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Wish You Were Here – Original Broadway Cast 1952

Wish You Were Here – Original Broadway Cast 1952

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Synopsis

ACT ONE A busload of happy new guests arrives at Camp Karefree (“Camp Kare-Free Song”). Nervous and depressed, Teddy Stern comes by car, driven by her stuffy fiancé Herman Fabricant. She is here for a rest cure before her upcoming wedding. Teddy meets her friend Fay Fromkin, who is excited at the prospect of bunking with Teddy and “painting the camp red” together. After Herman has left, Teddy confesses to Fay that she is having second thoughts about him; Fay takes charge of Teddy’s engagement ring, promising to give it back when they leave. Fay introduces Teddy as single to everybody. Already things seem to be looking up (“There’s Nothing Nicer Than People”). Teddy meets the social director, Itchy Flexner, who sings, dances, does imitations, tells stories, and generally entertains (“Social Director”). Then she meets Pinky Harris, a dashing womanizer who seems to be interested in her. She notices Fay flirting with the athletic director, Harry “Muscles” Green. Fay admits that she flirts with pretty much any man that moves (“Shopping Around”). In the locker room, the waiters are singing about old times (“Bright College Days”). Lou Kandel, the camp director, reminds the waiters that their jobs aren’t done unless every girl has a guy – nothing sexual, of course, just good clean socializing. They have to get cleaned up and go dance with the girls in the social hall. At Camp Karefree, we understand, the majority of paying guests are women; in fact, most of them have been saving up all year for just these two weeks. For the waiters, it’s either dance or get fired (“Mix and Mingle”). The waiters have arrived at the social hall, and some girls rush inside excitedly from the porch. All the paying male guests are out playing poker. But Teddy isn’t in the mood for dancing. She listens to some of the girls wistfully imagining that tonight could be the night they meet the man of their dreams. (“Could Be”). Then they rush off excitedly to dance. Chick Miller, one of the employees, strolls out casually on to the porch, unaware of Teddy. Schmutz, one of Itchy’s assistants, comes to tell Chick that he’d better start dancing because word has gotten back to Kandel that he refused to dance with one of the girls. Chick hurriedly convinces the reluctant Teddy to dance with him, just as Kandel enters. Inside the social hall, Itchy organizes everyone in a get-acquainted dance (“Tripping the Light Fantastic”). Chick is still with Teddy at the end and, offering to escort her home, thanks her for getting him out of a tight spot. Pinky meanwhile makes it clear that he has designs on Teddy – in fact, he wants Itchy to help lure Teddy to him. Walking through the woods, Chick sings to Teddy a song the band is playing in the dance hall (“Wish You Were Here”). It’s obvious that Chick and Teddy are falling for each other even though they tell each other they can’t get involved. Chick is going to law school and has to put all his time and money towards that. Teddy is of course really engaged – though she tells Chick her doctor has told her to avoid emotional entanglements, which give her health problems. It sounds perfect! The two strike a deal: for Chick to keep his job, he needs to look as though he’s romancing the female guests, and Teddy is happy to avoid anything long-term. They decide to spend all their “social” time together for the next two weeks. They dance the last dance of the evening (“Where Did the Night Go?”). About a week later, out on the athletic field, it appears that everyone (especially the girls) is exhausted from all the sports activities “Muscles” has been organizing, and all of Itchy’s social events are going unattended because people are too tired. Kandel tells Itchy that if the social events don’t pick up he might just have “Muscles” do something else. Pinky pulls Teddy aside to tell her that he has sent for a newly designed dress from his firm in New York – it would look beautiful on her. In fact, it’s going to be the prize for the Miss Camp Karefree Bathing Beauty contest. (He’s one of the judges.) Teddy ignores this obvious pass and goes off with Chick on the handlebars of a bicycle. On their return, Teddy and Chick are confronted by just about the entire camp who are seeing “love in bloom” (“Certain Individuals”). Fay is flirting with every guy around and Itchy is getting more and more jealous by the minute. He decides to have a candlelight evening in the social hall. It will be so romantic that all the girls will forget “Muscles” and his athletics. But Itchy’s plan backfires when the social hall catches fire. Kandel is so mad at Itchy that he demotes him to Boat House Boy and puts “Muscles” in charge of the social events. The next day, far out in the lake on Eagle Rock, Chick confesses to Teddy that he loves her – he even proposes marriage (“They Won’t Know Me”). Teddy, for her part, loves Chick, too, but she can’t call off her wedding to Herman. Silently, they go back to the boathouse, where Itchy is getting organized. Chick confronts Fay: she knew all along, didn’t she, that Teddy was engaged. Fay gives Teddy her ring back. All the girls, ready for the Miss Camp Karefree contest, appear in their bathing suits. Chick volunteers to cheer for Gussie; Teddy tells Pinky he can be her sponsor in the contest, and goes off to change into a bathing suit (“Summer Afternoon”). Pinky awards the prize dress to Teddy, and she gives him a kiss. Chick, in a jealous fit, paints a red line down Pinky’s body, and Kandel threatens to fire him. Teddy bursts into tears. End of Act One. ACT TWO Everyone at the camp is sitting around a campfire. Fay reports to Pinky that Teddy is too ashamed to meet him. She’s been talking to her mother in New York, and might be leaving the camp soon. Pinky thinks that if the group sang a nice loud song, Teddy would probably come out and join them. Itchy leads the group in a rousing number (“Don Jose”) that he hopes will also bring Fay back to him. On the contrary, Fay ends up kissing “Muscles” at the end of the song and a fight breaks out. Fay makes peace by passing drinks around to the combatants and telling them just to get along (“Everybody Love Everybody”). Pinky prompts Chick to stand up and sing “Wish You Were Here.” Gussie quickly laps up Chick when he finishes. Teddy comes out in response to a call to the telephone. Pinky tries to get Teddy drunk and take her back to his cabin, but before anything else can happen, it starts to rain and everyone runs for cover. Teddy has stopped at Pinky’s cabin for an umbrella, though Pinky has other ideas (“Relax”). Itchy comes over to talk with Pinky and a panicked Teddy hides in the bathroom while Pinky attempts to get rid of him. By the time Itchy leaves, Teddy has emerged from the bathroom with an empty glass, wearing the sexy dress she won in the beauty contest. Chick enters the bunk house with Teddy’s engagement ring, which he tries to force on her finger. If she’s an engaged woman, she better start acting like one! Pinky goes to the bathroom in preparation to seduce her, but Teddy passes out on the bed. Pinky takes the engagement ring from the night table and slips it on the sleeping Teddy’s hand. The next morning, Herman Fabricant has appeared outside the social hall to bring his young bride-to-be home, but no one seems to know where she is. Then Itchy and Marvin realize that their girlfriends have been out all night dancing to Be-Bop records in the music library. Fay and some of the other kids enter dancing like cool cats (“Where Did the Night Go?” – Be-Bop Version). “Muscles” takes the kids off to play basketball, and Teddy finds Herman looking for her. Even though nothing has happened between Teddy and Pinky, it seems that Pinky is out accepting congratulations for his conquest. Even though this “loose behavior” is something Herman shouldn’t accept, he is ready to forgive and forget. He will take Teddy back to New York, marry her, and treat her like a queen. Herman goes to get the car. Itchy tells everyone that he’s not even Boat Boy anymore. It seems that he forgot to tie up the boats last night during the storm and they all floated away. Teddy informs Chick that she’s leaving; he’s polite, but aloof. Itchy chastises Teddy for not putting up a fight; she should make Pinky tell the truth. Teddy is encouraged and flattered that Itchy cares so much (“Flattery”). Finally, Teddy decides to go to the basketball game, where Pinky is acting as referee, and confront him. The paying guests (“Muscles”’s team) are playing against the waiters (Chick’s team). Itchy arrives and disrupts the game so badly that “Muscles” declares the game officially over. Teddy asks Pinky why he’s telling everyone she succumbed to him last night; the whole camp thinks she’s a “loose woman.” Pinky resists telling the truth, since he is known far and wide as “thousand percent Harris.” Herman overhears all this and is satisfied that Teddy is not “loose.” Teddy drives off with Herman; Chick does nothing to stop her. “Muscles” quits his job and leaves on the spot. Kandel panics! Who’s going to run the camp? Itchy, of course! Itchy mobilizes everyone to dance. Suddenly, Herman enters and plops down two suitcases, while Teddy runs to Chick and falls into his arms. Before Herman goes, however, he gives Chick the engagement ring, which Chick slips onto Teddy’s finger. (“Wish You Were Here” – reprise)

