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Connecticut Yankee (A) (1927)

Compositeur: Richard Rodgers

Parolier: Lorenz M. Hart

Librettiste: Herbert Fields

A Connecticut Yankee is a musical based on the novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by American writer Mark Twain. Like most adaptations of the Twain novel, it focuses on the lighter aspects of the story. The music was written by Richard Rodgers, the lyrics by Lorenz Hart, and the book by Herbert Fields. It was produced by Lew Fields and Lyle D. Andrews. It enjoyed an original run on Broadway in 1927 of 421 performances and a number of revivals.

Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

Martin is about to get married to Fay Morgan but is knocked in the head when she sees him talking to his former fiancée, Alice. While he is knocked out he dreams of being in the court of King Arthur and gaining immense wealth and prestige by industrializing the realm. During the dream he falls in love with the Demoiselle Alisande who is then kidnapped by the king’s evil sister, Queen Morgan Le Fay. He rescues her just as he wakes up and realizes that he should be marrying Alice instead of Fay.

Synopsis complet

Versions

Original Version [1927]
Prologue
A Ladies' Home Companion - Fay, Principals & Ensemble
My Heart Stood Still - Martin, Alice & Ensemble


Act One
Thou Swell - Martin & Alisande
At the Round Table - King Arthur, Merlin, Sir Launcelot, Sir Galahad, Knights & Ladies
On a Desert Island with Thee - Mistress Evelyn, Sir Galahad, Knights & Ladies
My Heart Stood Still (reprise) - Martin & Alisande


Act Two
Opening - Ensemble
Nothing's Wrong - Alisande
I Feel at Home with You - Sir Galahad, Mistress Evelyn & Ensemble
Dance - Sir Galahad & Mistress Evelyn
The Sandwich Men - Knights
Evelyn, What Do You Say? - Mistress Evelyn & Knights


Epilogue
Finale - Company


Broadway Revival Version [1943]
Prologue
Overture
This is My Night to Howl - Fay & Ensemble
My Heart Stood Still - Martin & Alice


Act One
Thou Swell - Martin & Sandy
At the Round Table - Company
On a Desert Island with Thee - Mistress Evelyn, Sir Galahad, Sir Gawain & Ensemble
To Keep My Love Alive - Morgan Le Fay
My Heart Stood Still (reprise) - Martin & Sandy


Act Two
Ye Lunchtime Follies - Sir Galahad & Ensemble
Can't You Do a Friend a Favor? - Morgan Le Fay & Martin
Thou Swell (reprise) - Martin & Sandy
I Feel at Home with You - Sir Galahad, Mistress Evelyn, Sir Gawain & Ensemble
You Always Love the Same Girl - Martin & King Arthur
The Camelot Samba - Sir Gawain & Ensemble


Epilogue
Finale - Company

Encores! Version [2001]
Act One
Overture - Orchestra
Here's Martin the Groom - Arthur, Martin & Men
This is My Night to Howl - Fay & Her Boys
My Heart Stood Still - Martin & Alice
I Blush - Sandy, Evelyn & Ladies
Thou Swell - Martin & Sandy
At the Round Table - Lead Male Singer, Merlin & Company
On a Desert Island with Thee - Galahad & Evelyn
To Keep My Love Alive - Morgan Le Fay
Rise and Shine - Martin, Merlin & Company


Act Two
Entracte - Orchestra
Ye Lunchtime Follies - Galahad & Company
To Keep My Love Alive (reprise) - Morgan Le Fay
Thou Swell (reprise) - Martin & Sandy
I Feel at Home with You - Galahad & Evelyn
You Always Love the Same Girl - King Arthur & Martin
The Camelot Samba - Samba Girls & Dancers
Can't You Do a Friend a Favor? - Morgan Le Fay & Martin
My Heart Stood Still (reprise) - Martin & Sandy
Finale Ultimo - Entire Company

Particularités

1 Connecticut Yankee (A) peut-être considéré comme un Top musical

 

Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

A Connecticut Yankee opened on Broadway at the Vanderbilt Theatre (which was demolished in 1954) on November 3, 1927 and closed on October 27, 1928, running for 421 performances. Directed by Alexander Leftwich, with dances by Busby Berkeley, it starred William Gaxton (Martin/The Yankee), Constance Carpenter (Alice Carter/The Demoiselle Alisande la Carteloise), and June Cochrane (Mistress Evelyn Al Belle-Ans).

