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Teddy and Alice


A musical play in 2 acts, a prelude and 15 scenes. Music by John Philip Sousa, adapted and with original music by Richard Kapp; lyrics by Hal Hackady; book by Jerome Alden. Artisitc Consultant - Alan Jay Lerner

Opened 12 November, 1987 - Minskoff Theatre - (77 Perfs)


This rousing musical on the life and family of Theodore Roosevelt, one of the great American presidents, features four wonderful principal roles, five Roosevelt children, amusing character parts (including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt) and a large, flexible chorus.



After the Overture the curtain rises to reveal the facade of the Executive Mansion. 1901. The atmosphere has a dark, dingy, cluttered Victorian look. Delicate pieces of black crepe cover the windows and furniture. A portrait of the late President McKinley is draped in black. Edith Roosevelt enters, followed by all the Roosevelt children, (Ted, 16; Kermit, 14; Ethel, 12; Archie, 9; Quentin, 7) carrying various toys, animals, books and belongings. Finally Theodore Roosevelt charges onstage - he looks over room and observes the sad atmosphere. He tells everyone (reporters included) that though it is sad about President McKinley's untimely passing, he has a job to do getting the country back in shape. The reporters do question Roosevelt about political issues; however, what they are most interested in is the behaviour of his daughter, Alice, who has been seen smoking in public and betting at the racetracks. Rather than respond to either issue, general chaos seems to reign as Teddy plays football with his kids. The other politicians watching are horrified as they realise that this man is now president of the United States. By the end of the scene, Teddy has all the black crepe pulled down and the house transformed into the bright place we know today.

Later, in the White House garden, there is the sound of a 1901 automobile speeding by. A Stanley Steamer driven by Alice (with Eleanor Roosevelt, Nick Longworth and Franklin Roosevelt along for the ride) comes into the yard and crashes into a tree. An officer writes out a summons for Alice - driving fifteen miles per hour in a ten mile zone. It appears that all the havoc was caused because Alice's pet snake got loose in the front seat. Teddy enters to survey the situation. It appears that Alice and Eleanor were over at the House listening to the debate on the Panama Canal. There, they met Congressman Nick Longworth who offered them a lift home and Alice asked to drive. They all argue with Teddy about the building of the canal, and finally the President gets them to remove the car from the lawn while having a little talk with the policeman. The reporters question Alice about her crazy behaviour. When asked about possibly marrying Senator Longworth, Alice reminds everyone that she has a lot to do before settling down.

In the President's Office, Teddy takes out a large rolled up map and lays it on the floor. He and his cabinet members begin discussing the crisis in Panama. Just how are they going to deal with the reluctant Columbians as they attempt to have the Panama Canal built? Unfortunately, everything seems to stop when Alice comes in to talk with her father. Not only is she seeking permission to have a coming-out party in the Rose Garden, but she also offers political advice about the Panama Canal and other things that Teddy takes to heart. After Teddy and Alice leave, the cabinet members begin to wonder who's running the country: the President or the Princess.

Lights come up to reveal Alice's bedroom on a different day. Alice is talking with Eleanor about her relationship with Nick. Eleanor disapproves of Nick saying that he is far too old - and bald! Alice, on the other hand, loves dating an older man, while having a bit of a wild time. Alice also shows Eleanor a box that her Aunt gave her last week as a coming-out present. It was a present that Teddy gave her mother on the night of Alice's birth. The box was never opened since Alice's mother died only hours after she was born. Teddy was so devastated by his first wife's (Alice Lee) passing that he never allows anybody to even mention her name. Luckily, he now has Edith who Alice sees as the best mother a girl could have. Eleanor and Alice then discuss their own dealings with men in more detail. Eleanor has a mad crush on Franklin who doesn't even notice her. For her, love speaks in whispers and is very soft. Alice sees it as flashes and roman candles.

