Very 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
CAST (in order of appearance):
Scenes and Settings:
CAST (in order of appearance):