Two Little Girls in Blue

Opened at the George M. Cohan Theatre, New York on May 3, 1921. 135 performances. Music by Vincent Youmans and Paul Lannin. Lyrics by Arthur Francis. Book by Fred Jackson. Directed by Ned Wayburn. Produced by A. L. Erlanger. Cast included Madeline Fairbanks, Marion Fairbanks, Oscar Shaw, Fred Santley, Olin Howland, and Virginia Earle.

Ira Gershwin’s first successful Broadway show was not written with his brother George, but with another up-and-coming young composer, Vincent Youmans. TWO LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE, a charming fable of two poor sisters who can only afford one passage to India, with Ira’s lyrics written under the name “Arthur Francis” (derived from the first names of his younger brother and sister), didn’t immediately lead to any additional shows for Ira. True success would have to wait until 1924’s LADY, BE GOOD! and the beginning of his career with George. Though Vincent Youmans had a great success with NO, NO, NANETTE in 1925, by the time of his death in 1946 his best days were far behind him.