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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A Musical in 2 Acts Book by Joe Manchester. Lyrics by Earl Shuman. Music by Leon Carr.
Based on the story by James Thurber

Opened 26 October 1964 - Players Theatre (Off-Broadway) - 96 perfs

The action takes place at the present time in Waterbury, Conn. in the everyday and secret life of Walter Mitty.


The short story deals with a vague and mild-mannered man who drives into Waterbury, Connecticut, with his wife for their regular weekly shopping and his wife's visit to the beauty parlour. During this time he has five heroic daydream episodes. The first is as a pilot of a U.S. Navy flying boat in a storm, then he is a magnificent surgeon performing a one-of-a-kind surgery, then as a cool assassin testifying in a courtroom, and then as a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot volunteering for a daring, secret suicide mission to bomb an ammunition dump. As the story ends, Mitty imagines himself facing a firing squad, "inscrutable to the last."

Each of the fantasies is inspired by some detail of Mitty's mundane surroundings:


  1. Aggie
  2. Confidence
  3. Don't Forget
  4. Drip, Drop
  5. Tapoketa
  6. Fan the Flame
  7. Hello, I Love You, Goodbye
  8. Lonely Ones
  9. Marriage Is For Old Folks
  10. Now That I'm Forty-Five
  11. The Secret Life
  12. She's Talking Out
  13. Two Little Pussycats
  14. Walking With Penninah
  15. The Walter Mitty March
  16. Willa
  17. You're Not