Shows H

THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 14 Scenes. Book by Fred Saidy and Henry Myers. Story by E. Y. Harburg (with a bow to Aristophanes "Lysistrata" and Bulfinch). Music by Jacques Offenbach. Lyrics by E. Y. Harburg. Shubert Theatre, New Haven, Conn., 18 February, 1961 Martin Beck Theatre, New York; 3 April, 1961 to 24 June, 1961 (97 perfs.) Settings and lighting by William and Jean Eckart. Costumes by Robert Fletcher. Choreography by Dania Krupska. Musical direction and vocal arrangements by Robert DeCormier. Orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and Hershy Kay. Dance arrangements by Gerald Alters. Musical research by Jay Gorney. Directed by Cyril Ritchard. Electronic tonalities by Louis and Bebe Barron. Produced by Lee Guber. SYNOPSIS In ancient Athens the Olympic Games draw to a close, and the audience responds with cheers for the hero as the winner is crowned with laurel. At the same time another hero appears, the victorious Kinesias, who has triumphed over the Spartans. He is honoured by the Chief of State and the populace. When Kinesias at last arrives at his home, his wife Lysistrata tells him that she is the happiest girl in the world. But before they have spent even five minutes together, the Chief marches in to tell Kinesias that war has broken out again. Lysistrata is both angry and sorrowful when he is gone and calls on the gods to end war. Meanwhile, up on Olympus, the gods are distressed by her pleas. Jupiter admits that only Pluto, god of the nether regions, has the power to cause wars. Pluto arrives in a burst of flame and cautions them to treat the Devil with respect. He announces his intention of continuing to make trouble on the earth, and then disappears. Diana, the chaste goddess of the moon, begs her father Jupiter to send her to earth as a peacemaker. She is sympathetic toward earthlings and their peculiar passion for love. Jupiter reluctantly agrees to let her go. On earth, Diana inspires the sleeping Lysistrata with the idea that women must refuse their favours until men agree to keep the peace. In the Agora, Lysistrata convinces the women of Athens of her plan, and the women take the oath, to Diana's delight. Uncle Pluto arrives to tell Diana she must learn more about life than she has thus far seen; surprisingly he exhorts her to virtue, but with his own twist. The brief war ends, and Kinesias again returns to Lysisirata. Then war erupts again. Like the other women of Athens, Lysistrata nearly forgets her vow, but a sharp reminder from Diana brings her to her senses, and she leads the women in capturing the Citadel, where they lock themselves in. The war is called off, but the women remain adamant. The distraught men, led by the Chief of State, engage in strenuous exercise and work to take their minds off their misfortune. The women in the citadel are no less lonely, as they ask how soon will the men come to their senses. The wily Pluto disguises himself as a shepherd and tries to break up the strike; be beguiles the sentinel Myhrrina but is unsuccessful. When Kinesias entreats Lysistrata to return to him she refuses him.