Take Me Along – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1959
Take Me Along takes place in Centerville, Connecticut, in 1906, and its story begins with a triumph in journalism. Nat Miller (Walter Pidgeon), publisher of the Centerville Globe, has won a new fire engine for the town, and its citizens celebrate its purchase by cheering him (“The Parade”). Somewhat overcome by the honor, Nat wonders if he is truly as great as the people claim. His wife Essie (Una Merkel), his sister Lily (Eileen Herlie) and the rest of his family insist, over his objections (“Oh, Please”), that he is. But while Nat is basking in praise, his middle son Richard (Robert Morse) is getting into serious trouble. Plighting a passionate but pure troth (“I Would Die”) to Muriel Macomber (Susan Luckey), Richard reads her passages from classics which her starchy father (Fred Miller) overhears and finds extremely erotic. He drives Richard from his home, confines Muriel for a month, and announces his intention to withdraw a sorely needed advertisement from Nat’s newspaper. At that moment all is gay at the town trolley station, for the word has spread that Sid Davis (Jackie Gleason) is arriving from Waterbury. While Sid is being welcomed by his old cronies (“Sid, Ol’ Kid”), his sister Essie is coaching Lily on how to trap Sid into marriage and reform him at the same time. But the patient Lily doubts that she can ever change him. Sid comes home, but before he gets a chance to say sweet things to Lily, Muriel Macomber’s father storms into the house and demands that Richard be properly punished. Nat, the proud father, refuses to believe his son is bad, and throws Macomber out of the house, ad and all. Macomber, he decides, is growing old and Nat is the only one of the old crowd to keep his youth (“Staying Young”). Sid proposes to Lily – his first such offer while sober. Though she accepts (“I Get Embarrassed”), she makes it clear that he must stay sober, particularly at the Fourth of July picnic. She describes how happy their married life will be (“We’re Home”) if he promises to behave. Nat and Sid start out for the picnic (“Take Me Along”) where revelry and high jinks (“Volunteer Firemen Picnic”) are the order of the day. Although the whole town is enjoying the celebration, Richard is despondent, for he receives a note in which Muriel rejects him and breaks their engagement. Richard is invited by an older friend, Wint (Peter Conlow), to visit a dive that night (“Wint’s Song”). Richard goes to dinner, where the family is awaiting the return of Nat and Sid. Nat comes in merely tipsy, but Sid is uproarious – too drunk to keep his date with the disillusioned Lily. Sid goes upstairs to sleep it off, and Richard, convinced that all love is faithless, is now ready to embark on a life of sin (“That’s How It Starts”). The second act opens at the Pleasant Beach House where Richard is carousing. He drinks too much, barely avoids the clutches of a harlot, and falls into a nightmarish sleep compounded of all the things that perplex him. At home, while the family is anxiously awaiting his return, a sober Sid tries to make it up to Lily. Again he promises to behave, but Lily can no longer believe in him (“Promise Me a Rose”). Richard comes home frightfully drunk – and when he has had time to sober up, it is a serious but still whimsical Sid who undertakes to tell him a few things about drinking (“Little Green Snake”). Richard learns that Muriel was forced to write the letter breaking their engagement, still loves him, and wants to meet him secretly. They are reunited on a beach (“Nine O’Clock”) and Richard is happy enough to accept four years at Yale. Sid realizes that he is unworthy of Lily. Nonetheless, she agrees to give him one more chance (“But Yours”) provided he makes good on his promise to return to his newspaper job in Waterbury. Sid starts for the trolley, determined to make good this time and win Lily. When he is about to depart he sees Lily, her bags packed, ready to go with him after all. The whole town cheers (“Finale”) as they embrace and set out on their life.
Nat Miller: Walter Pidgeon Mildred Miller: Zeme North Art Miller: James Cresson Tommy Miller: Luke Halpin Essie Miller: Una Merkel Lily: Eileen Herlie Richard Miller: Robert Morse Muriel Macomber: Susan Luckey Dave Macomber: Fred Miller Sid: Jackie Gleason Wint: Peter Conlow Lady Entertainers: Valerie Harper, Diana Hunter, Rae McLean Bartender: Jack Collins Belle: Arlene Golonka The Drunk: Gene Varrone Bar Patrons: Elna Laun, Paula Lloyd, Janice Painchaud, Jack Konzal, Pat Tolson, Lee Howard Salesman: Bill McDonald Beardsley Dwarf: Charles Bolender Salome: Rae McLean Townswomen: Nicole Barth, Renee Byrns, Lyn Connorty, Barbara Doherty, Katia Geleznova, Valerie Harper, Diana Hunter, Elna Laun, Paula Lloyd, Nancy Lynch, Rae McLean, Janice Painchaud Townsmen: Alvin Beam, Frank Borgman, John Carter, Lee Howard, Jack Konzal, Bill McDonald, Henry Michel, Jack Murray, John Nola, Bill Richards, Harry Lee Rogers, Walter Strauss, JimmyTarbutton, Gene Varrone, Marc West, Pat Tolson, Rusty Parker, Chad Block, Bill Starr