Cover to Original Cast Recording

The Boys From Syracuse

a musical comedy in 2 Acts, 9 Scenes. ook by George Abbott, based on the play The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare, adapted from 'Menaechmi' by Plautus.

Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Lorenz Hart.

Try-out: Shubert Theatre, New Haven and Shubert Theatre, Boston 1938. New York run: Alvin Theatre 23.11.1938 - 10.6.1939 (235 perfs.). Revival: 15th April 1963 at Theatre Four, New York.


ORIGINAL CAST (in order of appearance):

The Masks: Robert Sidney, Harry Peterson.
Singing Policeman: Bob Lawrence.
Another Policeman: James Wilkinson.
Antipholus of Ephesus: RONALD GRAHAM.
Dromio of Ephesus: TEDDY HART.
Dancing Policeman: George Church.
Tailor: Clifford Dunstan.
Tailor's Apprentice: Burl Ives.
Antipholus of Syracuse: EDDIE ALBERT.
Dromio of Syracuse: JIMMY SAVO.
Merchant of Syracuse: Byron Shores.
Duke of Ephesus: Carroll Ashburn.
Aegeon: John O'Shaughnessy.
Sorcerer: Owen Martin.
Courtesan: BETTY BRUCE.
Secretary to Courtesan: Heidi Vosseler.
Angelo: John Clarke.
First Maid: Florine Callahan.
Second Maid: Claire Wolf.
Third Maid: Alice Craig.
Merchant of Ephesus: Clifford Dunstan.
Seeress: Florence Fair.


Grace Albert, Laura Kellogg, Dolores Anderson, Armonce Wilkins, Marguerite Benton, Margaret Walsh, James Wilkinson, Joseph Scandor, Joe Granville, Herbert Wood.


Libby Bennett, Ruth Brady, Renee Cettel, Stella Clausen, Alice Craig, Bee Farnum, Ruth Gormly, Claire Harvey, Lita Lede, Connie Leslie, Vivien Moore, Florine Callahan, Mildred Solly, Anna Mae Tesslo, Davenie Watson, Betty De Elmo, Claire Wolf, Micky Alvarez, Sidney Gordon, Dan Karry, Tommy Lynch, Jack Malis, Edwin Mills, Harry Peterson, Joe Harris, Lee Tannen, Beau Tilden, Robert Howard, (Buddy Douglas).


Act I

Against a backdrop of Ancient Greece, the citizens of Ephesus are baying for the death of AEGEAN, a merchant from Syracuse - a city the Ephesians dislike. The DUKE will only reprieve him if he can buy his way out of trouble. He explains that he had twin sons, who had twin slaves, who were separated by a shipwreck and that he, Aegean, came to Ephesus to look for them. Meanwhile Antipholus and his slave Dromio of Ephesus (one half of the lost quartet) avoid paying for some suits the tailor has made them whilst Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse (the other half) are warned by a merchant of Syracuse to leave Ephesus as soon as possible. There now begins a whole series of confusing mix-ups, whereby the citizens of Ephesus mistake Antipholus. of Syracuse for Sir Antipholus of Ephesus, and each master mistakes one Dromio for the other! ADRIANA, the wife of A. of E. (and that is how we shall refer to them, to stop ourselves getting as confused as the cast!), complains that her husband hardly ever comes home. She, along with her cook LUCE (who is married to D. of E.) and LUCIANA, her sister, set out to woo Antipholus back home. Due to the identical looks of the twins, they bring home the 'boys from Syracuse'; when A. of S. meets Luciana, they are transfixed by each other but convince themselves that this can't be love.

When A. and D. of E. return home late after gallivanting with the local courtesans, they find the doors bolted and Adriana and Luce insisting that their real husbands are upstairs in bed with them! The confusion continues and A. and D. of E. take refuge again with the courtesans, who try by means of a ballet and general cosseting to ease their befuddled minds. 

Act II

In front of Adriana's house, A. of S. tells his slave to find out when the next ship for Syracuse sails - he can't stand Ephesus any longer and they're going home. Luciana is hurt when A. of S. says Adriana means nothing to him - though she is obviously upset that he is leaving. Further mistaken identity confusion occurs over a gold chain that ANGELO has made for Antipholus, but given to the wrong one! 

