Fifty Million Frenchmen

Original Broadway Production


Fifty Million Frenchmen [program[

A Musical Comedy in Two Acts
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Herbert Fields

Tryouts began November 14, 1929 at the Colonial Theatre, Boston 

Opened November 27, 1929 at the Lyric Theatre, NYC
Closed July 5, 1930; Ran for 254 performances
Produced by E. Ray Goetz
Directed by Edgar M. ("Monty") Woolley
Choreography by Larry Ceballos
Costumes by James Reynolds
Settings by Norman Bel Geddes
Musical Direction by Gene Salzer
Orchestrations by Hans Spialek, F. Henri Klickmann, Robert Russell Bennett, Maurice B. DePackh, and Charles Miller


Synopsis

Peter Forbes, a young American millionaire in Paris, bets his friend Billy Baxter that he can survive a month without his line of credit and — in that time — win the hand of Looloo Carroll, a young girl he fancies.  He becomes a tour guide, a gigolo, and a magician — enduring countless humiliations — before winning the bet and the girl.  Other characters include Peter's friend Michael and Looloo's friend Joyce, who team up for a couple of numbers.  Much of the comedy is provided by Violet Hildegarde, a New York tourist looking to be shocked, and May DeVere, a cabaret artist seeking a man primitive enough to satisfy her needs.


Cast

William Gaxton (Peter Forbes)
Genevieve Tobin (Looloo Carroll)
Helen Broderick (Violet Hildegarde)
Evelyn Hoey (May DeVere)
Betty Compton (Joyce Wheeler)
Jack Thompson (Michael Cummins)
Lester Crawford (Billy Baxter)
Dorothy Day (Marcelle Fouchard)

Ignatio Martinetti (Louis), Thurston Hall (Emmitt Carroll), Bernice Mershon (Gladys Carroll), Fifi Laimbeer (Sylvia), Gertrude Mudge (Mrs. DeVere), Robert Leonard (Mr. Ira Rosen), Annette Hoffman (Mrs. Rosen), Larry Jason (Junior), Billy Reed (Boule DeNeige), Lou Duthers (Oscar), Mario Villani (M. Pernasse), Jean Del Val (Le Sahib Roussin, Joe Zelli), Mannart Kippen (The Grand Duke Ivan), and Oscar Magis (Maitre d'Hotel)


I Worship You [sheet music]

Musical Numbers

    Act One

  • Overture - Orchestra
  • "A Toast to Volstead" [dropped in January, 1930] - Male Ensemble
  • "You Do Something to Me" - Looloo and Peter
  • "The American Express" - Ensemble
  • "You've Got That Thing" - Michael and Joyce
  • "Find Me a Primitive Man" - May, Boule, Oscar and Ensemble
  • "Where Would You Get Your Coat?" - Violet
  • "Do You Want to See Paris?" [revision of "Omnibus" from La Revue des Ambassadeurs] - Peter and Ensemble
  • "At Longchamps Today" - Ensemble
  • "Yankee Doodle" - Ensemble
  • "The Happy Heaven of Harlem" - Boule
  • "Why Shouldn't I Have You?" - Joyce and Michael
  • Act Two

  • Entr'acte - Orchestra
  • "Somebody's Going to Throw a Big Party" - Ensemble
  • "It Isn't Done" - Ensemble
  • "I'm in Love" - Looloo and Ensemble
  • "The Tale of the Oyster" [dropped in January, 1930] - Violet
  • "Paree, What Did You Do to Me?" - Joyce and Michael
  • "You Don't Know Paree" - Peter
  • "I'm Unlucky at Gambling" - May


Added Songs

  • "The Boy Friend Back Home" [added December, 1929; replaced "Please Don't Make Me Be Good"] - May
  • "Let's Step Out" [added March, 1930; replaced "The Boy Friend Back Home"] - May and Mrs. DeVere


Cut Songs

  • "The Emigrants" [original title: "Entrance of Emigrants"; taken from Wake Up and Dream; dropped after the Boston tryout; sung by an ensemble]
  • "I Worship You" [dropped before the New York opening, sung by William Gaxton; later intended for Star Dust (unproduced)]
  • "Please Don't Make Me Be Good" [dropped before the New York opening, sung by Evelyn Hoey and Larry Ceballos' Hollywood Dancers]
  • "The Queen of Terre Haute" [dropped before the New York opening, sung by Bernice Mershon]
  • "Watching the World Go By" [dropped before the New York opening, sung by an ensemble]
  • "Down With Everybody But Us" [dropped before the New York opening, sung by Betty Compton and Jack Thompson; replaced with "Why Shouldn't I Have You?"]
  • "The Snake in the Grass" [instrumental ballet (choreographed by Leonide Massine); dropped before the New York opening; replaced by "You Don't Know Paree"]
  • "Why Don't We Try Staying Home" [dropped during rehearsals; replaced by "Down With Everybody But Us"]
  • "That's Why I Love You" [dropped during rehearsals, intended for Betty Compton and Jack Thomspn]
  • "The Heaven of Harlem" [early version of "The Happy Heaven of Harlem"]
  • "My Harlem Wench" [early alternate lyrics of "The Happy Heaven of Harlem"]
  • "Let's Turn on the Love Interest" [unused]


Contemporaneous Recordings

"Find Me a Primitive Man" - Libby Holman and the Colonial Club Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1929 [Brunswick 4666] Charted on December 28, 1929; peaked at #19

"You Do Something to Me" / "What is This Thing Called Love" - Carl Fenton and His Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1930 [Gennett 7104]

"You Do Something to Me" - Marion Harris

  • 78 RPM, 1930 [Brunswick 4806]

"You Do Something to Me" - Hotel Pennsylvania Music (Jack Albion)

  • 78 RPM, 1929 [Harmony 1075-H]

"You've Got That Thing" / "You Do Something to Me" - Clicquot Club Eskimos

  • 78 RPM, 1929 [Domino 4464]

"You've Got That Thing" - Ted Lewis and His Band

  • 78 RPM, 1929 [Columbia 2088] Charted January 18, 1930; peaked at #4

"You've Got That Thing" / "You Do Something to Me" - Leo Reisman and His Orchestra [Vocals: FFrank Luther]

  • 78 RPM, 1929 [Victor 22244] A-side charted January 25, 1930; peaked at #11 / B-side charted February 1, 1930; peaked at #13

"You've Got That Thing" / "Find Me a Primitive Man"" - Bob Haring

  • 78 RPM, 1929 [Brunswick 4666]

"You've Got That Thing" - Tommy Bohn Penn-Sirens Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1930 [Okeh 41374]

"You've Got That Thing" - The Tin Pan Paraders

  • 78 RPM, 1930 [Gennett 7146]

"You've Got That Thing" / "You Do Something to Me" - Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1933 [Victor 36085]


Go to the 1934 short film adaptation called Paree, Paree
Go to the 1991 Studio Recording of Fifty Million Frenchmen


Porter In Order

Previous Project / Next Project