The Red Mill (Revised 1945)


Victor Herbert’s comic operetta concerns two American vaudevillians who find themselves stranded and penniless in a small Dutch village. Despite some comic misunderstandings, dramatic schemes, and romantic heartbreaks, everything works out in the end.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Upcoming
  • In a village in Holland, two American vaudevillians, Con and Kid, who have been traveling in Europe but itch to get back to New York, are stranded penniless in the little inn. As painters and their models sing about the troubles of being a poor artist, the models try to convince the painters to quit their work and have some fun (“By the Side of the Mill”). Overhearing the models complaining, Tina points out that at least the girls have boyfriends. Prompted by this statement Flora discloses that she longs for her painter to say that he loves her, and will one day, marry her (“Loved But Me”). Con and Kid try to sneak out of the inn without paying their bill, but they are discovered and sent to jail. The Innkeeper takes pity on them, however, and arranges for them to work at the inn to pay off their debt.

    The Burgomaster’s daughter, Gretchen, loves Captain Doris van Damm. Her father, however, wishes her to marry the Governor of Zeeland. Con and Kid agree to help Gretchen and the Captain to elope. Willem tells the Burgomaster about this plot, and he locks Gretchen in the windmill. The Americans try to rescue her, but the Burgomaster has made all arrangements for the marriage between his daughter to the governor. Plotting with Tina, the two Americans finally help Gretchen to escape and then they appear at the wedding festivities (which are missing the bride) disguised as Sherlock Holmes and Watson to “help” Burgomaster find his daughter. Bertha replaces Gretchen as the bride, marries the Governor (her childhood sweetheart), and her identity is then revealed. It turns out, luckily, that Captain Van Damm is heir to a large fortune. The fathers’ resistance falls away, and the lovers are united. The Americans return home to New York (“New York”).

    Music by Victor Herbert
    Original Book and Lyrics by Henry Blossom
    New Book by Milton Lazarus
    Additional Lyrics by Forman Brown
    Musical arrangements by Edward Ward
    As produced by Edwin Lester at the
    Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Association

    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
    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.

  • Instrumentation: 20 Parts

    1 Violin A
    1 Violin B
    1 Violin C
    1 Viola
    1 Celle
    1 Bass
    1 Flute
    1 Oboe
    1 Clarinet I
    1 Clarinet II, Flute & Piccolo
    1 Clarinet III, Bass Clarinet
    1 Horn
    1 Trumpet I
    1 Trumpet II
    1 Trumpet III
    1 Trombone
    1 Trombone II
    1 Percussion:
    Timpani (2 Drums)
    Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
    Bass Drum
    Suspended Cymbal
    Hi-Hat Cymbals (Optional)
    Wood Block
    Temple Blocks (2 Pitches)
    1 Harp
    1 Piano
    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

  • “Con” Kidder and “Kid” Conner – two American vaudevillians touring Europe

    Jan Van Borkem – Burgomaster of Katwyk-ann-Zee

    Capt. Hendrik Van Damm – In love with Gretchen

    Franz – Sheriff of Katwyk-ann-Zee

    Willem – Keeper of the Red Mill Inn

    Governor of Zeeland – Engaged to Gretchen

    Joshua Pennyfeather – Solicitor, Lincoln’s Fields (automobiling with his
    daughters through Holland)

    Gretchen – The Burgomaster’s daughter

    Juliano – The Burgomaster’s sister

    Tina – Barmaid, Willem’s daughter

    Madame de la Fere – Automobiling with her daughters through Holland

    Gaston – Town Crier

    Dutch Flower Girls:



    Peasants, Artists, Aides-de-Camp, Burgher, French Girls, etc.

  • This Broadway revival of the 1906 operetta opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre, October 16, 1945. It was later transferred to the 46th Street Theatre and the Shubert Theatre, and played for a total of 531 performances starring Michael O’Shea, Eddie Foy Jr., Juli Lynne Charlot, Eddie Dew, Charles Collins, Odette Myrtil and Hal Price.

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