After a bit, Eleanor begins to get a bit wild and even starts to imagine things the way Alice does. Eleanor then leaves to catch a train to New York just as Teddy is coming in to talk with Alice. At first, he reprimands his daughter about smoking and then questions her about the guest list for her coming-out party. Most of all, he wants to know why she would invite Nick Longworth. She then asks her father's opinion about what dress she should wear for the party, and he's taken aback while watching her in the mirror. Obviously, she reminds him of his first wife. When Alice finally shows him the box her aunt gave her, he seizes it from her and storms out proclaiming that Alice Lee (Alice's mother) must never be spoken of - ever!

Some days later, in the Presidential Bedroom Suite, Edith is reading to the children from Alice in Wonderland. Upon finishing the story, she attempts to convince the children to get ready for Alice's party; instead, they convince her to let them play San Juan Hill with Ethel dressing as Teddy, the colonel, and lead the charge! Teddy enters and proclaims that he play "the colonel" (himself) and everyone else act as the soldiers. Teddy and the children act out the battle. Alice enters in her dressing gown demanding that everyone get dressed for her party. After a bit of play, they all go off to change while Teddy and Edith sit and ruminate about everything from Alice growing up - to politics - to their own relationship. All in all, they adore each other. Alice re-enters, looking ravishing in her Alice-blue-gown. This could be scandalous since at that time girls always wore white for their coming-out parties; however, Alice gets her way as usual and wears the blue dress. She doesn't care what people will think. They hear the guests begin to arrive and Teddy and Alice go off to greet them while Edith goes to put the final touches on her woman's "armour." While doing this, she thinks about how it is now that Alice is grown up. Alice is the picture of her mother - a woman Edith has competed with her entire marriage. A woman that Teddy has never forgotten. With Alice now becoming a woman, it's strange how Alice Lee is back in the picture.

Out in the Rose Garden, the guests are dancing at Alice's party. Nick is dancing with Alice - completely smitten with her. Teddy notices this and has a pretty woman talk to Nick. Teddy then sweeps Alice into a dance. Oddly, a ghost figure of Alice Lee appears and moves in unison with Alice. Teddy is really caught off guard. Finally, the dance ends and Nick moves in to talk with Alice. Alice asks Nick if he is shocked by the colour of her gown. He isn't. This is what he considers a proper and safe coming-out party. Hearing that, Alice wants the party to get a bit wild and leads everyone in a naughty 1901 dance. At the end of the dance, even Teddy and Edith join in with the kids and have a bit of fun. Once again, Nick is noticed talking with Alice and Teddy pulls her away. Nick realises that even though he's crazy about Alice, he needs to back off and remember that he's a congressman and that Teddy "runs the town." The cabinet members on the otherhand see just how crazy Nick is about Alice, and they egg him on to go after Alice. They feel that with Alice in the arms of another man, she won't be so close to her father and be attempting to run the government. By the end of it all, Nick realises that he really is in love with Alice after all!

The next scene takes place a few months later in the White House where Teddy is nervously pacing back and forth. It's 3 a.m and Alice isn't home. Edith comes down and tells him to calm down. Alice is an adult now and can take care of herself. Teddy is more upset that she's been going out with Nick for the past three months. After Edith goes back to bed, Teddy thinks that maybe she's right. After all, Alice is his daughter, and he's brought her up very well. Alice does finally come home and brings Nick in for a late night snack. Alice invites Teddy to join them, but Teddy tells them to run along - he's not hungry. As they are about to leave, acting on an impulse, Teddy tells Alice that he is planning to send her on a four-month goodwill tour of the Orient. Alice is excited; however, Nick sees this as a plot to separate them. Alice doesn't understand what he means. Going to the Orient would be a great opportunity for her. Nick just wants Teddy and Alice to grow up! Teddy gets uncomfortable hearing the truth and goes to the kitchen. Alice tells Nick that four months really isn't that long a time.

Three weeks later, the senior advisors are commenting on how Teddy has vetoed the romance between Alice and Nick. The men decide that they must find a way for Nick to go along with Alice to the Orient. They get a ticket for Nick aboard the same ship. As Alice readies herself to go, Teddy says farewell to her - commenting that it's too bad she'll miss the G.O.P. Convention. Alice is convinced that her father will get the party nomination. After Alice leaves, J.P. Morgan and some other senior advisors confront Teddy - telling him that they don't want him to run for president. His conservation policies have alienated many groups, and his handling of the Panama Canal is terrible. They remind him that he wasn't elected to the job. He's only there because McKinley was shot! They tell him they are going to fight to get him out of office and he tells them he's going to fight even harder to stay in.

