Top Banana


TOP BANANA is the zany and uproarious story of variety-show host Jerry Biffle, the ratings-obsessed star of the Blendo Soap Program. While courting the department-store model Sally Peters, he introduces her to Cliff Lane, a singer on his show. Cliff and Sally fall in love and plan to get married, but Jerry is oblivious to their romantic involvement.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Upcoming
  • The noisy, imperial Biffle is told by his sponsors to establish a love interest on his television program. He hires Sally Peters, and before long a real love affair develops between her and singer Cliff Lane. Biffle also falls in love with Sally, but when he realizes where her heart lies, he helps her – with uncharacteristic selflessness – to get her man.

    Music and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
    Book by Hy S. Craft

    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: 19 Parts

    1 Violin A
    1 Violin B
    1 Violin C
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Reed I: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax
    1 Reed II: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax
    1 Reed III: Oboe, English Horn Clarinet, Tenor Sax
    1 Reed IV: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax
    1 Reed V: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax, Baritone Sax

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

    1 Percussion
    1 Harp
    1 Guitar

    Piano (Piano/Conductor Score sent with rehearsal material)

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

  • (In order of appearance)

    Vic Davis
    Tommy Phelps
    Jerry Biffle
    Cliff Lane
    Betty Dillon
    Sally Peters
    Mr. Parker
    A Man

  • TOP BANANA opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre, November 1, 1951 and played for 350 performances starring Phil Silvers as Jerry Biffle. In 1954, the show was made into a movie featuring many of the same cast members as the Broadway production.

    Awards (1952)

    The Tony Award for best actor (Phil Silvers)

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