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Cover to London Cast Recording

Wish You Were Here

A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 15 Scenes: Book by Arthur Kobet & Joshua Logan: Based on Having a Wonderful Time by Arthur Kober.

Music & Lyrics by Harold Rome.

Imperial Theatre, Broadway - June 25, 1952 (598 Perfs)
London Casino, 10 October, 1953 (282 perfs)


Teddy Stern joins friend Fay Tomkin at Camp Karefree for two weeks of fun and relaxation - to forget about her approaching marriage to rich and helpful Herman Fabricant. Anti-Herman Fay removes Teddy's engagement ring and introduces her friends - and special friend, Itchy Fletcher, the camp social director. Pinky Harris, the camp's most successful playboy, does the honours himself, but Teddy's thoughts are of her engagement.

Meanwhile, the camp's new athletic director, Harry "Muscles" Green, arrives. Fay is impressed and changes partners. Back at the waiter's locker room, camp owner Lou Kandel is laying down the law: "Mix and mingle with the unattached girls or get fired." Chick Miller can afford neither. He's saving all his money for his college tuition. Later, Chick persuades Teddy to be his partner so he won't get fired. When they discover that they both want to avoid a lasting relationship, they make a deal to just have fun together. Days later Muscles has instituted so many strenuous activities that every one is too exhausted for the social events. To retaliate, Itchy devises a restful "By Candlelight Evening" with Fay as Queen. There's too much candlelight and the social hall burns. Itchy is demoted to boat-boy, and Muscles is named director of activities.

By now Chick and Teddy are hopelessly in love. Chick proposes, and Teddy reveals the truth. Chick is hurt and angered. Even though Teddy loves him she feels indebted to Herman and feels Chick could be more understanding. At this turn of events, Teddy decides to enter Pinky's poolside bathing beauty contest, but when Pinky forcibly kisses Teddy, Chick knocks him into the pool - and the battle is on. To make matters worse Kandel falls in the pool trying to haul Pinky out. Chick grabs the girl who's been throwing herself at him and heads for the woods. Teddy is in tears, but Pinky is comforting her.

That night at a lakeside campfire social everybody patches up their differences. A thunderstorm breaks out and Pinky manages to get Teddy to his cabin to pick up her prize for winning the bathing suit competition. His seduction is skilled, but Teddy passes out. Herman returns the next morning amid wild goings on. With the thunderstorm, not all the boys made it back to the boys' side nor the girls to the girls' side.

Even though he learns Teddy spent the night in Pinky's bed, the marriage is still on. But Muscles got his sleep and is ready for the big basketball game. Teddy and Itchy bolster each other for unhappy events - Itchy, the game against Muscles; and Teddy's leaving Chick behind. When Itchy makes a mess of Muscles' big game, he flattens him. Just the move Fay needed to switch back to Itchy. Chick watches Teddy drive off with Herman, only to return a few minutes later devoid of her ring.


25 parts, 8 principals. Total cast, 47-60

Teddy and Chick, romantic leads who act, sing, and dance.
Fay, semi-comic blonde bombshell who sings and dances.
Itchy, comic character man, good dancer who sings.
Muscles, weightlifter type able to act, a light heavy, no singing or dancing.
Herman Fabricant and Lou Kandel, character parts.

Three male dancing partners for Fay.

Several good chorus dancers. Strong choral work for separate singing chorus. Good swimmers and divers required if pool is used.

Musical Numbers

  1. Bright College Days
  2. Camp Karefree
  3. Certain Individuals
  4. Could Be
  5. Don Jose
  6. Everybody Love Everybody
  7. Flattery
  8. Mix and Mingle
  9. Relax
  10. Shopping Around
  11. Social Director
  12. Summer Afternoon
  13. There's Nothing Nicer Than People
  14. They Won't Know Me
  15. Tripping the Light Fantastic
  16. Where Did the Night Go?
  17. Wish You Were Here


Violin A, B, C, viola, cello, bass, alto sax (flute, pic, clar), alto sax (clar, bari sax, bass clar), tenor sax (oboe, clar, Eng. horn), tenor sax (clar, flute), bari sax (alto sax bass clar), trumpet I - II, III, trombone I, II, horn: percussion, harp, piano/conductor

Scenes & Sets:

2 acts, 15 scenes, 7 full stage sets, 3 fly-in partial stage sets with 2 scenic drops. Camp Karefree, a summer camp for adults, "where friendships are formed to last a whole life time through," is located in the heart of Vacationland. It could be the Berkshires, the Adirondacks, the Poconos, the White Mountains - or even the Catskills.


Scene 1: Outside Teddy's Cabin.
Scene 2: Locker Room.
Scene 3: Porch of Social Hall.
Scene 4: Social Hall.
Scene 5: Path Through the Woods.
Scene 6: Athletic Field.
Scene 7: Path Through the Woods
Scene 8: Eagle Rock.
Scene 9: The Boat House.
Scene 10: The Lake Front.


Scene 1: The Campfire.
Scene 2: Path Through the Woods.
Scene 3: Pinky's Cabin.
Scene 4: Porch of Social Hall.
Scene 5: Basketball Court.


Present (see Notes): casual travelling clothes, waiter uniforms, assorted bathing suits, leopard-skin swimming trunks, bikinis, etc., summer evening dresses and dinner jackets, blue jeans, slacks, Oriental dressing gown, play suits, sweat suits, pajamas, sweaters, Queen Candlelight gown, red Dan Cupid diaper, wings, and quiver of arrows, bathing beauty suits and sashes, sombrero, blanket, bathrobes, raincoats, Paris "original" evening gown.


Pantomime, male dance team to back up Fay, modern, "whistle dance," waltz, Charleston, lindy, rumba, fast boogie, slow boogie, acrobatics, swimming and diving exhibition, stop-action freezes, rhythm number (be-bop), basketball game dance.


Rear projection silhouettes, burning social hall in distance, campfire, P.A. system on stage, continuous rainstorm (hose sprinkling against windows). Some indoor, but mostly day and night dramatic lighting required throughout. Twinkling stars and moonlight.

NOTES: Wish You Were Here would be a major undertaking if done as the original. The authors, realising this problem, have written an alternate ending to the first act eliminating the need for an onstage swimming pool. They have also provided ideas for simplifying other sets. The topical book is somewhat dated and should probably be done as a period piece to show the "Now" generation what it was like when young singles enjoyed camp activities and a less sophisticated way of getting to know one another. The title page of the London programme says "Any resemblance to a Butlin Holiday Camp is accidental!"