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30th Aniversary Season - 2008
The Cabaret Girl
Musical Comedy in 3 acts by P. G. Wodehouse and George Grossmith. Music by Jerome Kern.
Premiere: Winter Garden Theatre, London, 19 September 1922
Marilynn Morgan, a chorus girl, comes to the shop of music publishers Gripps and Gravvins to audition for the cabaret that the firm is staging. She is sought in marriage by James Paradene, whose father has willed him a fortune, provided that his choice of bride meets with the approval—and it certainly doesn't—of his aunt, the Marchioness. As part of a concocted scheme to impress her, Gripps borrows Gravvins' estate and invites all the neighboring elite to a swank party for James and Marilynn. When it is discovered that all the neighbors are out of town, Gripps rushes to enlist his cabaret troupe to impersonate the local notables. Gripps himself impersonates the vicar, the entire hoax exposed only when the real vicar appears. It remains for Marilynn's Hawaiian routine at the cabaret to convince the Marchioness that she and James are, indeed, meant for each other.
In 29 seasons, The Ohio Light Opera has presented works of 39 composers. Conspicuously absent—but no longer—is the name of Jerome Kern, who broke the ties with Old World operetta traditions and brought musical theatre fully into the twentieth century. The Cabaret Girl, with its snappy, catchy, Broadway-type musical score founded on dance rhythms, is an absolute delight from beginning to end and features some of Kern's most charming and infectious tunes: "The first rose of summer," "Journey's end," "Dancing time," "Shimmy with me," and the mock-Hawaiian "Ka-lu-a."