MY ONE AND ONLY takes the heart-stopping songs ’S Wonderful, Funny Face and of course My One and Only from George and Ira Gershwin’s FUNNY FACE, along with great numbers from several other Gershwin shows, and joins them with a new book which is frothy and fun.
Other fabulous tunes include I Can’t Be Bothered Now, He Loves and She Loves, Strike Up the Band, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Kickin’ the Clouds Away. This musical gets buoyancy from its spoofy tone. The barn-storming pilot and pretty Channel swimmer are like Fred and Adele Astaire from the 1927 FUNNY FACE, surrounded by a combination of hip dancers from the 1940’s and the chic sensibility of the 1980’s. The show has more dancing than most, and the dancing is a great deal of fun.
MY ONE AND ONLY, the Tony Award winning musical which opened on Broadway on May Day, 1983, concerns an aviator, a Channel swimmer and the America of 1927 which knew exactly what it wanted –I Can’t Be Bothered Now. It features a sensational George and Ira Gershwin score.
Captain Billy Buck Chandler is determined to be the first man in history to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. His mission is somewhat sidetracked at a railroad station when he first lays eyes on Edith Herbert, ex-Channel swimmer and current star attraction of Prince Nicolai Erraclyovitch Tchatchavadze’s International Aquacade –Blah, Blah, Blah. To the chagrin of his female mechanic Mickey, Billy dreams of her –Soon while Edith dreams of romance –Boy Wanted.
Determined to meet and win her, Billy takes a crash course in sophistication at Mr. Magix’ Tonsorial and Sartorial Emporial, where the urbane, all-knowing Mr. M tells Billy what it’s all about –Sweet n’Low Down.
Arranging to run into Edith “accidentally” at the movies where she often goes to fantasize – the Russian Prince Nikki keeps a tight rein on her, having in his possession certain compromising photographs – Billy and Edith fall in love –He Loves and She Loves.
Seeing Billy as her only hope of escaping Prince Nikki, Edith persuades Billy to fly her to Cuba, but Nikki sabotages the plane and the two lovebirds fall to earth on a seemingly deserted island which they quickly turn into Paradise –It’s Wonderful.
But when Nikki finds them and forces Edith to go back to the Aquacade by threatening to reveal her past, Billy, left alone, bitterly returns to the only dream left him – his flight to Paris and the fame he will achieve –Strike Up the Band.
Life at the Aquacade goes on –In the Swim, but Edith is despondent –Nice Work If You Can Get It, and decides to run away.
Billy, however, is unable to forget Edith. He returns to Mr. Magix for fresh advice. What should he do now? Mr. M counsels him that only love matters –My One and Only.
After a brief interlude that finds Prince Nikki and Billy’s female mechanic Mickey falling head over heels for one another –Funny Face, Billy takes off in his plane, the Lone Star, in search of Edith.
He finds her in Morocco – it was the location of the movie they fell in love at – and persuades her to return to America with him and get married, which they do –Kickin’ the Clouds Away. After the ceremony, happiness theirs, Edith pauses to wonder at it all –How Long Has This Been Going On. To the surprise of practically no one, they will live happily ever after.
– Peter Stone
MY ONE AND ONLY
Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Book by Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer
Original Staging and Choreography by
Thommie Walsh and Tommy Tune
Original Broadway Production produced by Paramount Theatre
Productions, Francine LeFrak, Kenneth John Productions,
Jonathan Farkas, Bernard Carragher, Obie Bailey,
Bernard Bailey and Lewis Allen
Such credits for the authors for all purposes shall be in type size at least equal to that of any other credits except for those of the star(s) of the show billed above the title, and the credits for Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer shall be in type size equal to 75 percent of the type size for George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcements in type size at least one half the size of the credits to George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin:
“The worldwide copyrights in the music of
George and Ira Gershwin for this presentation
are licensed by the Gershwin Family.”
MY ONE AND ONLY is presented by arrangement with
MusicScope & Stage Musicals Ltd. of New York
3 Violins (divisi a3, six players)
1 Cello (divisi a2, two players)
1 Bass (doubles Cabasa)
1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Soprano & Alto Sax
1 Reed II: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Sax
1 Reed III: Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet & Tenor Sax (or: Clarinet & Tenor Sax)
1 Reed IV: Flute (or Clarinet), Clarinet, Bassoon & Baritone Sax
1 Horn I & II
1 Trumpet I & II (Trumpet I doubles on Piccolo Trumpet)
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II (Bass Trombone)
2 Percussion I & II
I: (Trap Set)
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Small Tom Tom
Floor Tom Tom
Crash – Thin & Normal
Timpani – 2 Pedal Drums
Cabasa – “Rattlesnake”
Dumbek – for Belly Dance
“Taps” – Tap Shoes & Board
1 Piano I (Doubles on Cow Bell)
1 Piano II (Doubles on Claves, Cabasa, Police Whistle and Piatti)
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with the rehearsal material.
New Rhythm Boys – Singing trio, part of the 8 male chorus/dancers
*Captain Billy Buck Chandler – An aviator. (singer/dancer)
*Nikki – Prince Nicolai Erraclyovitch Tchatchavadze – A Russian Agent, Owner Promoter of the Aquacade (singer)
Fish: The 6 Girl Chorus/Dancers
*Edythe Herbert – Channel Swimmer, Star of the Aquacade (singer/dancer)
Train Porter (doubling role – male)
*Mickey – Agent Lucy Ann Fergusson – An airplane mechanic and an F.B.I. Agent (singer)
Newspaper Reporter (doubling role – female)
*Reverend J.D. Montgomery – Clergyman and Speakeasy Proprietor (singer)
*Mr. Magix – Proprietor of the “Tonsorial & Sartorial Emporial” (principal specialty dancer/singer)
Ritz Quartette (4 mature businessmen – singers)
“Nuns” (New Rhythm Boys in disguise)
Movie Patron #1 (doubling role – female)
Movie Patron #2 (doubling role – male)
Man’s Voice (doubling role)
Newscaster (taped voice – male)
Stage Doorman (doubling role – male)
Mrs. O’Malley (played by one of the New Rhythm Boys)
Train Conductor (doubling role)
Achmed (played by Nikki)
Legionnaire (doubling role – male)
Radio (taped voice imitates Lowell Thomas)
Deacons (the 8 male chorus/dancers)
Chorus: Emporial Assistants, Shoeshine Boy, Manicurist, etc., Club Havana Waiters, Customers, Cops, Beauties: Miss Domino, Miss Del Monte, Miss Upman Panatella, Miss United Fruit, Miss Cuba Libra. Movie Patrons, Spectators at Train, Photographers, Umbrella Dancers, Club Oasis Legionnaires & Belly Dancers.
Original cast of 24
*6 Principals: Edythe, Mickey, Billy, Nikki, Montgomery & Magix
6 Girl singers/dancers
8 Boy singers/dancers (including New Rhythm Boys)
4 Men singers (Ritz Quartette)
MY ONE AND ONLY played for 767 performances on Broadway at the St. James Theatre starring Tommy Tune and Twiggy. Tommy Tune also co-choreographed with Thommie Walsh.
3 Tony Awards for Choreographer, Actor and Featured Actor
3 Drama Desk Awards for Choreography, Orchestration and Featured Actor