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Cover to vocal scoreBALALAIKA

A musical play in 3 acts: Book by Eric Maschwitz; Music by George Posford and Bernard Grun

This is a revised version of the 1933 musical play, The Great Hussar. (19 October 1933) 
Adelphi Theatre, London - 22 December, 1936 (569 perfs)

The show was filmed by MGM starring Nelson Eddy and Ilona Massey but only using one song from the original stage show, "At the Balaika". Even then the lyrics were changed. The remainder of the music used in the film was culled from a variety of different sources.


A love story set during the first World War/Russian Revolution with the son of a titled family pursuing his love for a young dancer through difficult times. The show starts and ends after the war at a Montmartre night-club Balalaika.

The initial location is outside the Balalaika Nightclub in Montmartre just after World War I. An old man is singig a sad ballad, "Where Are the Snows?" and the audience is transported back to the Russia of 1914 by way of the story of a lovely ballerina and singer, Lydia, and her high-born lover, Peter. These two young people survive the Revolution, foil and attempted assassination of the Tsar and finally, melt into each other's arms while in exile in Paris.

MUSICAL NUMBERS

ACT I

Overture (George Posford)

  1. a: Where Is The Snow - COLONEL and BALALAIKA PLAYER - "When each snowflake like a feather seems to float and gently fall" - (Grun - Arr. Posford)
    b: Where Is The Snow - COLONEL and BALALAIKA PLAYER (Grun Arr. Posford)
  2. Moonshine (Arr. Posford)
  3. Where Is The Snow - COLONEL and BALALAIKA PLAYER - "When each snowflake … " (Grun Arr. Posford)
  4. Curtain Music segue into …
  5. Music For Practice Steps - (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  6. Sleeping Beauty Waltz (Tschaikowsky - Arr. Posford)
  7. The Devil In Red - COSSACKS (off stage) (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  8. Devil In Red - CHORUS - "Men from the Don, where the Cossack banners flame" (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  9. Exit Of Cossacks (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  10. Cossacks Sing Off Stage - a cappella - "Here's the song we sing … " (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  11. Chorus - "All a man requires of a woman"
  12. Exit Of Officers (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  13. Red Rose - LYDIA and GIRLS - "These are his roses … " - (Posford)
  14. From Ballet Room To Gipsy Restaurant (Posford)
  15. In The Moonlight On The Island - CHORUS - "In the moonlight on the island … " - (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  16. Welcome, Welcome - CHORUS - "Welcome, welcome to the Balalaika … " - (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  17. Two Guitars - CHORUS - "Sweetest music in the world" - (Arr. Posford)
  18. Vodka-Vodka - CHORUS - "Vodka, now that's the way to happiness" - (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  19. Red Shirt - CHORUS - "Red shirt gypsies wandering the plain" - (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  20. This Night Of Feasting - CHORUS - "This night of feasting shall last till morning" - (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  21. Porch (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  22. Hussars (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  23. Boys (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  24. Moonshine (Arr. Posford)
  25. Let Guitars Sound - CHORUS - "Gipsy music haunting rhythm" - (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  26. If The World Were Mine - PETER, LYDIA and CHORUS - "You're mine this night of love" - (Posford)
  27. Porch (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  28. This Night Of Feasting - CHORUS - (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  29. Moonshine (Arr. Posford)
  30. Return Of Guests & Gipsies - CHORUS - "Play for us a gipsy tune" - (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  31. Russian Hymn - "Hail to thee Russia land we adore" - (Arr. Posford)

ACT 2

Entr'acte - and intro to Act 2 - (Arr. Posford)

