powered by FreeFind


Cover to 1975 Revival Cast RecordingVery Good Eddie

A Musical Play in Two Acts, 3 Scenes. Book by Philip Bartholomae and Guy Bolton. Based on the farce "Over Night" by Philip Bartholomae. Music by Jerome Kern. Lyrics by Schuyler Greene, (Herbert Reynolds).

Princess Theatre, New York - 23 December, 1915: transferred to Casino Theatre, New York - 29 May, 1915; Transferred to the 39th Street Theatre - 11 September, 1916; transferred Princess Theatre - October 1916 (Total 341 perfs)

Revival. Booth Theatre, New York - 21 December, 1975 (307 perfs)


The Hudson River Day Line's Catskill stops for fifteen minutes at Poughkeepsie. Dick Rivers comes aboard. He has fallen in love with Elsie Lilly, Madame Matroppo's pupil. To be alone with Elsie he begs Madame Matroppo to let him interview the girl for a magazine article. She agrees. Elsie is not easily wooed. She has known Rivers and suggests he is always in love with "Some Sort Of Somebody."

Newlyweds Eddie and Georgina Kettle board the boat. It is obvious from her incessant barking of commands that Georgina is determined to wear the trousers in the family — though little Eddie's trousers are probably several sizes too small for her. They are followed by two more honeymooners, Percy and Elsie Darling. The Darlings and the Kettles meet, and Eddie and Percy turn out to be old schoolmates. All four rejoice, "Isn't It Great To Be Married?"

Georgina and Percy leave the boat — the one to send a telegram, the other to find some missing luggage — and the vessel sails without them. Eddie and Elsie, alone, discover they haven't even enough money for one meal. Rivers appears, and Eddie, who knows him, is forced to pretend Elsie is his bride. Rivers lends Eddie the money he will need. He also tells Eddie that Eddie's old flame Elsie Lilly is on the boat. Eddie and his "Mrs." sit down not just to dinner but to cocktails as well. Rivers returns and introduces Madame Matroppo to "Mr. and Mrs. Kettle." On top of his martinis, Eddie orders champagne for everyone. They celebrate with "Wedding Bells Are Calling Me."

At the Rip Van Winkle Inn, Rivers and Elsie Lilly dream of the joys "On The Shore At Le Lei Wi." Eddie and his Elsie, increasingly nervous at their masquerade, now discover there won't be a return boat — or a train — until the next day. There is nothing for them to do but remain over-night. To the astonishment of the desk clerk, they request separate rooms. Once they have signed the register, Eddie carefully spills ink over it to
conceal his presence. Rivers is as puzzled as anybody by Eddie's behaviour, insisting he'd act differently "If I Find The Girl."

Madame Matroppo catches Eddie slinking off to eat dinner alone and orders him back upstairs to dine with his "wife." Eddie regrets he is so small he must wear a "Size Thirteen Collar." Georgina and Percy arrive but, with the register ruined, cannot be sure they have come to the right hotel. Madame Matroppo, who can never remember names correctly, assures them the only honeymooners are named "Fish." Since it is late, they also take two rooms and head for bed.

Georgina, learning that Darling's wife is named Elsie, goes upstairs with the uneasy feeling she is the same Elsie that Eddie loved long ago.

A mouse scares Elsie Darling out of her room, and when she knocks on Eddie's door he comforts her, advising her to be as brave as the "Babes In The Wood." The next morning Percy and Georgina meet Rivers, who tells them Eddie Kettle and his wife are at the inn. But it is a changed Eddie who comes downstairs. He has learned how to handle himself, and when he orders Georgina to sit down, she does.

On boarding, Georgina noisily issues commands about baggage and tips. But Georgina's pushiness masks her naïvete. Eddie, in his newfound strength, orders Georgina to sit down, the delighted clerk shouts admiringly,
"Very Good, Eddie."

Extracted from American Musical Theatre 3rd Ed ed. Gerald Boardman


1915 Production:

CAST (in order of appearance):

Steward on The Catskill
Monsieur de Rougemont
Purser on The Catskill
Dick Rivers
Madame Matroppo
Elsie Lilly
Eddie Kettle
Georgina Kettle, his wife
Magazine Girl
Percy Darling
Elsie Darling, his wife
West Point Cadet
Al Cleveland clerk at the Rip Van Winkle Inn
Victoria Lake
Chrystal Poole

Lily Pond
Belle Fontaine
Flo Tide
Virginia Spring
Miss Always Innit
Miss Carrie Closewel
Miss Funnie Rekkod
Miss Munnie Duzzyt
Miss Gay Ann Giddy
Miss E. Z. Morrels
Mr. Tayleurs Dummie
Mr. Fullern A. Goat
Mr. Dyer Thurst
Mr Rollo Munn
Mr. Watt Pumkyns
Mr. Dustir Stacks

Musical Numbers


  • We're on Our Way (Opening) - Victoria, Ensemble
  • The Same Old Game (Song) - Rivers, Girls
  • Some Sort of Somebody (All the Time) (Duet) (from Miss Information) (Lyrics by Elsie Janis.) - Rivers, Elsie
  • Isn't It Great To Be Married? (Quartet) - Eddie, Elsie, Percy, Georgina
  • Wedding Bells Are Calling Me (from Nobody Home) (Finaletto) (Lyrics by Harry B. Smith.)