A Broadway revival opened at the Martin Beck Theatre (now the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) on November 17, 1943 and closed on March 11, 1944, after 135 performances. Directed by John C. Wilson and choreographed by William Holbrook and Al White, Jr., it featured Vivienne Segal (Lt. Merrill/Queen Morgan Le Fay), Dick Foran (Lt. Martin Barrett), Vera-Ellen (Mistress Evelyn Al Belle-Ans), and Robert Chisholm (Admiral Arthur/King Arthur of Britain).

A television adaptation was broadcast on NBC in December 1955, with Eddie Albert, Janet Blair, Gale Sherwood and Boris Karloff.

New York City Center Encores! presented a staged concert in 2001, with Christine Ebersole (Fay Morgan/Morgan Le Fay), Henry Gibson (Arthur Pendragos/King Arthur), Ron Leibman (Sir Launcelot) and Jessica Walter (Guinevere).

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Among the best remembered songs are the up-tempo duet, "Thou Swell", the ballad "My Heart Stood Still", "On a Desert Island with Thee", and "I Feel at Home with You". For the 1943 revival, Rodgers and Hart added several additional songs, including "Can't You Do a Friend a Favor?", and To Keep My Love Alive Hart's last song and a hit for star Vivienne Segal.

Acte I
This Is My Night to Howl—Fay Morgan and Ensemble
My Heart Stood Still --Martin and Alice Carter
Thou Swell--Martin and Alice Carter
At the Round Table—The Company
On a Desert Island with Thee—Mistress Evelyn Al Belle-Ans, Sir Galahad, Sir Gawain and Ensemble
To Keep My Love Alive (1943 revival)-- Queen Morgan Le Fay
My Heart Stood Still (Reprise) -- Martin and The Demoiselle Alisande la Carteloise

Acte II
Ye Lunchtime Follies—Sir Galahad and Ensemble
Can't You Do a Friend a Favor? (1943 revival)-- Queen Morgan Le Fay and Martin
Thou Swell (Reprise)--Martin and The Demoiselle Alisande la Carteloise
I Feel At Home With You—Sir Galahad, Mistress Evelyn Al Belle-Ans, Sir Gawain and Ensemble
You Always Love the Same Girl—Martin and King Arthur of Britain
The Camelot Samba—Sir Gawain and Ensemble

Textes disponibles on-line

Texte des chansons

 Chansons en anglais

Pour en savoir plus

Génèse

  A Connecticut Yankee - Thou swell, thou witty 

Quelques remarques

Version 1927
The song My Heart Stood Still was originally written for One Dam Thing After Another and had to be bought back for $5000 to be put in A Connecticut Yankee.
The song Thou Swell left the audience cold after the show opened in Philadelphia and after 3 weeks it still hadn't grown on anybody but Richard Rodgers insisted it be left in the show until it opened in New York, They never considered removing the song again.

Revival 1943
With Vivienne Segal set from the start, Rodgers and Hart found their new Sir Boss in the form of senator's son Dick (actually John Nicholas) Foran, a former band vocalist turned low-budget singing movie cowboy and journey-man actor. Their new Alisande was Julie Warren; Arthur, Robert Chisholm, Evelyn was played by Vera-Ellen, real name Vera-Ellen Westmyr Rhole, a lithe youngster who'd started dancing at age ten, performed as a Radio City Rockette, and most recently sparkled in By Jupiter.
Rehearsals were scheduled for mid-September.

A copy still exists of Larry' s handwritten draft for the second act, full, like the new lyrics, of good jokes and topical allusions. Merlin was informed that his "weather prophecy" had a low Crossley rating (the name of a radio-audience-survey); the "in" place to drink was the "Connecticut Yankee Clippee" heroine Sandy organizes the Camelot International Objectors, a women's protest group that just coincidentally has the same initials as John L. Lewis's mighty steel union.

Taking his cue from a series of forty-five-minute American Theater Wing productions supervised by Kurt Weill that had been staged at the Todd Shipyard in Brooklyn in June 1942 (which might suggest where Larry spent at least some of his time) under the catch-all title Lunchtime Follies, he introduced a radio program for the factory workers of Camelot, "Ye Lunchtime Follies " which even had its own "crooner" singing deliberately, deliciously unadulterated corn to sweet "Elaine" who he loved when they met in the rain. And the girls in the factory would shriek and "swoon" like Frank Sinatra's bobby-soxers.

