Shows D

DONNYBROOK A musical comedy in 2 acts, 22 scenes. Music and lyrics by Johnny Burke; Book by Robert E. McEnroe. Based on the film by John Ford and the short story The Quiet Man by Maurice Walsh 46th Street Theatre in New York City, - 18 May, 1961 (68 perfs) The story opens in the Danaher house, ruled by Will Danaher. Big, brash and bellowing, Will tyrannises the family and, as a true Irishman, is happy to trade blows with anyone, but receives little argument—except from his sister Ellen Roe. She has her brother's fiery temper and, although she obeys the 'head of the house', is determined to remain independent. A new arrival in Innesfree is John Enright—six feet three and broad of stature—who has come home after spending many years in America. He has returned in search of peace and quiet; in fact, his heart is set on buying a cottage, White O'Morn, which he remembers from his boyhood days. As the next scene opens, Enright is looking over the cottage with Mikeen Flynn, the local marriage-broker, master-intriguer and jack-of-all-mistrades. Mikeen has offered to negotiate for the cottage on Enright's behalf and, when Ellen Roe appears, he offers to negotiate for her too—in case the wealthy newcomer is looking for a wife. Enright is immediately attracted to Ellen Roe and, although she treats him with haughty disdain, it is clear that the American is going to find more than peace and quiet in Innesfree. With one eye on the lady's bank balance, Will Danaher plans to court Kathy Carey, a wealthy widow who owns the local pub. He goes to see her at the bar, where an Irish boy is entertaining the assembly. Kathy owns the cottage White O'Morn and much of the surrounding countryside, all of which she inherited from her late—and not over-lamented—husband. Her lands border with the Danaher farm, and Will is angry to find that the American stranger is trying to buy the cottage. He bids against Enright, but the American closes the deal. Furious, Danaher tries to pick a fight but, much to his disgust, Enright will only offer his hand in friendship. Somewhat against his will, Enright admits that, in the States, he has been a prizefighter—an important piece of news, for there is nothing the people of Innesfree like better than a fine, old-fashioned Donnybrook. Ellen Roe and Enright meet again, and the American discovers that he has fallen in love with the beautiful colleen. They see each other several times and, on Sunday morning, walk together through the countryside instead of joining the congregation for Mass, When Will Danaher hears of this, he commands his sister to go home, forbidding her to see the 'cowardly' American again and, although there is a fierce argument between them, Ellen Roe will not disobey her brother as 'head of the house'. Hoping to keep the peace, the kindly priest Father Finucane lends an understanding ear to Enright's furious complaints. Now it is up to the resourceful Mikeen Flynn to set things right, and he hits upon a solution; if he can persuade Kathy Carey to marry Will Danaher, Danaher will, in turn, free Ellen Roe, to avoid having both women live under the same roof. The wily marriage-broker starts to put this tortuous scheme into operation by proposing to Kathy (on Danaher's behalf). The only trouble is that Kathy, thinking the proposal is from Flynn, succumbs to his charms and, when Danaher is mentioned, angrily brings the meeting to an end. Nothing daunted, the little man then goes to Danaher and suggests—albeit nervously—that Kathy is willing to be spliced ... so long as Ellen Roe has a husband and a home of her own. Danaher, already hearing wedding bells for himself, consents to the marriage of Ellen Roe to Enright and, left alone, the would-be bride declares her love for the American. Before the wedding, however, there must be a traditional period of courting, during which the lovers are to be strictly chaperoned by Flynn. The Courting is represented by a highly effective ballet, during which Enright and his fiancee easily evade their supervising 'cupid' and, when they are alone together, Enright vows his love.