Albums

Happy Hunting – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1956

Happy Hunting – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1956

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Synopsis

ACT I Gathered in tiny Monaco for the eminent “Wedding of the Year” – that of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier – are natives, tourists, reporters, and celebrities (“Opening: Postage-Stamp Principality”). In the crowd are Mrs. Sanford Stewart, Sr., grande dame of Philadelphia Main Line society, and her lawyer son Sanford Stewart, Jr. Sandy runs into another Philadelphian, Beth Livingstone, he can’t quite place her (“Don’t Tell Me”), but he remembers her when reporters start discussing the conflict between Beth’s mother – brash, fabulously wealthy Philadelphia widow Liz Livingstone – and the Main Liners, who have never accepted her as a true blueblood. The zesty Liz appears and makes an emphatic statement to the press (“Gee, but It’s Good To Be Here”). Much to her dismay, Liz soon learns that she and Beth have not been invited to the wedding; the only thing that consoles her is the strength of her relationship with her daughter (“Mutual Admiration Society”). When Liz meets the handsome if impecunious forty-something Duke of Granada and perhaps future King of Spain, she decides to exact revenge on Philadelphia’s self-appointed royalty by snaring a royal husband for Beth, and the Duke more than fills the bill. When Liz wonders why the Duke goes in for such dangerous pursuits as auto racing, he replies that he loves taking his life in his hands (“It’s Like a Beautiful Woman”). Liz is nothing if not direct, and when she learns that the Duke can’t pay his hotel tab, she invites him to travel home with her and Beth, the marriage contract to be arranged at sea. At the pier, reporters and photographers exhausted from covering the big event are delighted to be on their way home (“Wedding-of-the-Year Blues”). Aboard ship, Liz regales the Duke with tales of her late husband (“Mr. Livingstone”). A few days later, Sandy, also aboard with his mother, confronts Beth with the news that he’s been asked to negotiate the marriage settlement between the Duke and Beth. Sandy wants Beth for his own, and warns her not to use her father’s favorite expression (“If’n”) when he introduces her to his formidable mother. When the Duke – now that he and Liz are on a first name basis, she calls him Hymie – suddenly reveals that his feelings for Liz are stronger than those for her daughter, Liz, alone, exults “This Is What I Call Love.” But her bubble soon bursts when she is unable to stop the Duke’s supporters from announcing his engagement to Beth. ACT II At Liz’s home in Philadelphia, a party is in progress, with Main Liners, eager to meet the Duke, and “commoners intermingling on the dance floor” (“A New-Fangled Tango”). A wistful Sandy watches Beth and the Duke dancing together (“She’s Just Another Girl”). Liz has decided to throw a hunt in Hymie’s honor, and plans to impress him by riding herself. At her stables, she befriends Daisy, the horse she’s to ride, and tells Daisy that it’s just as risky to bet on a man as on a horse (“The Game of Love”). Beth admits to Sandy that she loves him and not the Duke. When Beth confronts the latter, he says there’s nothing wrong with a loveless marriage. Liz arrives, decked out for the occasion (“Happy Hunting”), and the event is a success in spite of the fact that Liz takes an unceremonious spill. A letter arrives from Princess Grace, apologizing and stating that she had no idea that Liz and Beth were in Monaco for the wedding; at the same time, Liz learns that Beth really loves Sandy. Liz tells Hymie she loves him, explains why she never told him before (“I’m a Funny Dame”), and they embrace (“This Much I Know”). But Liz spoils the moment when she decides he’s only interested in her for her money. Everyone is at Liz’s Hunt Ball (“Everyone Who’s ‘Who’s Who’”) when Beth arrives and reveals that she and Sandy eloped to Maryland with the aid of the Duke. The Duke tells Liz that he’s been informed that unless he marries someone of royal blood, his followers will not support his claim to the throne. He decides that “a very uncommon commoner named Liz is the future he wants” (“Grand Finale”).

Credits

Sanford Stewart, Jr.: Gordon Polk Mrs. Sanford Stewart, Sr.: Olive Templeton Joseph: Mitchell M. Gregg Beth Livingstone; Virginia Gibson Jack Adams, reporter: Seth Riggs Harry Watson, reporter: Gene Wesson Man who looks like Farouk: Edward Becker Charley, photographer: Delbert Anderson Liz Livingstone: Ethel Merman Sam, photographer: Clifford Fearl Joe, photographer: John Craig Freddy, photographer: George Martin Wes, photographer: Jim Hutchison Mary Mills, reporter: Estelle Parsons Dick Davis, reporter: Robert C. Held Bob Grayson, reporter: Carl Nicholas Maude Foley: Mary Finney Police Sergeant: Mark Zeller Arturo: Leon Belasco Duke of Granada: Fernando Lamas Count Carlos: Renato Cibelli Waiter: Don Weissmuller Ship’s Officer: John Leslie Barman: Warren J. Brown Mrs. B: Florence Dunlap Mrs. D: Madeleine Clive Mrs. L: Kelley Stephens Terence, a groom: Jim Hutchison Tom, a groom: Eugene Louis Daisy: Moe Mr. T., of the Hunt: John Leslie Mr. M., of the Hunt: Jay Velie Albert, a groom: George Martin Margaret, a maid: Mara Landi Singers: Peggy Acheson, Marilynn Bradley, Deedy Irwin, Jane Johnston, Jean Kraemer, Mara Landi, Betty McGuire, Estelle Parsons, Noella Peloquin, Ginny Perlowin, Mary Roche, Kelley Stephens, Helene Whitney, Delbert Anderson, Edward Becker, Warren J. Brown, David Collyer, John Craig, Jack Dabdoub, Clifford Fearl, Robert C. Held, Carl Nicholas, Seth Riggs, Charles Rule, Dell Warner, Mark Zeller Dancers: Betty Carr, Alice Clift, Jane Fischer, Robertaq Kieth, Svetlana Mc Lee, Patti Nestor, Wendy Nickerson, Fleur Raup, Sigyn, Bob Bakanic, John Harmon, Jim Hutchison, Dick Korthaze, Eugene Louis, George Martin, Jim Moore, Lowell Purvis, Don Weissmuller, Roy Wilson