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Cover to Vocal Score

Music by George Gershwin: Lyrics by Ira Gershwin: Book by Murray Riskind

Times Square Theatre 14 January, 1930 (191 perfs)


Horace J. Fletcher is a manufacturer of chocolates who is aggrieved that Washington has refused to raise the tariff on Swiss chocolates. A doctor gives him a sedative to help him sleep and this he does but the sedative also induces dreams. In his dream he sees himself at the head of an American Army that foes to war with Switzerland over the issue of chocolates. The war was funded by Fletcher who becomes a national hero, but not for long. The American newspapers uncover the unsavoury fact that Fletcher's chocolates use Grade B milk - a fact that shocks the whole nation.

Fletcher's daughter Joan has a fiancé, Jim Townshend . Jim is suspicious of Fletcher, and has been from the first time they met. He threatens to expose Fletcher which causes the latter to become an ardent pacifist. This about face comes too late, however, to stop America going to war against Switzerland. The Swiss hotel-keepers are delighted. They are able to raise the prices of their rooms as the American soldiers need lodgings. The war is somewhat phoney as there is never any engagement. The Americans sit in their hotels knitting socks and sweaters for the folks back home.

Accidentally, the enemy's secret call to arms is discovered - a yodel - and the American troops are able to corner and rout the Swiss army.

Musical Numbers

  1. Overture - Orchestra
  2. Fletcher's American Cheese Chorale Society - Timothy, Sloan, Fletcher and Chorus
  3. 17 and 21 (I Mean To Say) - Timothy and Anne
  4. A Typical Self-Made American - Fletcher, Jim and Yes-Men
  5. Soon - Jim and Joan
  6. Meadow Serenade - Jim and Joan
  7. A Man Of High Degree (Entrance of Colonel Holmes) - Entire Company
  8. The Unofficial Spokesman - Fletcher, Holmes and Chorus
  9. Three Cheers For the Union (Patriotic Rally) - Company
  10. This Could Go On For Years - Company
  11. The Man I Love - Joan and Jim
  12. If I Became the President - Mrs Draper and Holmes
  13. Yankee Doodle Rhythm - Spelvin and Chorus
  14. 17 and 21 (reprise) - Mrs Draper and Fletcher
  15. (What's the Use) Hangin' Around With You - Anne and Timothy
  16. He Knows Milk - Finaletto Act I - Fletcher, Jim, Sloane, Holmes, Joan, Timothy and Chorus
  17. Strike Up the Band - Timothy and Chorus
  18. In the Rattle of the Battle (Oh This Is Such a Lovely War) - Soldiers and Swiss Girls
  19. Hoping That Someday You'd Care - Jim and Joan
  20. Come-Look-At-The-War Choral Society - Female Chorus
  21. Military Dancing Drill - Timothy, Anne and Chorus
  22. Mademoiselle in New Rochelle - Holmes, Gideon and Two Swiss Girls
  23. I've Got A Crush On You - Timothy and Anne
  24. How About A Boy? How About a Man? - Mrs Draper, Holmes and Fletcher
  25. Finaletto Act II - Fletcher, Jim, Sloan, Joan, Holmes, Spelvin and Chorus
  26. Homeward Bound / The Girl I Love (Reprise) - Soldiers and Male Chorus
  27. Finale Ultimo - Entire Company

Scenes and Settings:

Act I

Scene 1: In front of Horace J. Fletcher Chocolate Works
Scene 2: The Main Office. The Dream
Scene 3: The Main Office
Scene 4: The Private Office
Scene 5: The garden of Mr Fletcher's Home

Act II

Scene 1: Switzerland - We Then Resume the Story
Scene 2: Mr Fletcher's Private Office
Scene 3: The Reception Hall