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The Girls of Gottenberg

cover to vocal score

A musical play in 2 acts, 3 scenes written by George Grossmith Jnr., and L. E. Berman: Music by Ivan Caryll and Lionel Monckton: Lyrics by Adrian Ross and Basil Hood

Gaiety Theatre, London - 15th May, 1907; Closed 28th March, 1908 (303 perfs)
Adelphi Theatre, London - (tour) 10 August, 1908
Knickerbocker Theatre, New York - Opened 1 September, 1908; closed 28th November 1908 (103 perfs)


Max Moddelkopf was a barber, army deserter and valet to the Prince Otto of Saxe-Hilversum, the commander of the Blue Hussars. He was also adept at impersonating anyone in offical office. He is called upon to assist in affairs amatory.

The Blue Hussars are quartered in Rottenberg, which lives up to its name for them by having a population which includes only one girl. They are looking forward to being transferred to Gottenberg where there is a ladies' university. But when orders come through it is the rival Red Hussars who have been given the desired posting and evasive action has to be taken. The envoy bringing the grim news is disposed of and little Max takes his place to order the Blue Hussars to Gottenberg. Once they are there he proceeds, in his new character, to issue all sorts of alarming orders and to make love to the daughter of the Burgomaster.

Otto also gets himself involved in a love affair with the innkeeper's pretty daughter who fortunately turns out to be his destined fiancée who has swapped places with the village girl for a change of air. By the end of the evening everyone is suitably paired off.

Musical Numbers

  1. Opening Chorus of Soldiers - "Ein! zwei! drei! Ein! zwei! drei! ..."
  2. Song - Fritz & Men's Chorus - "Of all the girls there is but one, no other can compare with her..."
  3. Trio & Dance - Otto, Hermann & Karl - "I hope your man is up to the plan, it needs a cheek infernal..."
  4. Opening Chorus of Town Girls & Students - "Oh, Market Day is merry, when lads a-courting go..."
  5. Song - Minna & Chorus - "A lot of funny folks one sees at Ladies' Universities..."
  6. Chorus - "What is it, who is it coming so fast? Is it the Emperor's envoy at last? ..."
  7. Song - Max & Chorus - "I'm the Confidential Agent of the Kaiser..."
  8. Song - Mitzi - "When I was ever so young, my father he said, 'Look here, you're a likely lass for serving a glass...'"
  9. Song - Otto & Chorus - "My dear mother said to me at the early age of three..."
  10. Song - Mitzi - "There's a little Hotel that I know very well on the banks of the beautiful Rhine..."
  11. Song - Elsa - "When I was a Mädchen wee, gentlemen I oft would see turning round to look at me..."
  12. Finale Act I - "How splendid! We've ended our time of loneliness! ..."
  13. Opening Chorus, with Solo - Kannenbier - "Jup, jup, jup, Tra la la la la..."
  14. Song - Mitzi & Chorus - "I've heard in a wonderful legend of old that down in the Rhine is a treasure of gold..."
  15. Duet - Clementine & Max - "The birds in Spring-time are pairing; the dog-rose up on the bark..."
  16. Trio - Mitzi, Max & Otto - "When you go over to London, as lots of Germans do..."
  17. Dance - Albrecht & Kathie
  18. Song - Elsa - "On a night, a month since, at a dance I met with a man to woo me..."
  19. Duet - Elsa & Otto - "Won't you come and two-step, little girl, with me? ..."
  20. Duet - Mitzi & Max - "Once in the window of a ham and beef shop two little sausages sat! ..."
  21. Song - Minna & Chorus - "Ach! vat a joysome day when soldiers come our way..."
  22. Quintet - Minna, Freda, Katrina, Lucille, & Brittlbottl - "Officers' girls have lots of fun..."
  23. Song - Mitzi & Chorus - "There are places on the map that I never want to see, such as London (on the Thames)..."
  24. Finale Act II - "Berlin is on the Spree, and that's the place we want to see..." (short reprise from No. 23)


  25. Extra Song - Mitzi - "To hold my own with ladies high was always my ambition..."
  26. Extra Song - Mitzi & Chorus - "In Frankfurt town there lives a charming German gentleman..."
  27. Extra Duet - Elsa & Otto, with Chorus - "Maiden who brings the beer, won't you let me marry you, my dear? ..."

Scenes and Settings


  • Scene 1 - The Barracks, Rottenberg.
  • Scene 2 - The Market Place, Gottenberg


  • The Gardens of "The Red Hen," across the River, near Gottenberg