The musical comedy WHOOPEE! premiered on Broadway in 1928, and introduced the hit song “Love Me or Leave Me,” sung by Ruth Etting. The show is set in California and involves Sally Morgan, who is getting married to Bob Wells, a local rancher, even though she is in love with Wanenis, whose part-Native American background presents difficulties. Sally leaves town, hitching a ride with a hypochondriac who loses control when the rancher sets out after his run-away wife.
Photos courtesy of Goodspeed Musicals
A hypochondriac seeking a cure for his health in California inadvertently elopes with a rancher’s daughter who is avoiding marriage to a sheriff but in love with an American Indian, causing plenty of comic complications in this musical farce.
In California, Sheriff Bob Wells and the daughter of a rancher Sally Morgan are getting married. She is in love with Wanenis, whose part-Indian heritage presents social difficulties for their romance. Sally abandons Sheriff Bob and their wedding, catching a ride with Henry Williams. As a hypochondriac, Henry has problems of his own, but Sally adds to his problems when she leaves a note saying they have eloped. A chase ensues, with the jilted Bob; Mary, Henry’s nurse who is in love with him; and a cast of others. Along the way they arrive at the Indian Reservation where Wanenis lives. The movie star Leslie Daw enters the proceedings and sings the torchy, sentimental “Love Me, or Leave Me.”
Book by William Anthony McGuire Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Music by Walter Donaldson
Based on “The Nervous Wreck” by Owen Davis
Produced by Ashton Springer, Frank C. Pierson, Michael Price
As presented at The Goodspeed Opera House
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Instrumentation: 15 Parts
2 Violin I
1 Violin II
1 Clarinet I/Alto Saxophone I
1 Clarinet II/Alto Saxophone II
1 Clarinet III/Tenor Saxophone
2 Trumpet I & II
1 Percussion: (One Player)
Timpani (2 Pedal Drums)
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Tom-Tom (2 Sizes)
Cymbals: Suspended, Hi-Hat, Choke, Splash
Whistles: Siren, Slide, Police, Nightingale
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.
1 Piano Conductor’s Score (Two Volume Set)
1 Prompt Book for Director
10 Prompt Books for Cast
6 Vocal Parts
12 Chorus Parts
Henry Williams (The hypochondriac-hero, he is visiting the west for his health)
Sheriff Bob (Arizona lawman engaged to Sally)
Miss Mary Custer (Henry’s nurse-companion)
Judson Morgan (Sally’s father)
Sally Morgan (An 18 year-old-local beauty, she is engaged to Sheriff Bob but in love with Wanenis)
Black Eagle (An Indian chief)
Wanenis (The eastern educated son of Black Eagle)
Jerome T. Underwood (Rich, absentee owner of the Bar M Ranch)
Chester Underwood (Underwood’s “weak” son)
Harriett Underwood (Underwood’s “aggressive” daughter)
Andy McNab (The foreman of the Bar M Ranch)
Mort (Very strong ranch hand, a pal of Andy’s)
Pete (A cowboy)
Slim (A cowboy)
Jim (A cowboy)
Chorus and Dancers:
Mission Rest, Arizona Townfolk, Bridesmaids, Cowboys and Sheriffs
Girls and men of the reservation
WHOOPEE! (Revised) is based on the 1977 Goodspeed Opera House production. It opened on Broadway at the ANTA Playhouse, February 14, 1979 and played for 204 performances starring Charles Repole (Henry Williams), Beth Austin (Sally Morgan), Carol Swarbrick (Mary) and Susan Stroman (Leslie Daw).
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