  • On the Shore at Le Lei Wi (Opening) (Music by Jerome Kern (verse), Henry Kailimai (chorus), Lyrics by Herbert Reynolds.) Variation on the popular Hawaiian song On the Beach at Waikiki, music by Henry Kailimai, lyrics by G. H. Stover. - Elsie, Dick, Ensemble
  • If I Find the Girl (Song) (Lyrics by Herbert Reynolds, John E. Hazzard.) - Dick, Ensemble
  • Old Bill Baker (Undertaker) (Lyrics by Ring Lardner.) - Eddie
  • When You Wear a 13 Collar (Thirteen Collar) (Song) - Eddie
  • Old Boy Neutral (Duet) - Elsie, Dick, Ensemble
  • Babes in the Wood (Duettino) (Lyrics by Jerome Kern, Schuyler Greene.) - Eddie, Elsie
  • The Fashion Show (Song) Victoria, Ensemble
  • I Wish I Had a Million (I'd Like to Have a Million in the Bank) (Song) (Lyrics by Herbert Reynolds.) Al, Girls
  • Nodding Roses (Duet) (Lyrics by Herbert Reynolds, John, E. Hazzard.) - Elsie, Dick
  • Finale - Ensemble

Scenes and Settings:

Act 1: Deck of the Hudson River Boat, The Catskill. One summer afternoon.
Act 2, Scene 1: The Rip Van Winkle Inn. That evening. Scene 2: The same, the next morning.


1975 Production

CAST (in order of appearance):

Mr. Dick Rivers
Mme. Matroppo
Miss Elsie Lilly
M. de Rougemont
Mrs. Georgina Kettle
Mr. Eddie Kettle
Mr. Percy Darling
Mrs. Elsie Darling
Al Cleveland
Miss Lily Pond
Miss Chrystal Poole
Miss Carrie Closewell
Miss Always Innit
Mr. Tayleurs Dumme
Mr. Dayr Thurst
Mr. Dustin Stacks
Mr. Rollo Munn

Musical Numbers


  1. "We're on Our Way" - Ensemble
  2. "Some Sort of Somebody" (Lyrics by Elsie Janis.) - Elsie Lilly, Dick
  3. "(When You Wear a) Thirteen Collar" - Eddie
  4. "Bungalow in Quogue" - (from The Riviera Girl) (Lyrics by P. G. Wodehouse.) - Elsie Darling, Percy Darling
  5. "Isn't It Great To Be Married" - Elsie Darling, Georgina Kettle, Eddie, Percy Darling
  6. "Good Night Boat" - (from The Night Boat) (Lyrics by Anne Caldwell and Frank Craven.) - Ensemble
  7. "Left All Alone Again Blues" (from The Night Boat ) (Lyrics by Anne Caldwell.) - Elsie Darling
  8. "Hot Dog!" - (from The Bunch and Judy ) (Lyrics by Anne Caldwell.) - Ensemble
  9. "If You're a Friend of Mine" (from Lady Mary , London) (Lyrics by Graham John.) - Elsie Darling, Eddie
  10. "Wedding Bells Are Calling Me" (Lyrics by Harry B. Smith.) - Ensemble


  1. "Honeymoon Inn" (from Have a Heart) (Lyrics by P. G. Wodehouse.) - Elsie Lilly, Ensemble
  2. "I've Got to Dance" - (dropped from very Good Eddie (1915)) -M. de Rougemont, Ensemble
  3. "Moon Love" - (from The Beauty Prize) (Lyrics by Anne Caldwell.) - Mme Matroppo, Ensemble
  4. "Old Boy Neutral" - Elsie Lilly, Dick
  5. "Babes in the Wood" - Elsie Darling, Eddie
  6. "Katy-did" - (from Oh, I Say!) (Lyrics by Harry B. Smith.) - Mme Matroppo
  7. "Nodding Roses" (Lyrics by Schuyler Greene and Herbert Reynolds.) - Elsie Lilly, Dick
  8. Finale (Lyrics by John E. Hazzard and Herbert Reynolds.) - Ensemble

Scenes and Settings

The action takes place in 1913.

Act 1: A Hudson River Dayliner.
Act 2, Scene 1: Lobby of the Honeymoon Inn in the Catskills. That evening. Scene 2: The next morning.