Opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York on October 14, 1930. 272 performances. Book by Guy Bolton and John McGowan. Directed by Alexander Leftwich. Dances staged by Georgie Hale. Produced by Alex A. Aarons and Vinton Freedley. Cast included Ginger Rogers, Allen Kearns, Ethel Merman, William Kent, and Willie Howard.
Ginger Rogers and Ethel Merman introduced many of the hits from this quintessential Gershwin score. The show focuses on a young New York playboy banished by his family to a dude ranch in Arizona to keep him out of trouble. There was star power below the footlights as well, as the orchestra included Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Red Nichols, Jimmy Dorsey, Jack Teagarden, and Gene Krupa among others. Filmed for the first time in 1932, the show made a memorable vehicle for Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in MGM’s classic from 1943. Many of the songs were utilized on film for a third time in 1966 in WHEN THE BOYS MEET THE GIRLS featuring Connie Francis and Herman’s Hermits. The 1992 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, CRAZY FOR YOU, was suggested by GIRL CRAZY.
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