  1. Come This Holy Night Of Christmas - PETER and MALE CHORUS - "Come this holy night of Christmas" - (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  2. At The Balalaika - PETER and MALE CHORUS - "There's a little restaurant I know" - (Posford)
  3. Austrian Hymn - MALE CHORUS - "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht" - (Arr. Posford)
  4. Interlude To Scene 2 - (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  5. Masha, Masha, Masha! - GIRLS - "Where is Masha?" - (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  6. Ballerina, Sad And Lonely - VARVARA, LYDIA and GIRLS - "Ballerina, sad and lonely" - (Posford)
  7. Entrance Of Nicki - (Posford)
  8. Be A Casanova - NICKI and MASHA - "I'm going to be like Casanova" - (Posford)
  9. At The Balalaika (Reprise) - PETER, LYDIA and GIRLS - (Posford)
  10. Fanfare & Russian Imperial Hymn - (Arr. Posford)
  11. Reflections. Ballet: (Posford)
  12. Entrance Of Emperor and Interlude - (Arr. Posford)
  13. From Marakov's House to the Palace Ballroom — Interlude - (Arr. Posford)
  14. Muzurka (Posford)
  15. Drinking Song - PETER and GUESTS - "Drink to our friends" - (Posford)
  16. Valse Sentimentale (Posford)
  17. Finale To Act 2 (Arr. Posford)

ACT 3

  1. Introduction To Act 3 - (Posford)
  2. Chook-Chook (Traditional - Arr. Posford)
  3. At The Balalaika - PETER and CHORUS - "How brief the dream we dreamed" - (Posford)
  4. Nichevo - NICKI and MASHA - "If you ask a girl in Russia" - (Grun)
  5. Tango - Nina - (Posford)
  6. Paso Doble - (Posford)
  7. Devil In Red (Reprise) - IGOR and CHORUS - "Times may be bad" - (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  8. The Night Grows Old (Valse Sentimentale) - CHORUS - "Romance has such stories to tell" - (Posford)
    Sleeping Beauty Waltz - (Tschaikowsky - Arr. Posford)
  9. Where Is The Snow - COLONEL - "Where is the snow that lay deep on the hill?" - (Grun - Arr. Posford)
  10. Finale. If The World Were Mine - LYDIA and PETER - (Posford)

Characters - (in order of appearance)

ALEXEY VASSILYEVITCH
COLONEL BALAKIREV (STREET SINGER)
BALALAIKA PLAYER
CHESTNUT VENDOR
SERVANT GIRL
COOK'S GUIDE
FRENCH CIRL
POSTCARD SELLER
ENGLISHMAN
Isr ENGLISH LADY
2ND ENGLISH LADY
MRS. MORRISON
RANDALL P. MORRISON
TAXI-DRIVER
VARVARA, TANYA, FEDORA (DANCERS)
DANCERS
MADAME PETROVA (BALLET MISTRESS)
IGOR SERVERSKY, FEDYA (COSSACK OFFICERS)
NICKI
MASHA
LYDIA MARAKOV
COUNT PETER KARAGIN
PRINCE KARAGIN
MANIEV (PROPRIETOR OF THE BALALAIKA GIPSY RESTAURANT)
COOK
GIPSY DANCER
PROFESSOR MARAKOV
SERGEANT
STAGE DIRECTOR
CALL BOY
DENIKOV (POLICE COMMISSAR)
COUNTESS (IN THE. BALLET)
COUNT (IN THE BALLET)
COURT OFFICIAL
SERGEI
1ST REVOLUTIONARY
2ND REVOLUTIONARY
GENERAL ORLOVSKY
GENDARME
ENGLISH LADY
HER HUSBAND

TOURISTS, GIPSIES, COSSACK OFFICERS, POLICE, SOLDIERS, REVOLUTIONAIRES, CABARET GUESTS, WAITERS, ETC.

Scenes and Settings:

ACT I

SCENE 1 - A STREET IN MONTMARTRE (AFTER 1914-18 WAR)
SCENE 2 - A REHEARSAL ROOM IN THE MARINSKY THEATRE (JULY 1914)
SCENE 3 - MANIEV'S "BALALAIKA" RESTAURANT

ACT II

SCENE 1 - COSSACK HEADQUARTERS IN GALICIA
SCENE 2 - CORRIDOR IN THE MARINSKY THEATRE
SCENE 3 - STAGE OF THE MARINSKY THEATRE
SCENE 4 - A ROOM IN MARAKOV'S HOUSE
SCENE 5 - GREAT HALL OF THE KARAGIN PALACE

ACT III

SCENE 1 - STREET IN MONTMARTRE (Same as Act 1 Scene 1)
SCENE 2 - INTERIOR OF THE "BALALAIKA" MONTMARTRE