MEXICAN HAYRIDE A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 10 Scenes. Book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields. Music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Staged by Hassard Short. Book directed by John Kennedy. Dances by Paul Haakon. Sets by George Jenkins. Costumes by Mary Grant. Orchestra directed by Harry Levant. Orchestrations by (Robert) Russell Bennett and Ted Royal. Choral Arrangements by William Parson. Produced by Michael Todd. Opened 28 January 1944 at the Winter Garden, New York, transferred 18 December 1944 to the Majestic Theatre, and closed 17 March 1945 after a total of 481 performances. SYNOPSIS After successfully fighting a bull in Mexico, Montana, a lady bullfighter, is about to throw the ear to David, the American chargé d’affaires. When she spots the fugitive, Joe, she angrily throws the ear at him, as he is her brother-in-law. Since he has caught the ear, he becomes a hero and an honored guest. Joe joins with a speculator to form a national lottery. Mexican authorities go after them and they are forced to flee. They show up in various disguises, as mariachi players, as tortilla vendors, or as an Indian woman. They are finally snared and Joe has to return to the U.S. to face trial. Montana and David are reunited. STORY It is 'Amigo Americano" week at the Plaza de Toros in Mexico. The cheering spectators are excitedly throwing their hats, coats and sundries to the famous American lady bullfighter, Montana who stands victoriously over the defeated bull. Among the crowd is Joe Bascom, alias Humphrey Fish, an American numbers racket king who happens to be Montana's brother-in-law. In the excitement, someone throws Bascom's coat, containing $10,000, to Montana in the ring. Meanwhile, Montana is making ready to cut off and throw the bull's ear to the young and handsome American Chargé d'Affaires, David Winthrop, when she spots Bascom. This enrages her and, unthinkingly, she pitches the bull's ear at him in disgust. Joe Bascom is now the "Amigo Americano," ironically rewarded with a week of fêting, adulation and honours. Bascom, realising he is in no position to receive such publicity and scrutiny, tries to escape his temporary fame. When this proves unsuccessful, he goes under cover. Knowing that she would be ruined if Bascom is exposed, Montana agrees to preserve his disguise. Besides, she and David Winthrop have fallen in love, and she does not want to jeopardise this relationship. Meanwhile, Bascom has become friendly with Lombo Campos, a speculator who is also Montana's agent. Bascom convinces Campos to take part in a private lottery scheme. Campos uses Bascom's $10,000 (which has been entrusted to him by Montana for safe-keeping and which Joe has been trying to recover), plus $30,000 belonging to Montana, for capital. The Government goes after Campos. Bascom, however, almost succeeds in being undetected until his wife (whom he deserted some years before) bursts in on the scene and exposes him. David, believing that Montana is also working hand in hand with these schemers, breaks off their engagement. With clever manoeuvering, both Bascom and Campos escape and the search for the criminals is on. In the gardens at Xochimilco, a favourite picnic spot, Bascom and Campos, disguised as Mariachi players, decide to join forces in eluding justice. Montana and David discover them and the chase proceeds to Taxco where Bascom and Campos now masquerade as "Mom and Pop" tortilla vendors. The con men are unmasked and taken back to Mexico City, where they are claimed by their respective governments. Montana and David are reunited and again in love. It is the end of 'Amigo Americano" week — and the end of "Mexican Hayride."