This delightful adaptation of GOOD NEWS! features a revised book and several added numbers, such as Button Up Your Overcoat, You’re the Cream in My Coffee and Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries. The story is set at Tait College during the Roaring Twenties, where football star Tom Marlowe falls in love with studious Connie Lane, who is tutoring him so he can pass astronomy and be eligible to play in the big game.
In the 1920s, football reigns king on the fictional Tait University campus and Tait’s collegians are obsessed with their star football player, Tom Marlowe. Most students will drop everything to watch him practice, to do something to earn his favor, or to follow the latest chapter in his soap-opera romance with the daughter of one of the school’s wealthiest benefactors. However, one girl seems oblivious to the football-mania: Connie Lane, an intensely studious woman. Ironically, Connie is recruited to help when Marlowe fails the astronomy final he needs pass to in order to play in the big game Saturday. Soon the football star and the tutor fall for each other, and the football coach and the astronomy professor rekindle their own college romance. Inevitably, these couples’ love can only survive if the team wins the big game.
LAURENCE SCHWAB, B. G. DE SYLVA and FRANK MANDEL
Words and music by:
DE SYLVA, BROWN and HENDERSON
Directed for Broadway by:
Produced for Broadway by HARRY RIGBY
Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
is presented by arrangement with
MusicScope & Stage Musicals Ltd. of New York
1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed II: Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed III: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone
1 Trumpet I & II (both double Flugelhorn)
1 Trumpet III (doubles Flugelhorn)
1 Trombone I (tenor)
1 Trombone II (bass)
1 Guitar & Banjo
1 Piano & Celeste
2 Percussion I & II:
I (trap set)
Suspended Cymbals: Top, Sock (Hi-Hat), Ride, Splash & Thin (or Chinese)
Sock Cymbal (Hi-Hat)
1 Solo Violin
1 Solo Cello
1 Bass (doubling Tuba)
Piano-Conductor’s Score (2 vol) sent with rehearsal material.
The star fullback at Tait College, a small northeastern campus. Tom is a handsome, intelligent young man, whose expertise on the football field and whose personal charisma have made him the most popular man on campus. Voice range is high baritone, and he should also be a fine, athletic mover. His songs include “The Best Things In Life Are Free” and “Lucky In Love” (both duets with Connie), the “Good News!” number, and the athletically-choreographed football drill.
An intensely studious young woman with no interest in football. Connie is a lovely coed who has energy and humor, but who is intent on her studies and not at all interested in campus frivolity and fads. Her singing voice is a strong alto-soprano mix, and she should move well. Her songs include “The Best Things In Life Are Free,” “Lucky In Love” (both duets with Tom) and “My Lucky Star.”
Coach Bill Johnson:
A good-humored, likable football coach, who was a football star at Tait College a few years ago before returning to coach the team. Not quite as trim as he was earlier, he is nevertheless an attractive, approachable guy, determined to finally see a Tait team beat their traditional rival, Colton. His songs include “Together” and “You’re The Cream In My Coffee” (both duets with Kenyon).
Professor Charlotte Kenyon:
An attractive professional woman, who has returned to her alma mater as the new professor of astronomy. Her looks haven’t changed at all since her student days at Tait. She has a forthright, charming personality, but she is not easily swayed from the strong opinions she holds. Her singing voice is rich alto, and she should be a good mover. Her songs include “Together” and “You’re The Cream In My Coffee” (both duets with Johnson) and “Life Is Just A Bowl of Cherries” (a trio with Connie and Babe).
A vivacious flapper, easily in control of any situation she encounters. She should be an adept comedienne, with lots of personality in her voice and body movements. She leads “The Varsity Drag” and has two duets with Bobby, “Button Up Your Overcoat” and “Never Swat A Fly,” as well as the trio “Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries” with Connie and Kenyon.
A likable wimp, the perennial third-string substitute on the football team, desperate to be a “big man on campus.” A fresh-faced comic song-and-dance man, he pairs up with Babe for “The Varsity Drag,” “Button Up Your Overcoat” and “Never Swat A Fly.”
The trainer for the Tait football team. He is a comic character man, hysterically superstitious, with a jolly demeanor and a strong high baritone/tenor voice to lead “Keep Your Sunny Side Up” as a locker room rallying cry.
A hulking brute on the football team, with an I.Q. that is significantly lower than his body temperature. The actor playing this role should be both menacing and funny, with passable movement skills. He need not be a singer.
Patricia (“Pat”) Bingham:
A beautiful, wealthy coed who has always had everything she has ever wanted, including campus hero Tom Marlowe. Hilariously self-centered, she should be charming enough to justify Tom’s initial attraction to her, but sufficiently snobbish so that Tom eventually sees through her. This comic actress leads “The Girl of the Pi Beta Phi,” so some singing skills are needed.
Millie and Flo:
Two comic coeds, likable sidekicks to Pat. They are featured vocalists in “He’s a Ladies’ Man.” They can be cast as physical or vocal contrasts (e.g., short and tall, or slim and rounded, or high squeaky voice and low alto voice), or they could be cast as twins.
The ultimate freshman, eager to be a part of any important event on campus. He can be eccentric looking and should convey the demeanor of someone who’s been raised in wealth, but is now going to try to experience life among “regular” young people. Singing and dancing skills are helpful along with the required sense of underdog comedy.
Comic character man. No singing or dancing skills required.
Two Policeman: No singing or dancing required. Can double as students.
Ensemble should be large enough to populate a complete football team, of believable athletic collegiates. All will need to move well, but some strong singing voices will also be needed. If some are excellent dancers, those skills can enhance the “Football Drill” and “The Varsity Drag.”
This should be a vivacious assortment of 1920s collegiate flappers, all good singers and dancers. There are specific characterizations for several of the girls, and there is much opportunity for individuals to have special moments.
If desired, there are several opportunities to use adults as additional professors and parents visiting the campus. If, on the other hand, the production is mounted primarily around young people, only four roles (Coach Johnson, Professor Kenyon, Pooch and Ticket Taker) require a sense of maturity.
If desired, there is a terrific opportunity to showcase local football players or to feature local cheerleading squads. The football players could be used as “ringers” who don’t really do the big choreographed numbers, but who show up for the locker room; or depict the rival team, used in cross-over scenes or used in the final moments of the game on the field. The cheerleading squads would be an impressive addition to the scenes in the play depicting pre-game activities.
Additional publicity for the show can be gained by the inclusion of a local television sportscaster or weather personality as the Stadium announcer (either seen onstage in follow spot, or simply heard on taped announcements, which requires less time commitment from the celebrity). If the production desires to cast “stars” in any of the roles, there is the opportunity to cast a former sports luminary as the Coach, a former film star as the Professor, young soap opera actors as Tom and Connie or well-known comics as Pooch, Babe or Bobby.
This version of the 1927 musical was created for Music Theatre of Wichita in 1993. It was mounted there again in 2003.