A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, a Prologue and 14 Scenes. Book by David Shaw. Based on the play of the same name by Jacques Deval and its English adaptation by Robert E. Sherwood. Music by Lee Pockriss. Lyrics by Anne Croswell.
Opened 18th March, 1963 at the Broadway Theatre, moved 10th June, 1963 to the Majestic Theatre, moved 7th October, 1963 to the Winter Garden, and closed 9th November, 1963 after 264 performances.
Not the least of the changes wrought by the Russian Revolution has been to provide Paris in the 1920s with an impressive collection of doormen, janitors and taxi drivers made up of the exiled Russian nobi1ity. But the impoverished leaders of the group, the Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna and her consort, General Prince Mikail Alexandrovitch Ouratieff do no work at all. Their straitened circumstances are really voluntary since they could, at any time, avail themselves of the four billion francs entrusted to then by the late Tsar.
This gold, however, they keep in a Swiss bank until such time as it may be returned to the rightful heir. The current Soviet government would also like to get its hands on the money, and so would the French banking interests. When the Governor of the Bank of France .nits Tatiana. and Mikail in their garret they still refuse to part with the money then, when he advises them that the police have been instructed to ten their backs when Tatiana steak food. they realize that they will have to make some changes in their manner of living. This is also urged by their friend. Natalia Mayovskaya who warns them they are being followed by a Russian spy. She suggests that Tatiana and Mikail become servants in the home of her American friends, Mr and Mrs Charles Davis. At first Mikail is against the idea but Tatiana soon wins him over.
The Davises, formerly of Wilkes-Barre. Pennsylvania. live in a huge home in Paris with their two teenage children. Helen and George. Since they have had little luck in keeping servants, the Americans are especially delighted with Tatiana and Mikail (who use the names Tina and Michael). Helen, in fact, is quite smitten with Mikail. and George feels the same way about Tatiana, whom he teaches to dance the Charleston.
Soon after Tatiana and Mikail have taken up their duties, the Davises give a formal party at which Charles outlines has scheme for an international cartel to take over the Balm Oil Fields in Russia. When some of the guests recognise Tatiana and Mikail working as servants they are understandably shocked And they become truly horrified when the guest of honour, Commissar Gorotchenko, a high Soviet official, arrives and it looks as though Mikail will start a counter-revolution of his own.
After their embarrassment at being discovered. Tatiana and Mike! beat a hasty retreat to the Café Kasbek. where most of their fellow émigrés either work or hang out Prodded by Helen and George, who have gone to the cafe looking for them, Tatiana and Mikail decide to return to the Davises' home - at least long enough to clean up after the party. Mikail is hurt when Tatiana reveals that she had once agreed to - though never kept - a rendezvous with Gorotchenko in order to enable them to escape from Russia/ Angrily, he storms out of the house and vows that, from now on, he will not let his wife run his life.
While Tatiana is washing the dishes alone, Gorotchenko comes into the kitchen and suggests that he still cares for her. Mikail returns, and Gorotchenko pleads with them to give the four billion francs to Russia in order to prevent five million peasants from starving. He wins them over by appealing to their nationalism and humanity, and Tatiana wins Mikail over by dutifully deferring to him to make the decision.
After Gorotchenko leaves, Mr. Davis offers Tatiana and Mikail the perfect solution, they will stay on as servants but will be invited as guests of honour at all his parties. They agree, and go off to celebrate the Russian New year.
David Shaw - (taken from the original liner notes)
- Nitchevo - Mikail, Boris, Ivan, Marina, Singing and Dancing Ensembles
- I Go To Bed - Mikail
- You'll Make an Elegant Butler (And I'll Make an Elegant Maid) (Music and Lyrics by Joan Javits and Phillip Springer.) - Tatiana
- Stuck With Each Other - Helen, George
- Say You'll Stay - Grace, Charles
- You Love Me - Tatiana, Mikail
- Introduction Tango - Tatiana, Helen, Mikail, George
- That Face - Natalia
- Wilkes-Barre, P.A. -Tatiana, George
- No! No! No! - Helen, Mikail
- A Small Cartel - Grace, Charles, Singing Ensemble
- It Used To Be - Boris, Ivan, Natalia, Vassily
- Kukla Katusha - Dancing Ensemble
- Make a Friend - Tatiana, Helen, Natalia, Mikail, George, Boris, Ivan Skiani, Sergei, Ivan
- The Only One - Tatiana
- Uh-Oh! - Helen, George
- Managed - Mikail
- I Know the Feeling - Tatiana
- All for You - Tatiana, Mikail
- Grand Polonaise - Helen, Grace, George, Charles, Dancing Ensemble
CAST (in order of appearance):
- Admiral Boris Soukhomine
- Count Ivan Shamforof f
- Baroness Roumel
- M. Chauffourier-Dubieff
- Natalia Marovskaya
- Helen Davis
- George Davis
- Charles Davis
- Grace Davis
- Ballet Master
- Mme. Van Hemert
- Mme. Van Steuben
- The Footman at the Davis home
- Night Club Singer
- kukla Katusha
- Ivan, Sergei, Kukla's Friends, A Footman at the Grand Ball, Baron General Rasumov, Baroness Rasumov
- Prince Dobrynin,Princess Dobrynin
- General Boruvsky, Madame Boruvsky
- Count Yuriev Neglinsky, Lady Soukhomine, Maria Soukhomine, Count Rostoff, Madarne Muratova, Essaul of Cossacks Volinin, Katrina Volinin, Elena Volinin, Princess Mondrovsky, Igor Mondovsky of the Imperial Corps of Cadets, Prince Ossipovsky, Colonel Yarov
Scenes and Settings
- Scene 1: Tsar Nicholas II's Room at the Palace of Tsarskoe Selo
- Scene 2: A Garret in Paris, the late 1920s.
- Scene 3: A Corridor in the House of Mr. and Mrs. Davis, Paris.
- Scene 4: The Drawing Room of the Davis House.
- Scene 5: The Rehearsal Room in the Basement of the Kasbek Cafe, Paris.
- Scene 6: The Wintergarden in the Davis House.
- Scene 7: The Drawing Room.
- Scene 1: A Street Outside the Kasbek Cafe.
- Scene 2: The Club Room of the Kashek Cafe.
- Scene 3: A Street Outside the Kasbek Cafe.
- Scene 4: The Drawing Room of the Davis House.
- Scene 5: A Street in Paris.
- Scene 6: The Kitchen of the Davis House.
- Scene 7: A Ballroom.