The song appears to have been cut from the finished score, as was another lyric that has escaped all the collectors who have scoured the archived in search of unpublished gems by Lorenz Hart; "I Won't Sing A Song" was written for Vivienne Segal as Morgan Le Fay to sing to Sir Boss in the first scene of Act Two. No melody seems to have been written, and charming though it is, the song was never used.

They retained the best numbers from the I927 production, of course "On A Desert Island With Thee," "I Feel At Home With You" "Thou Swell" and "My Heart Stood Still." The new songs, too, were good: "This is my Night To Howl" "The Camelot Samba" (capitalizing on a current craze), "You Always Love The Same Girl" and the haunting, touching "Can't You Do A Friend A Favor?" which was written during rehearsals. And brilliantly demonstrating that, no matter what his problems, he had not lost his lyrical touch is the song Larry wrote especially for Vivienne Segal, in which the much-married Queen describes how she "bumped off" her many husbands "To Keep My Love Alive."

Taking her through it at rehearsal, Larry suggested that at the end of each refrain, on the word "alive" she take it a half-tone lower. For a soprano this was, to say the least, unusual. As with each refrain she sank further down the scale, Vivienne balked.
"Larry" she protested, "if I go any lower I'll turn into a man."
"If you do," he retorted darkly, "you'll be the only one in the show"

 

Versions du musical

Versions majeures de Connecticut Yankee (A)

Version 1

Connecticut Yankee (A) ( (Revival)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : Inconnu
Dernière : samedi 25 août 2001
Mise en scène :
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 2

Connecticut Yankee (A) (1927-11-Vanderbilt Theatre-Broadway) (Original Broadway)
Durée : 11 mois 4 semaines
Nombre : 421 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 03 novembre 1927
Première : jeudi 03 novembre 1927
Dernière : samedi 27 octobre 1928
Mise en scène : Alexander Leftwich
Chorégraphie : Busby Berkeley
Avec : Albert Kay ... Gordon Burby
Gerald Lake ... Jack Thompson
Marvin ... William Norris
Martin ... William Gaxton
Arthur Pendragos ... Paul Everton
Fay Morgan ... Nana Bryant
Alice Carter ... Constance Carpenter
Lawrence Lake ... William Rosell
Sir Kay the Seneschal ... Gordon Burby
The Yankee ... William Gaxton
The Demoiselle Alisande la Carteloise ... Constance Carpenter
King Arthur of Britain ... Paul Everton
Sir Launcelot of the Lake ... William Rosell
Sir Galahad ... Jack Thompson
Merlin ... William Norris
Maid Angela ... Evelyn Ruh
Mistress Evelyn Al Belle-Ans ... June Cochrane
Queen Morgan Le Fay ... Nana Bryant
Queen Guinevere ... Katharine Kohler
Sir Bors ... John Creighton
Sir Sagramor ... John Morton
Sir Tristan ... Chester Bree
Mistress Phoebe Sauce de Pommes ... Regina Diamond
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 3

Connecticut Yankee (A) (1929-10-Daly's Theatre-London) (Original London)
Durée :
Nombre : 43 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 10 octobre 1929
Première : jeudi 10 octobre 1929
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : ???? ????
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 4

Connecticut Yankee (A) (1943-11-Martin Beck Theatre-Broadway) (Revival)
Durée : 3 mois 3 semaines
Nombre : 135 représentations
Première Preview : mercredi 17 novembre 1943
Première : mercredi 17 novembre 1943
Dernière : samedi 11 mars 1944
Mise en scène : John C. Wilson
Chorégraphie : William Holbrook • Al Jr. White
Avec : Lieutenant Kenneth Kay, U.S.N. ... Robert Byrn
Judge Thurston Merrill ... John Cherry
Admiral Arthur K. Arthur, U.S.N. ... Robert Chisholm
Ensign Gerald Lake, U.S.N. ... Chester Stratton
Ensign Allan Gwynn, U.S.N. ... Jere McMahon
Lieutenant Martin Barrett, U.S.N. ... Dick Foran
Captain Lawrence Lake, U S.N. ... Stuart Casey
Lieutenant Fay Merrill, W.A.V.E. ... Vivienne Segal
Corporal Alice Courtleigh, W.A.C. ... Julie Warren
Sir Kay ... Robert Byrn
Martin ... Dick Foran
The Demoiselle Alisande La Courtellois (Sandy) ... Julie Warren
Arthur, King of Britain ... Robert Chisholm
Merlin ... John Cherry
Queen Guinevere ... Katherine Anderson
Sir Lancelot of the Lake ... Stuart Casey
Sir Galahad ... Chester Stratton
Angela ... Mimi Berry
Queen Morgan La Fay ... Vivienne Segal
Sir Gawain ... Jere McMahon
Mistress Evelyn La Rondelle ... Vera-Ellen
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 5

