Fifty Million Frenchmen


In this classic boy-meets-girl musical set in Paris, we are treated to such memorable Cole Perter songs as “You Do Something To Me,” “You’ve Got That Thing,” “The Tale Of The Oyster” and “Paree, What Did You Do To Me?”

Music samples courtesy of New World Records and  Warner Bros Music.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Upcoming
  • Peter Forbes, a young American millionaire, journeys to Paris and bets his friends Billy Baxter and Michael Cummins that he can live without his money for a month and, while doing so, get engaged to Looloo Caroll, a young woman he adores. She is in Paris with her parents and her best friend Joyce. The catch is that Peter has one month, until July 4, to throw their engagement party at the Chateau Madrid. Trying to woo Looloo while penniless, he endures humiliation. His first job is as a tour guide, but much to his dismay, he has caught the eye of Violet Hildegarde, a fur-buyer who sends risqué French postcards to her children (“Where Would You Get Your Coat?”). An aspiring singer, May DeVere, also becomes interested in Peter. Since Peter has no time, Looloo and Billy have begun flirting.[clarification needed]

    Everyone goes to the racetrack, where Louis Pernasse tells Peter that the race is fixed and Toujours Moi will win, and he takes Peter’s and May’s money to place a bet. It appears that the horse has lost and Peter tears up his ticket, but the winner is disqualified and he has won. However, Looloo thinks he is being selfish in not sharing his winnings (since she had lent him some money) and leaves him (“You Don’t Know Paree”).

    In another week, Pernasse is preparing a party for Looloo’s mother, who plans to match her with a poor but titled Grand Duke (“The Queen of Terre Haute”). Mr. Carroll, distressed at the cost, gets drunk, and Looloo does not attend, as she has no desire to marry the Grand Duke.

    On July 4, Peter is a dance-host at the Chateau Madrid. As all arrive, Billy and Michael are still chasing Violet and Joyce. Peter, with the pressure of the time-limit bet, proposes. Just then Pernasse tells him to dance with a customer and Looloo starts to leave, confused and embarrassed. Peter and Pernasse have words about the torn-up ticket and Looloo realizes that he was telling the truth. She trusts him and they become engaged as midnight arrives.


    Music and Lyrics                            Book
           by                                           by
                    COLE PORTER                    HERBERT FIELDS     (50%)

    Adapted by
           EVANS HAILE and TOMMY KRASKER        (33%)

    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
    Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company

    Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to on all websites on which you promote the play.

  • Full Orchestration

    2 Violin I
    1 Violin II
    1 Viola I
    1 Viola II
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Flute (doubles Piccolo & Alto Saxophone)
    1 Oboe
    1 Reed I: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed II: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed III: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone

    1 Horn
    2 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trumpet III
    1 Trombone

    1 Percussion:

    Trap Set (Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Tom Tomds, Hi-Hat, Suspended Cymbals)
    Wood Blocks
    Indian Drum
    Bells (Glockenspiel)
    Timpani (2)

    1 Banjo

    Orchestra Piano (plays from Piano-Conductor’s Score)

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

  • (In order of Appearance)

    Louis Pernasse
    Mrs. Emmit (Gladys) Carroll
    Mr. Emmit Carroll
    Joyce Wheeler
    Michael Cummins
    Billy Baxter
    Looloo Carroll
    Peter Forbes
    Violet Hildegarde
    May DeVere
    Male Quartet

  • FIFTY MILLION FRENCHMEN opened on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre, November 27, 1929 and played for 254 performances starring William Gaxton, Genevieve Tobin, Betty Compton and Lester Crawford.

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