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My Vaudeville Man


Musical Biography - Book Jeff Hochhauser   Music Bob Johnston; Lyrics Johnston & Hochhauser
Based on Jack Donahue's Letters of a Hoofer to His Ma


A rousin’ tap dancin’ new musical based on the life of legendary eccentric tapper Jack Donahue. Jack’s mother struggles to get him to see vaudeville as a ridiculous pursuit—he needs to come home to work alongside his father at the docks! As Jack tap-dances his way to stardom, will his family finally recognise he’s meant for greater things? 

Musical Numbers

  1. Overture - My Vaudeville Man Band
  2. Vaudeville - Mother Jack
  3. The Shadow - Jack
  4. Oh Bless Me Father #1 - Mother
  5. Picnic In The Kitchen - Mother Jack
  6. Oh Bless Me Father #2 - Mother
  7. Mud Donahue & Son - Mother Jack
  8. The Jack Donahue Almond Frappe - Mother Jack
  9. Oh Bless Me Father #3 - Mother
  10. A Sad Sad Life - Jack
  11. My Son, I Know - Mother Jack
  12. Entr'acte - My Vaudeville Man Band
  13. I Was Wrong - Mother Jack
  14. The Tap Drunk - Jack
  15. How Can I Put It Any Plainer - Mother
  16. So The Old Dog Has Come Home - Mother
  17. What If I'm Wrong - Mother
  18. The Shadow (Reprise) - Jack
  19. Oh Bless Me Father #4 - Mother
  20. Vaudeville Man - Mother Jack
  21. Playoff Music - My Vaudeville Man Band

The real Jack Donahue

Record SleeveDonahue was born in 1892 in Charlestown, Massachusetts and made his first appearance with Doctor Zurego’s Medicine Show at the age of 17, tap dancing on the tail of a wagon, to attract customers to the Doctors dubious wares. At 19 he went into small time Vaudeville and over the next nine years he worked his way up through the Vaudeville ranks, eventually establishing a regular following at the mecca of Vaudeville, the famed Palace Theatre in NYC.

After touring engagements in the musicals The Woman Haters and Hitchy Koo Of 1918, Jack made his Broadway debut in Angel Face, a musical with score by the great Victor Herbert, book by Harry B. Smith and lyrics by Robert B. Smith.

When he died in 1930, he was working on the book of the operetta Princess Charming with music by Hungarian composer, Albert Sirmay and lyrics by Arthur Swanstrom. He had also just completed “Letters Of A Hoofer To His Ma,” which was published posthumously. Jack never appeared on film although his younger brother, and understudy, Joseph Donahue, played his part with Marilyn Miller in the first film version of Sunny.