At the Republic National Convention, Summer 1904, protesters are proclaiming that Roosevelt is a tsar, a Socialist, a tyrant! Teddy tells J.P. Morgan and the others that yes he is a radical, but that he plans to fight for "human need before human greed"! As he continues rallying, the convention gets behind him and untimely nominates him for president.


It is the entrance hall of the White House, Summer 1904, and Teddy is given the phone. He learns bits and pieces about Alice's behaviour as U.S. ambassador to the Orient. He probably can deal with her wild behaviour - he always has before. What upsets him more this time is the fact that he finds out the Nick Longworth is with her creating "international fireworks." Alice returns, and once Teddy sees her, he turns to mush. When he sees Nick, however, he yells at him for courting his daughter on taxpayers' expense. Nick quickly tells him that he had a mandate from Congress. Before things get too crazy, Alice's other siblings run on demanding that she give them their exotic presents and she goes off with them to do just that. Nick asks to talk with Teddy privately, but rather than give in, the President avoids him by getting everyone to go for a bit of wild exercise - even the foreign diplomats.

Eleanor and a number of ladies come for a tea party and are dying to know all about Alice's trip. Most of all, they want to know what happened with Nick. Alice dresses them in grass skirts and does a hula. She also gives them Japanese fans and shows them how to use them. All the time she avoids discussing anything to do with Nick. Teddy re-enters being followed by the persistent Nick who is still trying to talk with Teddy. Teddy exits and Nick follows. The girls re-enter and insist that Alice tell them about Nick. She finally gives in and confesses that she is now seeing "fireworks"! Edith asks Alice if she wants to marry Nick. Alice isn't sure if she wants to lose her freedom. Nevertheless, she is in love with Nick.

In the North Portico, Teddy is still being followed by an exhausted Nick who finally blurts out that he's wants to marry Alice. It seems that Alice won't discuss marriage with him until she has her father's approval. This makes Teddy happy since he sees Nick as simply an opportunist who is attempting to further his own political career. Teddy continues leading everyone in exercise and Nick continues to follow as the entire group moves outside of the White House. Teddy finally tells Nick that the answer is "no." Nick is defeated and angry - Alice runs to his rescue. Nick tries to get her to run off and marry him; however, she reminds him that he promised to not discuss the marriage until her father approves. She loves Teddy too much to go behind his back. Nick tells her that she can't live in her father's sheltered world forever or she may lose a husband in the process. After a bit of thought, she realises that she can't live without Nick and that she has somehow to convince her father that he is okay.

On election night, Teddy and his cronies wait as the results come in. It appears that he is losing. Some blackmail has happened in the unions where they have been told not to vote for him. Teddy tells them that he was simply following the law of the land. He simply reinstated a government worker who was fired for not belonging to the union. Somehow, union leaders saw this as a sign that Teddy is against them. Teddy Angrily leaves. After he does, the advisors comment just how sad it is that Teddy won't listen to them.

In his office, Teddy is upset as he thinks about even having to leave the White House. Alice bursts in very determined and tells her father that she must marry Nick. Teddy has no intention of giving in to his daughter's wishes. She has no intention of giving up either! She plans on marrying Nick wearing her mother's wedding dress - with her father's blessing! Alice tearfully runs off as Edith comes in to talk with her husband. Edith tells him to let Alice go. Also, he needs to let the ghost of his past - namely his late first wife - go as well. Teddy forbids her to talk any more. She, too, runs off in tears. Alone, Teddy, takes the gift box he took from Alice and opens it. Inside is a music box. As it plays, he remembers all that has passed.

