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Little Nemo

A Musical comedy in 3 acts, 11 scenes. Music by Victor Herbert; Book and Lyrics by Harry B. Smith; based on the cartoons of Windsor McKay, Little Nemo in Slumberland by permission of the New York Herald

New Amsterdam Theatre, New York - 20 October, 1908 - 23 January, 1909 (111 perfs)


Little Nemo goes to Slumberland to recover the elixir of youth stolen by Dr. Pill's dancing missionary. A storm carries Nemo to a cannibal island, where his tin soldiers fend off the hungry natives. He awakes and is told he must stay in his room because he has been naughty, but King Morpheus of Slumberland appears to conduct him on more adventures.

Story of the cartoon

The strip cartoon related the dreams of a little boy: Nemo (meaning "nobody" in Latin), the hero. The last panel in each strip was always one of Nemo waking up, usually in or near his bed, and often being scolded (or comforted) by one of the grownups of the household after crying out in his sleep and waking them. In the earliest strips, the dream event that woke him up would always be some mishap or disaster that seemed about to lead to serious injury or death, such as being crushed by giant mushrooms, being turned into a monkey, falling from a bridge being held up by "slaves", or gaining 90 years in age. The adventures leading to these disasters all had a common purpose: to get to Slumberland, where he had been summoned by King Morpheus, to be the "playmate" of his daughter, the Princess.

Sometime during early 1906, Nemo did indeed reach the gates of Slumberland, but had to go through about four months of troubles to reach the Princess. His problem was that he kept being awakened by Flip, who wore a hat with "Wake Up" written on it. One sight of Flip's hat was enough to take Nemo back to the land of the living during these early days. Although at first an enemy, Flip went on to become one of the recurring heroes. The others included: Dr. Pill, The Imp, the Candy Kid and Santa Claus as well as the Princess and King Morpheus.

Musical Numbers

Act I

  1. Opening Chorus
  2. Song - Princess - "To find a playmate for the little princess, we assemble today."
  3. Song - Candy Kid and Chorus - "There's a land of childhood fancies that is filled with old romances."
  4. Entrance and Song - King Morpheus - "I'm just about the jolliest King that ever was on view."
  5. Trio - Dr. Pill, King and Missionary - "If you think you are ill, you go in for a pill, or a tonic, a drug or a plaster."
  6. Central Park Scene
  7. Trio - Nemo, Princess and Flip - "Let's go a-driving in the Park, just like the grown-ups do."
  8. Newspaper Song - Dr. Pill, Flip and Missionary - "Political conventions are a joke, that we must own."
  9. Valentines
  10. Song for the Valentine's Fairy - "Are you looking for a Valentine, a sentimental token."
  11. March of the Valentines
  12. "Melodramatic Music" - Song - Princess - "Won't you be my Valentine, Nemo dear? I am here."
  13. Finale Act I - "With banners streaming, with lances gleaming, lead our little Nemo off to Slumberland."

Act II

  1. The Weather Factory Girls' Chorus - "Here in the office of the Guard of Dawn, we work away together."
  2. Duet - Flip and Barometer Girl - "A little bantam hen in a barnyard dwelt, and a little white hen was she."
  3. Chorus - Sunbeams, Snowflakes, Rain Drops - "Life depends upon the weather on rainy day."
  4. May Day March - "Blow upon the bugle! Sound upon the drum! For in gay procession marching on we come."
  5. The Cannibal Island - After Storm
  6. Song - - "Out in the dismal swampland, far in the everglades."
  7. The Cannibal Barbecue - - "If you don't know what to do tonight, I'll tell you what to do."
  8. Trio - Missionary, Betty and Dancing Bear - "I've got a Teddy Bear 'most life size."
  9. Song - Dr. Pill - "I'm a fortunate physician, I get cases ev'ry day."
  10. Song - Little Nemo - "One day my mother gave a dinner. My! but that was grand."
  11. Nemo's Dream of Fourth July
  12. March Song - Captain Grouch - "O'er the land from shore to shore, there's a racket and a roar."
  13. Finale Act II - "Hear the chime of the Liberty Bell, a message to the free."


  1. Song - Valentine Fairy and Chorus - "Sailor! Sailor! whither are you going,lad? Why is it you're sailing."
  2. Ensemble - "Do you believe in dreams, dear? For if you do I'll tell about a land, a distant strand."
  3. Finale Act III - "Won't you be my Valentine? Sweetheart, maid divine."


Scenes and Settings

Act I.

Scene 1. Slumberland. Playroom of the Little Princess.
Scene 2. Children's Playground in a Park.
Scene 3. Nemds Bed Room.
Scene 4. The Land of the Fairies of St. Valentine.

Act II.

Scene 1. Office of Weather Factory.
Scene 2. The Table D'Hote Islands.
Scene 3.- Amusement Park.
Scene 4. Little Nemo's Bed Room.
Scene 5. Palace of Patriotims in Slumberland.

Act III.

Scene 1. The Deck of a Pirate Ship.
Scene 2. The Deck of a Battleship.
Scene 3. Slumberland.