambassador,
- Jilted - Diane Deveraux, Company
- Who Could Ask For Anything More? (I'm About to Be a Mother)
- Mary Turner, Company
- Posterity (Is Just Around the Corner) - John P. Wintergreen,
- Trumpeter, Blow Your (Golden) Horn - Ensemble
- Finale: (On That Matter No One Budges) - (Entire Company
Original Broadway Cast Recording - Broadway Angel ZDM 2435 65025 2 9