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Cover to 1986 Cast RecordingWonderful Town

A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 13 Scenes. Book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov. Based on the play My Sister Eileen by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov and the stories of the same name by Ruth McKenney. Music by Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

Winter Gardens Theatre, New York - Opened 25 February, 1978 : Closed 3 July, 1954 (559 perfs)
Princes Theatre, London - 24 February, 1955; Queen's Theatre, London - 7 August, 1986


Greenwich Village was an exciting place in 1930s New York. It is as it was then home to the city's artistic community. Ruth, a writer, and her sister Eileen who wants a stage career, take lodgings in the Village. Where they live is not ideal and there is building work going on all around them and there is also a constant stream of, to say the least, bizarre visitors mainly because Eileen is the sort of girl everyone wants to help - and does - with food and gifts. Ruth, on the other hand, is pursuing her journalistic career although Bob Baker, the associate editor of the Manhatter is not overly impressed with Ruth's overwritten efforts. He suggests to her that she should use her own experiences and write from those.

Ruth is deputed to interview some young Brazilians who have arrived in port. Unfortunately, the visitors know only three words of English, American, dance and conga. Ruth is lead a merry dance around and through the streets of Greenwich Village and the company is promptly arrested.

Bob actually likes what Ruth has written and submitted about the Brazilians but when his editor turns it down, Bob resigns. This causes a dilemma for the two sisters. Is it to be back to Columbus, Ohio for the two girls? Eileen likes Bob but she already has plenty of suitors; on the other hand Ruth is really attracted to him. Then fate intervenes. The newspapers are full of the blonde-bombshell who hijacked the Brazilian Navy. Who is this femme fatale - it is none other than our Eileen. However, she is offered a cabaret spot in a nightclub. Her act is a resounding success. Resulting from this, Ruth gets her Bob - and a press accreditation - and Eileen - well, just about everything else.......!

Original Cast

(in order of appearance):

Greenwich Villagers: Jean Eliot, Carol Cole, Marta Becket, Maxine Berke, Helena Seroy, Geraldine Delaney, Margaret Cady, Dody Goodman, Ed Balin, Alvin Bean, Ray Dorian, Edward Heim, Joe Layton, David Lober, Victor Moreno, William Weslow, Pat Johnson, Evelyn Page, Libi Staiger, Patty Wilkes, Helen Rice, Delbert Anderson, Warren Galjour, Robert Kole, Lee Papell, Chris Robinson

Musical Numbers

  1. Christopher Street - Guide, Villagers
  2. Ohio - Ruth, Eileen
  3. Conquering New York (Dance) - Ruth, Eileen, First Cadet, Violet, Villagers
  4. One Hundred Easy Ways - Ruth
  5. What a Waste - Robert Baker, Associate Editors
  6. Story Vignettes (by Betty Comden and Adolph Green) - Rexford, Mr. Mallory, Danny, Trent
  7. Never Felt This Way Before (A Little Bit in Love) - Eileen
  8. Pass The Football - Wreck, Villagers
  9. Conversation Piece (Nice People, Nice Talk) - Ruth, Eileen, Frank Lippencott, Robert Baker, Chick Clark
  10. A Quiet Girl - Robert Baker
  11. Conga! - Ruth : Danced by the Cadets
  12. (Finale—Act 1 Conga! reprise) - Ruth, Ensemble
  13. My Darlin' Eileen - Eileen, Lee Pappell, Police
  14. Swing! - Ruth, Villagers
  15. Ohio (reprise) - Ruth, Eileen
  16. It's Love - Robert Baker, Eileen, Villagers
  17. (The Village Vortex Blues dance) (Let It Come Down) - Villagers
  18. Wrong Note Rag - Ruth, Eileen, Villagers
  19. (Finale—Act 2 It's Love reprise) - Entire Company

Scenes and settings

Act 1

Scene 1: Christopher Street, Greenwich Village, New York City, 1935.
Scene 2: Ruth and Eileen's Studio Apartment.
Scene 3: Christopher Street.
Scene 4: Baker's Office at the Madhatter.
Scene 5: The Street.
Scene 6: The Back Yard.
Scene 7: The Navy Yard.
Scene 8: The Back Yard.

Act 2

Scene 1: The Christopher Street Station House.
Scene 2: The Street.
Scene 3: The Studio Apartment.
Scene 4: The Street in front of the Village Vortex.
Scene 5: The Village Vortex.

Wonderful Town - Souvenir Brochure
Wonderful Town - Souvenir Brochure
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