Credits

Teddy Stern: Patricia Marand Chick Miller: Jack Cassidy Fay Fromkin: Sheila Bond Itchy Flexner: Sidney Armus Pinky Harris: Paul Valentine Lou Kandel: Sammy Smith Herman Fabricant: Harry Clark Marvin, music lover: Fred Sadoff Sonja, music lover: Elaine Gordon Schmutz, Itchy’s assistant: Larry Blyden Eli, Itchy’s assistant: Frank Aletter Barney, waiter friend of Chick’s: Ray Hyson Sid, waiter friend of Chick’s,: Robert Dixon Sam, Fay’s dancing partner: Joe Milan Monty, Fay’s dancing partner:Tom Ayre Lenny, Fay’s dancing partner: Richard France Irma, wallflower: Roslynd Lowe Shirley, wallflower: Sybil Lamb Lena, wallflower: Denise Griffin Judy, wallflower: Shirley Ann Prior Gussie, wallflower: Leila Martin Miriam, who has hay fever: Nancy Franklin The New Girl: Mardi Bayne The Girl Diver: Beverly Weston The Acrobat: Steve Wiland Eccentric Diver: Wally Strauss Seymour’s Girlfriend: Nancy Baker Waiters: Gus Giordano, Bill Hogue, Leo Kayeworth, George Lenz, Reid Shelton, Frank Green, Don Paterson, Tom Tryon, Elliot Feder Bathing Beauties: Sue Brin, Norma Doggett, Joan Johnston, Phyllis Newman, Gloria van Deweel, Jan Stuart, Rain Winslow, Candi Parsons, Inga Rode