Cheaper By the Dozen

Cover to Book

Musical. Based on the book by Frank Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. Dramatised by Christopher Sergel. Score by David Rogers and Mark Bucci.

An exuberant score brings a special enchantment to this outstanding musical comedy.

Dad was (in fact) one of the great pioneers in industrial efficiency and he sings to his large family, 'What works in the factory works in the home."

His older daughters, however, rebel against their father. Anne, the oldest, sings of her coming independence "On My Own," unaware that her father has a heart condition and is driving them toward super-efficiency so the family will be able to survive better when he's gone.

What Daddoesn't realise is that Anne has grown. The breaking apart of Anne and her father and then their coming to a special maturity and mutual respect give meaning and emotion to what is otherwise a delightful and original comedy romp!


Cast: 10m., 7w., flexible chorus.

  • Dad
  • Mother
  • Anne
  • Ernestine
  • Martha
  • Frank
  • Bill
  • Lilian
  • Fred
  • Jane
  • Jackie
  • Dr. Burton
  • Mac
  • Joe
  • Larry
  • Miss Brill
    Onlookers, Passers-by, Students, etc.

Some of the minor speaking roles, as well as extras, can be doubled, since they often appear only briefly in one scene. The number of extras used can also vary, as circumstances require

Musical numbers

Overture - Orchestra

  1. Kadooka - Ensemble
  2. The Teddies Tango - Anne, Ernestine, Martha
  3. What Works in the Factory - Dad
  4. On My Own - Anne
  5. The Slicker Song
  6. Hey, Angel - Larry, Moe, Mac
  7. As Far As I Can See - Mother
  8. The Motion Study Two-Step - Dad
  9. The Housework Song - Bill, Fred, Frank, Martha, Lillia, Jane, Ernestine
  10. Old Enough to Know
  11. Happy Broom - Larry
  12. The Happiest Time - Mother, Anne
  13. They've Got To Grow - Dad
  14. Eskimos
  15. The Happiest Time (Reprise) - Mother, all the children

Scenes and Settings

Act 1

Act II

Place: Montclair, New Jersey
Time: The 1920s

Audition tape and orchestration available.