Adriana comforts her crying sister (with sarcastic interjections from Luce) saying that marriage always turns out different to expectations and that you have to sing for your supper. The COURTESAN is the next female to be hurt because of the confusion: A. (of S.) denies knowing her and yet only the night before she was entertaining A. (of E.)! She is as confused as the two Syracusans and longs for an honest man. A. and D. of S. then get involved in the confusion over the gold chain and a fight breaks out when A. is accused of being a liar. They escape into the SEERESS' temple and hide. As the Duke enters with Aegean, Adriana pleads with him to get her husband back to his right mind, while he begs for justice against his wife for locking him out of the house. The farcical confusion finally resolves itself with the boys from Syracuse emerging from the temple and recognising Aegean; the money for the gold chain is used by A. of E. to free his father and safeguard his brother; the two Dromios are reunited, as are Adriana with her Antipholus and Luciana with hers. Luce embraces both Dromios, as the company end the show. However, love has triumphed, as the Seeress reveals herself as Emelia Aegean's long-lost wife and the two Antipholuses' mother!



The father of the two Antipholuses, he has spent seven years looking for them.


A womanising rogue who expects too much from his long-suffering wife. A man of standing in the city - he is called 'Sir' - and uses his position of authority and money for having a good time with the Courtesans.


A doting slave who is dominated by his wife, Luce, and worried for himself about coming home late with his master.


A likeable character - unmarried, too! - who is completely thrown by the confusion all around him. He is comically led on by Adriana in her confusion, but is really smitten when he meets Luciana.


A very comical character who is totally bemused by everything, especially Luce's advances on him, with or without the rolling-pin.


An under-satisfied wife, who is determined to make her us a stay-at-home type. Pity she picks the wrong one!


A dominating bundle who likes her man well under her thumb. She picks the wrong one, too!


More of a dreamer than her sister, she idealises about her perfect husband. She is attracted by the idea of being in love and Antipholus will do fine.


A typical good-time girl who would secretly like to settle down - but where to find that honest, reliable man?


The first victim of the mistaken identities, when two Antipholuses buy identical suits from him.


The local goldsmith who has made a chain for one Antipholus, only to find 'he' isn't wearing it, denies having had it and refuses to pay for it!


A comical character, whose tricks are always offered at reduced rates.


A formidable lady, who puts the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle.


Stern and a stickler for the rules, but he will sell mercy at a price

Musical Numbers


  1. Forward - The Masks
  2. "I Had Twins" - Singing Policemen, Ensemble
  3. "Dear Old Syracuse" - Dromio of Syracuse, Antipholus of Syracuse, Dancers.
  4. "What Can You Do With a Man?" - Luce, Dromio of Ephesus
  5. "Falling in Love (With Love)" - Adriana, Ladies
  6. "(The) Shortest Day of the Year" - Antipholus of Ephesus, Singer, Policemen
  7. This Can't Be Love" - Luciana, Antipholus of Syracuse
  8. "Let Antipholus In" - Entire Company


  1. "Ladies of the Evening" - Singing Policemen, Courtesans and Dancers
  2. "He and She" - Luce, Dromio of Syracuse
  3. "You Have Cast Your Shadow (On the Sea)" - Luciana, Antipholus of Syracuse
  4. "Come With Me" - Singing Policemen, Antipholus of Ephesus, Angelo, Singers
  5. "Big Brother" - Dromio of Ephesus
  6. The Ballet - Danced by Dromio of Syracuse, Antipholus of Syracuse, Luce, Dancers.
  7. "Sing for Your Supper" (Trio Arrangement by Hugh Martin.) - Adriana, Luciana, Luce, Ladies
  8. "Oh, Diogenes" - Luce, Dancers, Ensemble.
  9. Happy Ending (Finale) - Entire Company

Scenes and Settings:

Act 1

Scene 1: Before the Temple of Justice in Ephesus.
Scene 2: Inside the House of Antipholus of Ephesus.
Scene 3: A Square in Ephesus.
Scene 4: Inside the House of Antipholus of Ephesus.
Scene 5: Street outside the House of Antipholus of Ephesus.

Act 2

Scene I: Street outside the House of Antipholus of Ephesus.
Scene 2: A Square in Ephesus.
Scene 3: Inside the House of Antipholus of Ephesus.
Scene 4: A Square in Ephesus.


Reed 1: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet (Opt.)
Reed 2: Clarinet
Reed 3: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
2 Trumpets, Trombone
2 Percussion, Piano, Strings 


LP TER1078

Original Cast Recording