Shows D

THE DANCING YEARS A musical play in 2 Acts, 13 scenes and a Masque. Devised, written and Composed by Ivor Novello; Lyrics by Christopher Hassall Produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 23 March, 1939 (187 perfs) Revived Saville Theatre, 6 June, 1968 (52 perfs) SYNOPSIS Gay Vienna, before the First World War; the perfect setting for rash, romantic promises. Composer Rudi Kleber, penniless and unknown, befriends the schoolgirl niece of his landlady, and vows to propose to no-one until she is old enough to have first refusal. Operetta star Maria Ziegler recognises his talent, sponsors his first success, and falls madly in love with him. But, foolishly idealistic, he keeps his word to the child until, three dancing years later, little Grete returns from finishing school, a highly attractive young lady. Maria overhears Rudi redeem his promise and, heartbroken, does not stay long enough to hear his profound relief at Grete's refusal. The dancing years come and go. Maria has married Prince Metterling, but when Rudi first meets her young son he has no doubt that the child is his own. The rising threat of Nazism is casting shadows as the story reaches its dramatic close. For the Chorus Several of the score's best-known melodies appear in full choral arrangements, and there is a long excerpt from Kleber's operetta Lorelei. Two mimes, Masques of Vienna, involve the general company as well as the dancers. The chorus appear as officers and their ladies, theatre-goers, theatre staff and members of the cast at the Theatre, guests of the period 1760s, members of a Tyrolean choir, restaurant diners, inn servants. Singing Principals Maria. Cäcille, her mentor, Grete. Ceruti, of the Lorelei cast. Straight Roles: Hattie, a guest-house keeper, Countess Lotte. Rudi. Prince Charles Metterling. Franzel, an officer, Carl, Maria's young son. Smaller Roles Mesdames Pelotti and Sadun, singers. Lilli, Elizabeth, Sonia, Wanda, Sari, Mitzi, Hilde and Emmy of the Vienna Theatre. Kathie, a maid. Signor Valdo, a singer. A night-watchman. Otto, a messenger boy. Oscar, of Lochers restaurant. Schani, a choirmaster Goetzer and Poldi. Nazi officers. (These roles are additional to the characters appearing in the masque mimes.)