Gay Divorce

Original Broadway Production

Gay Divorce [playbill]

A Musical Comedy in Two Acts
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Dwight Taylor
Based on an unproduced play by J. Hartley Manners
Musical Adaptation by Kenneth Webb and Samuel Hoffenstein

Tryouts began November 7, 1932 at the Wilbur Theatre, Boston
November 21, 1932 at the Shubert Theatre, New Haven

Opened November 29, 1932 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, NYC
Transferred January 16, 1933 to the Shubert Theatre, NYC
Closed July 1, 1933; Ran for 248 performances
Produced by Dwight Deere Wiman and Tom Weatherly
Directed by Howard Lindsay
Choreography by Barbara Newberry and Carl Randall
Costumes by Raymond Sovey
Set Design by Jo Mielziner
Orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett, Hans Spialek
Musical Direction by Gene Salzer


While traveling abroad, American novelist Guy Holden falls in love with a beautiful lady named Mimi, who mysteriously disappears after their initial meeting.  When he later runs into her at a seaside resort, she mistakes him for the paid corespondent she has hired to facilitate her divorce.  Other characters include Guy's lawyer friend, Teddy Egbert; Mimi's oft-divorced friend and protectress, Hortense; and the idiot corespondent Tonetti, whose motto is "Your wife is safe with Tonetti -- he prefers spaghetti."

Gay Divorce [sheet music]


Fred Astaire (Guy)
Claire Luce (Mimi)
Luella Gear (Hortense)
Betty Starbuck (Barbara)
Erik Rhodes (Tonetti)
Eric Blore (Waiter)
G. P. Huntley, Jr. (Teddy)

Roland Bottomley (Mr. Pratt), Taylor Gordon (Robert), Jean Frontai (Gladys), Mary Jo Mathews (Doris), Helen Allen (Vivian), Joan Burgess (Joan), Dorothy Waller (Joyce), Billie Green (Ann), Martin Cravath (Porter), Sonia B. Fitch (Sonia), Pat Palmer (Pat), Mitzi Garner (Diana), Edna Abbey (Claire), Jacquie Simmons (Elaine), Ethel Hampton (Edith), Grace Moore (Evelyn), Bobby Sheehan (Beatrice), Eleanor Etheridge (Phyllis), and Hulda Helvig (Elizabeth)

Musical Numbers

    Act One

  • Overture - Orchestra
  • "After You, Who?" - Guy
  • "Why Marry Them? - Barbara and Ensemble
  • "Salt Air" - Teddy, Barbara and Ensemble
  • "I Still Love the Red, White and Blue" [written for Star Dust (unproduced)] - Hortense
  • "Night and Day" - Guy
  • "How's Your Romance?" - Tonetti and Female Ensemble
  • Act Two

  • Entr'acte - Orchestra
  • "What Will Become of Our England?" - Waiter and Ensemble
  • "I've Got You On My Mind" [written for Star Dust (unproduced)] - Guy and Mimi
  • "Mister and Missus Fitch" [written for Star Dust (unproduced)] - Hortense
  • "You're in Love" - Guy, Mimi and Tonetti

Cut Songs

  • "Fate" [dropped before the Boston opening; same music as the refrain in "Salt Air"]
  • "A Weekend Affair" [unused]
  • "Never Give In to Love" [unused]
  • "In Cae You Don't Know" [unused]

Original Cast Recordings

"Night and Day" / "I've Got You On My Mind" - Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman's Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1932 [Victor 24193] A-side charted on December 17, 1932; peaked at #1 for 10 weeks; B-side charted February 11, 1933; peaked at #17

Contemporaneous Recordings

Note: These are only recordings made during or immediately after the run of the show.  "Night and Day" became an even bigger hit in the late thirties when MANY new recordings were made.

"Night and Day" / "After You, Who?" - Eddy Duchin & His Central Park Casino Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1932 [Brunswick 6445] A-side charted on January 1, 1933; peaked at #2 for 3 weeks

"Night and Day" - Dick Robertson and His Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1932 [Crown 3428]

"Night and Day" - Freddie Martin and His Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1933 [Banner 32663]

"Night and Day" - Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra [vocal: Phil Dewey and the Pickens Sisters]

  • 78 RPM, 1933 [Victor 36085]

Go to the London Production of Gay Divorce

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