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Oh, Kay!

Cover to Original Broadway Cast Recording

Music by George Gershwin : Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Book by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse
Imperial Theatre, Broadway - 8 November, 1926 (257 perfs)


Once Wodehouse put those characters together the plot must have written itself. It is 1927 and Prohibition is making America thirsty and bootleggers wealthy. When Jimmy Winters arrives at his beach house with his new bride, he finds Shorty McGee already in residence and assumes him to be the temporary butler. Shorty is actually guarding five hundred cases of booze stashed in Jimmy's cellar, but now he has no alternative but to buttle. A telegram informs Jimmy he is still legally married to his first wife. The new bride flounces off to a hotel, leaving the way clear for Lady Katherine (Kay), who met Jimmy once and has never forgotten him…

It's frothy, it's fun, it's everything you expect from a Twenties musical. More than you expect, really, because the writing team represent the twin pinnacles of their professions. With songs by the Gershwins, and book by the century's greatest humorist, OH KAY! is quite a landmark in the American musical theatre. It was written for Gertrude Lawrence, and must have been the perfect vehicle for her dazzling talents.

This version of OH, KAY! includes some songs first heard in other Gershwin shows . The array of classic show stoppers includes "Maybe","Do, Do, Do", "Looking for a Boy", "Clap yo' Hands", and the incomparable "Someone to Watch Over Me".


Shorty McGee (A bootlegger)
Larry Potter (Another bootlegger)
Lord Blandings (An aristocratic English bootlegger )
Lady Katherine Popham His sister Debonair, about-to-be-married- for the-second-time, owner of a beach house on Long Island
Jimmy Winters
Constance Appleton (Jimmy's chilly bride)
Judge (Her father - or is he?)
Revenue Officer
The Cottontails Six girls in search of matrimony, money and fun, not necessarily in that order

Musical Numbers:

  1. Overture - Orchestra
  2. The Moon is on the Sea - Ensemble
  3. When Our Ship Comes Sailing In - Duke, Potter and Shorty
  4. Don't Ask - Potter, Phil and Dolly
  5. Someone To Watch Over Me - Kay
  6. The Woman's Touch - Female Ensemble
  7. Dear Little Girl - Jimmy and Female Ensemble
  8. Maybe - Kay and Jimmy
  9. Clap Yo' Hands - Potter and Ensemble
  10. Do, Do, Do - Jimmy and Kay
  11. Bride and Groom - Ensemble
  12. Ain't It Romantic? - Kay, Shorty and Jimmy
  13. Fidgety Feet - Jimmy and Ensemble
  14. Heaven On Earth - Jimmy and Ensemble
  15. Oh, Kay! - Kay and Male Ensemble


REED 1 Flute/Clarinet
REED 2: Clarinet/Bass clarinet
PERCUSSION (including Xylophone)
PIANO (from vocal score)


Studio Cast Recording - Nonesuch 7559-79361-2