Opened at the Majestic Theatre, New York on January 9, 1933. 46 performances. Music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. Book by Herbert Fields, Morrie Ryskind, and uncredited others. Directed by John McGowan and Vinton Freedley. Dances staged by George Hale. Produced by Alex A. Aarons and Vinton Freedley. Cast included Jack Pearl, Lyda Roberti, George Givot, Josephine Huston, Carl Randall, Barbara Newberry, Gerald Oliver Smith, Ruth Urban, John Cortez, and Cliff “Charlie” Hall.
If ever there was an award for the most complicated backstory of a Gershwin show, PARDON MY ENGLISH would win it. The show went through a number of librettists and directors — and the loss of the original male lead, Jack Buchanan — as it made its way to Broadway, and its failure caused the breakup of the producing team of Aarons and Freedley. But the Gershwin songs that made their way around the ever-changing plot are a wonderful collection, from the sublime duet “Isn’t It a Pity?” to the comedic romp “My Cousin in Milwaukee,” where Ira made sure to use words that began with “H” to feature the vocal lisp of leading lady Lyda Roberti.
To license PARDON MY ENGLISH, please contact Concord Theatricals.
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