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Out Of This World

Cover from OCR album sleeve

Music & Lyrics - Cole Porter: Book by Dwight Taylor & Reginald Lawrence; Based on Plautus Amphitryon.

New Century Theatre - Broadway - 21 December, 1950 (157 perfs)


Out Of This World begins with Mercury asking the audience to suspend logic and accept the story that is to unfold. Peeping around the portico Jupiter, surrounded by his lesser gods, announces his need for a little extracurricular activity among mortals. Looking down to earth he sees the lovely Helen, newly wed to Art O'Malley and immediately send Mercury to arrange for a tryst with her. Helen and Art are on their way to Greece in search of a news story about a harmlessly snarling gangster from Chicago, Niki Skolianos, who has fled to Athens to escape the law. Mercury, dressed only so that his silver sandals reveal that he is a god, offers to be their guide and off the trio go.

In Jupiter's gymnasium on Mount Olympus, the gods and goddesses prepare to welcome Juno, Jupiter's wife and mother of most of them. When Juno arrives with a peacock under her arm, she immediately becomes suspicious of Jupiter's antics and wonders why he is so faithless to her. She guesses what his plans are and remembering the fabled tale of Leda and Europa she descends to earth to pursue him. Meanwhile, Helen, Art and Mercury have reached Greece and start out for Athens. But, thanks to the machinations of Mercury, end up in the mountains at the Arcadia Inn. There they find Niki, sitting at ease in the garden with Chloe and an entourage of serving girls. Niki's occupation is the manufacture of cigarettes made from poppies. Chloe, although courted by a handsome young shepherd, is dreaming of a lover who will combine romance with financial security. Tired of travelling, Helen and Art decide to stay at the Inn.

Mercury, flirting madly with the serving girls, lists the great women of history whom he has known but a thunderclap from Jupiter reminds him of his duties. With Niki's help, Mercury sends Art off the Athens on a false lead for his news story. Helen is furious.

Arriving on Earth, Jupiter sends for Night and requests she bring the longest darkness the world has known. She carries out his request and, thanks to his godly powers, Jupiter assumes the appearance of Art and enters Helen's room. Juno, unaware of Jupiter's trickery, guards the door to their rooms so that later, when Helen emerges rapturously, the pagan gods celebrate.

Juno thinking Niki is Jupiter in disguise decides to take him back to Olympus with her but he escapes. She goes after him. In the morning Helen tells Chloe how happy she is but is totally bewildered when Art reappears and tells her that he had been on the road from Athens all night. He convinces Helen that she must have dreamed everything. Chloe abandons her shepherd for Mercury.

On Midsummer's Eve, Jupiter returns to the Mountain Shrine to take Helen back with him to the world of the gods but Helen, realising what is happening refuses: she prefers her mortal man. Jupiter sadly admits defeat.

In another part of the forest, Juno laments the fact she has been unable to find a little affection either in heaven or on earth. She finally catches up with her chastened Jupiter on Mount Olympus. As the fantasy ends, Helen and Art are reunited and Art gets his story. Chloe decides in favour of her shepherd and a golden cloud floats down from Olympus bearing Juno and Jupiter with words of advice for mortals.

Musical Numbers:

  1. Prologue - Mercury
  2. I Jupiter, I Rex - Jupiter
  3. Use Your Imagination - Helen
  4. Hail, Hail, Hail - Ensemble
  5. I Got Beauty - Juno
  6. Where, Oh, Where? - Chloe
  7. I Am Loved - Helen
  8. They Couldn't Compare To You - Mercury
  9. What Do You Think About Men? - Helen Chloe and Juno
  10. I Sleep Easier Now - Juno
  11. Climb Up the Mountain - Juno & Ensemble
  12. No Lover For Me - Helen
  13. Cherry Pies Ought To Be You - Mercury & Chloe
  14. Hark To the Song of the Night - Jupiter
  15. Nobody's Chasing Me - Juno
  16. Finale - Company