Connecticut Yankee (A) (1955-03-TV) (Télévision)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : samedi 12 mars 1955
Première : samedi 12 mars 1955
Dernière : samedi 12 mars 1955
Mise en scène : Bill Hobin
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Avec : Martin Barrett ... Eddie Albert
Sandy ... Janet Blair
Sir Kay ... John Conte
Merlin ... Leonard Elliott
King Arthur ... Boris Karloff
Morgan Le Fay ... Gale Sherwood
Other Roles ... Rod Alexander, John Conte, Beverlee Dennis, Ray Drakeley, Hanna Landy, Bambi Linn, Jessie Matthews, Jack Thompson, Craig Timberlake
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 6

Connecticut Yankee (A) (1964-07-Goodspeed Opera House-East Haddam) (Revival)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : jeudi 16 juillet 1964
Première : jeudi 16 juillet 1964
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : ???? ????
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Avec : Martin ... Kenneth McMillan
Sandy ... Joan Hotchkiss
Fay ... Renata Vaselle
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 7

Connecticut Yankee (A) (1989-04-Goodspeed Opera House-East Haddam) ()
Durée : 3 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : mardi 11 avril 1989
Première : mardi 11 avril 1989
Dernière : vendredi 23 juin 1989
Mise en scène : ???? ????
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 8

Connecticut Yankee (A) (1993-07-Open Air Theatre Regent's Park Theatre-London) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : mercredi 28 juillet 1993
Dernière : mercredi 08 septembre 1993
Mise en scène : Ian Talbot
Chorégraphie : Lindsay Dolan
Avec : Clive Carter (Martin Barrett), Janie Dee (Alice Courtleigh), Christopher Biggins (Merlin), Basil Hoskins (King Arthur), Guy Burgess (Sir Gawain), Zubin Varla (Sir Galahad), Jason Hetherington (Sir Launcelot), Susanna Page (Guinevere), David McEwan (Sir Pellinore), Anna Nicholas (Fay Merrill/Morgan Le Fay), Catherine Terry, Dennis Clinton.
Commentaires :
Based on the book by Mark Twain, the show was first produced on Broadway in November 1927. It was revived in 1943 with six new songs, including the showstopper “To Keep My Love Alive”. In the 1943 revival, which opened just five days before Lorenz Hart’s death, all the characters appeared in military uniforms. The first London production was at Daly’s Theatre October 10th 1929 with Harry Fox and Constance Carpenter. It was given a more “English” title - “A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur” - and ran just 43 performances.
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 9

Connecticut Yankee (A) (2011-02-New York City Center-New York) Encores! (Concert)
Durée :
Nombre : 0 previews - 5 représentations
Première Preview : mardi 08 février 2011
Première : mardi 08 février 2011
Dernière : vendredi 11 février 2011
Mise en scène : Susan H. Schulman
Chorégraphie : Rob Ashford
Avec : Arthur Pendragos … Henry Gibson
Gerald Gareth … Seán Martin Hingston
Martin Barrett (The Yankee) … Steven Sutcliffe
Albert Kay … Mark Lotito
Fay Morgan … Christine Ebersole
Evelyn Lane … Nancy Lemenager
Alice Carter … Judith Blazer
Angela … Megan Sikora
Henry Merle … Peter Bartlett
Sir Launcelot … Ron Leibman
Guinevere … Jessica Walter
King Arthur … Henry Gibson
Sir Galahad … Seán Martin Hingston
Sir Kay … Mark Lotito
Morgan Le Fay … Christine Ebersole
Dame Evelyn … Nancy Lemenager
Alisande (Sandy) … Judith Blazer
Maid Angela … Megan Sikora
Merlin … Peter Bartlett
Lead Male Singer … Chris Hoch
En savoir plus sur cette version

Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Connecticut Yankee (A)

 

Multimedia on-line

Vidéos on-line

 Pas encore de video disponible pour ce spectacle

 

Principaux CD du musical

1) 1943-11-Broadway Cast

2) 1955-03-Television Cast



Liste détaillée des principaux CD