A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 35 Scenes: Book by Neil Simon
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh. Music by Cy Coleman: Based on the novel by Patrick Dennis
Musical numbers and dances staged by Bob Fosse: Directed by Cy Feuer and Bob Fosse: Produced for the Broadway Stage by Feuer and Martin
Lunt-Fontaine Theatre, Broadway 17 November, 1962 (257
Cambridge Theatre, London 18 November, 1964 (334 perfs)
SynopsisThis is an outrageously funny musical. It tells the story of the rise to fame, and excessively large fortune, of Belle Poitrine, a little girl from the wrong side of the tracks who finds her way to the right side with the help of several willing gentlemen. The book and lyrics of Little Me are extremely witty, and the show is an easy one to stage. Drama groups looking for something different my find that Little Me exactly fits the bill.
Little Me is the autobiography of the optimistic, yet spectacularly accident-prone, Hollywood star Belle Poitrine (née Schlumfert), who rises from poverty on the wrong side of the track to wealth, culture and a position in society. She was born in Venezuela, Illinois and lives with her highly dubious Momma! In her teens, Belle set her sights on Noble Eggleston, who lives on the right side of the tracks but whose mother puts an abrupt end to their ambitions. Biding her time, Belle succeeds in landing a rich, 80-year old, skinflint, Mr Pinchley. When he dies under suspicious circumstances, (in a close embrace the gun that he kept in his pocket went off accidentally killing him). Belle is arrested and put on trial for murder. She is acquitted, however, but the notoriety of the trial brings her a vaudeville offer and romance with Val du Val who modestly considers himself to be the world's greatest entertainer.
Further romances develop for Belle along the way including the myopic Fred Poitrine, Prince Cherney of Rozenzweig and the imperious film director, Otto Schnitzler. Each romance, in some unexpected way, advances both Belle's career and her fortune. Each romance however, ended in bizarre circumstances - nothing simple for our Belle!
Fred Poitrine dies as a result of lodging his finger in a typewriter, Val du Val is drowned when the ship on which he and Belle were returning to America sank. By suing the steamship company, Belle became very rich and Hollywood claimed her. Otto spears himself on a stage dagger that wasn't! Prince Cherney suffers a hearts attack after losing everything gambling in the casino in Monte Carlo where he had staked everything on a number that Belle had chosen. Belle nurses him and in gratitude, Prince Cherney makes her the Countess Zoftig. At last Belle has social class.
Finally, after much misunderstanding and partner changing, Belle walks off into the sunset with her reformed alcoholic Noble Eggleston.
Male - 15 (6 can be doubled) : Female - 4 (Plus various minor roles and Chorus)
Miss Poitrine - Mother of .....
Belle - our heroine
Lady Eggleston - Mother of ....
Noble Eggleston - Our hero
Mr Pinchley - A well-known miser
Val du Val - an entertainer
Fred Poitrine - A First World War private
Otto Schnitzler - an admirer of Belle
Prince Cherney - another admirer
George Musgrove - a friend
Can be played by the same performer (and was in the professional productions)
- The Truth - Miss Poitrine, Patrick Denis, Servants
- The Other Side of the Tracks - Belle
- Birthday Party (The Rich Kids' Rag) - Boys, Girls
- I Love You -Nobel Eggleston, Belle
- The Other Side of the Tracks (reprise) - Belle
- Deep Down Inside - Mr Pinchley, Belle, Pinchley Jr, Poor People
- Be a Performer! - Benny Buchsbaum, Bernie Buchsbaum
- (Oh! Dem Doggone) Dimples - Belle, Police Escort (Chorus)
- Boom-Boom - Val du Val, Girls
- I've Got Your Number - Geroge Musgrove, Belle
- Real Live Girl - Val du Val
- Real Live Girl (reprise) - The Doughboys (Men's Chorus)
- Boom-Boom (reprise) - Belle, Howitzers
- Poor Little Hollywood Star - Belle
- (To Be a Performer reprise) - (Bennie Buchsbaum, Bernie Buchsbaum)
- Little Me - Miss Poitrine, Baby
- The Prince's Farewell (Goodbye) - Prince Cherney, German Officer, Loyal Subjects (Chorus)
- Here's To Us - Miss Poitrine, Guests
Violin 1 & 2: Cello: Bass: Reed 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5: Trumpet 1 & 2: Trombone 1 & 2: Percussion: Piano
Original Broadway Cast Recording - RCA Victor 09026-61482-2
Original London Cast Recording - DRG 131111
Scenes and Settings
- Scene 1: Belle's estate in Southampton, Long Island. The present.
- Scene 2: The past. A tumbledown shack in Drifters' Row, Venezuela, Illinois.
- Scene 3: The Eggleston's elegant living room.
- Scene 4: Exterior of the Eggleston home.
- Scene 5: Belle's estate. (The present.)
- Scene 6: Interior of a small-town bank. (The past.)
- Scene 7: A golf course. (The present.)
- Scene 8: A hotel room in Peoria. (The past.)
- Scene 9: A prison.
- Scene 10: A courtroom in Chicago.
- Scene 11: (A Chicago stage.)
- Scene 12; The present.
- Scene 13: The Skylight Roof. Chicago. (The past.)
- Scene 14: The present.
- Scene 15: A small, gaily decorated apartment. (Chicago. The past.)
- Scene 16: (At the front and in Chicago.)
- Scene 17: A base hospital, somewhere in France.
- Scene 1: Belle's Estate. The present.
- Scene 2: On board the S.S. Gigantic, on the North Atlantic. (The past.)
- Scene 3: Belle's Estate. (The present.)
- Scene 4: Hollywood. (The past.)
- Scene 5: Belle in Hollywood.
- Scene 6: The office of the Buchsbaum Brothers. Hollywood.
- Scene 7: A biblical movie set.
- Scene 8: Belle's Estate. (The present.)
- Scene 9: The Casino in Monte Carlo. (The past.)
- Scene 10: (The present.)
- Scene 11: The royal bedchamber of Prince Cherny of Rosenzweig. (The past.)
- Scene 12: The Rumpus Room in Belle's Estate. The present.
- Scene 13: The Dakotas. (The past.)
- Scene 14: The Rumpus Room in Belle's Estate. (The present.)
- Scene 15: The exterior of the house, Belle's Estate. (The past.)
- Scene 16: Belle's Estate. (The present.)
- Scene 17: Belle's Estate. The present.