Later that night, Teddy is camping out in the woods with his children. After tucking them all in, he stands lost in thought as the ghost of Alice Lee appears before him. She tells him she's having a baby. Other ghosts appear to congratulate him on the birth of his new daughter. Finally, the ghost of his brother appears telling him not to go and see his wife - she's dead. By shooting a gun he has with him Teddy rids himself of the ghosts - just as Edith and others come to tell him that he's going to win the election by a landslide. After all the union nonsense everybody was with him. Everybody is with him now - except Alice. They all go inside while Teddy ponders the situation. Alice finally enters and congratulates her father on his victory. He talks with her about her mother and all that she meant and still means to him. He then takes the music box out of his pocket and gives it to her - as a wedding present. Alice throws her arms around her father crying as they go off to celebrate his victory.

Waiting at the wedding of Alice and Nick everyone has their own "Private Thoughts": The senior cabinet celebrates that they have succeeded with their plan. Alice's brothers are happy that one sister is finally out. Edith is happy that her husband is finally letting go of his first wife. Alice finally enters and marries Nick. All is wonderful.

Musical Numbers

  1. Prelude: The Thunderer - Orchestra
  2. This House - Teddy, Family, Friends, Staff, Reporters
  3. But Not Right Now - Alice
  4. She's Got to Go - Taft, Root, Lodge
  5. The Fourth of July - Alice, Eleanor
  6. Charge - Teddy, Edith, Ted jnr., Kermit, Ethel, Archie, Quentin
  7. Battlelines - Edith
  8. The Coming-Out Party Dance - Teddy, Alice, Nick, Edith, Guests
  9. Leg O' Mutton - Alice, Nick, Guests
  10. Not Love - Nick, Taft, Root, Lodge
  11. Her Father's Daughter - Teddy
  12. Perfect for Each Other - Nick
  13. He's Got to Go (reprise) - Taft, Root, Lodge, Nick
  14. Wave the Flag - Teddy, Edith, Eleanor, Ted jnr., Kermit, Ethel, Archie, Quentin, Compers, J.P. Morgan, Hecklers, Supporters
  15. (The) Fourth of July (reprise) - Teddy
  16. (The) Fourth of July (reprise) - Alice, Eleanor, Edith, Ladies
  17. Nothing to Lose - Nick, Alice
  18. Election Eve - Taft, Root, Lodge, Gompers, J.P. Morgan, Reporters
  19. Perfect for Each Other (reprise) - Alice
  20. Can I Let Her Go? - Teddy
  21. Private Thoughts - Taft, Root, Lodge, Edith, Ted jnr., Ethel, Kermit, Archie, Quentin, Servants, Staff, Reporters
  22. This House (reprise) - Teddy, Edith, Guests


5 principal men, 3 principal women, 5 children, chorus

Original Cast

(in order of appearance):

Servants, Reporters, Tea Party Ladies, Marines, Ambassadors: Ellyn Aarons, Ruth Bormann, Kathleen Gray, Ken Hilliard, Alex Kramarevsky, Mark Lazore, Keith Locke, Pamela McLernon, Elizabeth Mozer, Keith Savage, Jeff Shade. Swings: Kaylyn Dillehay, Travis Layne Wright.

Scenes and Settings

Act 1

Scene 1: Interior of the White House, Fall 1901, shortly after President McKinley's assassination.
Scene 2: White House Yard.
Scene 3: The President's Office.
Scene 4: Alice's Dressing Room, different day.
Scene 5: Presidential Bedroom Suite.
Scene 6: Rose Garden of the White House, later that evening.
Scene 7: Public Area in the White House, later that evening.
Scene 8: North Portico of the White House, three weeks later.
Scene 9: Republican National Convention, Summer 1904.

Act 2

Scene 1; Main Entrance Hall, Summer 1904.
Scene 2: Area of Birch Trees near the White House, same day.
Scene 3: Election Day.
Scene 4: The President's Office.
Scene 5: Campsite near the White House in the Woods.
Scene 6: East Room of the White House.


Reed I - piccolo/flute/alto flute/clarinet
Reed II - piccolo/flute/clarinet
Reed III - oboe/cor anglais/clarinet
Reed IV - clarinet/bass clarinet
Reed V - clarinet/baritone sax/bassoon
2 horns, 3 trumpets (1st db cornet), 3 trombones (3rd db tuba), 2 percussion, guitar (acoustic/banjo/ukulele), harp, piano db celeste, 2 violins, 2 cellos, double bass