Tip-Toes

Opened at the Liberty Theatre, New York on December 28, 1925. 194 performances. Music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. Book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson. Directed by John Harwood. Dances staged by Sammy Lee. Produced by Alex A. Aarons and Vinton Freedley. Cast: Queenie Smith, Allen Kearns, Harry Watson, Jr., Andrew Tombes, Jeanette MacDonald, Lovey Lee, Amy Revere, and Robert Halliday, with Phil Ohman and Victor Arden at the pianos.

There probably is no more charming Gershwin musical than TIP-TOES, with its melodious tunes and witty lyrics, combined with a topical — if light-hearted — book about the Florida real estate boom of the 1920s. Especially constructed for its original leading lady, the diminutive Queenie Smith, TIP-TOES was a given a first-rate production by Aarons and Freedley, which later toured and travelled to London. Ira’s lyrics were praised by his contemporary, Lorenz Hart, as proof “that songs can be both popular and intelligent.”  Largely neglected since its original run, the show was restored — using material discovered in the famed Secaucus warehouse — for a concert version in 1998, as part of the George Gershwin centennial celebrations, and was subsequently recorded.