Génèse du musical
The musical was originally a short sketch, based loosely on the Gold Diggers movies, written by George Haimsohn, Jim Wise, and Robin Miller. The character of "Ruby" was suggested by the Ruby Keeler-type from those early movies. It was lengthened to a 50-minute production, and director Robert Dahdah prepared it for its first staging. After the original actress who was to play "Ruby" withdrew during rehearsals, choreographer Don Price recommended newcomer Bernadette Peters for the role. The show opened in May 1966 as Dames at Sea, or Golddiggers Afloat at the Caffe Cino, a small coffee house/performance space in New York City's Greenwich Village, where it continued for 148 performances.
Retitled simply Dames at Sea, the musical re-opened at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre on December 20, 1968, and transferred to the larger Theater de Lys on April 22, 1969, running for a total of 575 performances, through May 10, 1970. Directed by Neal Kenyon, Peters reprised the role of Ruby as did David Christmas, co-starring as Dick.
On August 27, 1969, the show opened at London's Duchess Theatre, where it ran for 127 performances.
Peters appeared in a regional production at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey in early 1973. Subsequent revivals have been staged at the Lamb's Theatre in Manhattan (1985), the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, London (1989), and at the theatre where the musical first played off-Broadway, the Bouwerie Lane Theatre, produced by Jean Cocteau Repertory and directed by David Fuller, from September 3, 2004 to November 28, 2004.
The show is popular for High Schools and Middle Schools alike.
In some cases, the show is fleshed out to include chorus boys and girls, and other sailors. Some productions also omit the song "Singapore Sue".
Liste des chansons
"It's You"--Dick and Ruby
"That Mister Of Mine"--Mona and Chorus
"Choo-Choo Honeymoon"--Joan and Lucky
"The Sailor of My Dreams"--Ruby
"Singapore Sue"--Lucky and Company
"Broadway Baby" (reprise)--Hennesy
"Good Times Are Here To Stay"--Mona, Joan and Company
"Dames At Sea"--Company
"The Beguine"--Mona and Captain
"Raining In My Heart"--Ruby and Chorus
"There's Something About You"--Dick and Ruby
"Raining In My Heart" (reprise)--Ruby
"The Echo Waltz"--Mona, Joan, Ruby and Company
"Star Tar"--Ruby and Company
"Let's Have A Simple Wedding"--Company
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In his December 22, 1968, review in the New York Times, Clive Barnes wrote, "Dames At Sea is a real winner, a little gem of a musical. The show is wonderfully helped by its cast. The star I suppose is Bernadette Peters as the wholly sweetly silly small-town chorine who taps her way from the bus station to stardom in 24 hours."  Walter Kerr, in his Sunday Times feature article, added "You'll find the show cheerful and ingratiating, I think... Miss Peters is a real find... She is extremely funny, and endearing on top of that."  The Time Magazine review noted that the show had "three thoroughly engaging stars and some of the most ingenious staging currently on or off Broadway. Tamara Long, as the slinky heavy, brandishes a flaming Morganitic torch for her Mister Man, and Sally Stark, as Ruby's peroxided pal, belts a note almost as plangent as the great Merman's. The comic delight of the show, though, is Bernadette Peters, whose Ruby can simultaneously sing and dance up a storm that puts all New York (including Queen Mane of Rumania) at her feet."
In the GAY CITY NEWS review (September 2004):
Director David Fuller has filled his production with such subtle touches, which make the show seem intriguingly contemporary, and far from the saccharine and serious treatments this chestnut usually receives, he’s restored the true Off-Broadway spirit that used the establishment’s own forms to tweak its foibles. First staged during the Vietnam War era, the musical seems more relevant than ever as it takes precise aim at the sunny outlook that comes from near-psychotic denial of reality.
The cast does a great job. They work well together, and in particular the production number “Raining in My Heart” is sweet and stops the show. Individually, Kathleen White as Ruby is deliciously comic, with expressions and physical comedies that recall Lucille Ball. She has an occasional dazed look that’s not so much self-conscious commentary on the plot as the real confusion of a young woman whose life is suddenly spinning out of control.
Chrysten Peddie as Joan has the tough dame attitude down cold. She’s got a warm presence, is a great dancer and has a strong voice. It’s a performance that reminds you of Ann Miller, especially when she turns up the brass, and that’s no accident. Peddie is a fine performer we should see more of. Andy Meyers is charming as Dick, and often very funny. The part is a little low for his voice, but when he nails it, he’s great. Joey Stocks as Lucky plays the classic second banana to Peddie’s Joan with tremendous good humor. The stock version of this character needs to be rough around the edges but still nice enough to take home to mom. As Mona Kent, Judith Jarosz plays the Margaret Dumont or Marie Dressler of the piece—the big, blowzy star who overpowers everyone around her through sheer force of personality. She’s terrific at it. Campbell Bridges does a fine job with the roles of Hennesey and the Captain.
The sets by Roman Tatarowicz and the choreography by Barbara Brandt are perfect for the tiny stage of the Bouwerie Lane theater, and it’s wonderful to see the revival of both the show and the mischievous spirit of political satire that originally inspired it.
Versions majeures de Dames at Sea
Joan … Carol Morely
Hennessey / The Captain … Raymond Thorne
Ruby … Leland Palmer
Dick … Kurt Peterson
Lucky … Voight KempsonEn savoir plus sur cette version
Hennessey … Fred Gwynne
Mona Kent … Ann Miller (i)
Ruby … Ann-Margret
Lucky … Dick Shawn
Joan … Anne Meara
Ensemble … Alan Johnson DancersEn savoir plus sur cette version
Hennesey/Captain … Richard Sabellico
Joan … Dorothy Stanley
Ruby … Donna Kane
Dick … George Dvorsky
Lucky … Dirk LumbardEn savoir plus sur cette version
Dick … Joel Carlton
Harry Henessey / Captain … David Engel
Lucky … Michael Gruber
Joan … Paula Leggett Chase
Ruby … Andrea ChamberlainEn savoir plus sur cette version
Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Dames at Sea
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