Whoopee! (Revised 1979)


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

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Upcoming
  • 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

    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 https://tamswitmark.com/ on all websites on which you promote the play.

  • Instrumentation: 15 Parts

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

    1 Flute/Piccolo
    1 Clarinet I/Alto Saxophone I
    1 Clarinet II/Alto Saxophone II
    1 Clarinet III/Tenor Saxophone

    2 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trombone

    1 Banjo
    1 Piano
    1 Percussion: (One Player)
        Timpani (2 Pedal Drums)
        Bass Drum
        Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
        Tom-Tom (2 Sizes)
        Indian Drum
        Cymbals: Suspended, Hi-Hat, Choke, Splash
        Bell Tree
        Whistles: Siren, Slide, Police, Nightingale
        Wood Block
        Temple blocks
        Duck Quack

      Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

  • 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
    Native Americans
    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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