Louisiana Purchase (musical)

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Louisiana Purchase
1996 Cast Recording
MusicIrving Berlin
LyricsIrving Berlin
BookMorrie Ryskind
BasisA story Buddy De Sylva
Productions1940 Broadway
1941 Film
1996 Broadway

Louisiana Purchase is a musical with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by Morrie Ryskind based on a story by B. G. DeSylva. Set in New Orleans, the musical lightly satirises Louisiana Governor Huey Long and his control over Louisiana politics.[1] An honest U.S. senator travels to Louisiana to investigate corruption in the Louisiana Purchase Company; the company's lawyer attempts to divert him via the attentions of two beautiful women, but the senator maintains his integrity and ends up marrying one of them. In 1941 it was adapted for the film Louisiana Purchase directed by Irving Cummings.

The show opened at the Shubert Brothers' Imperial Theatre, New York City on May 28, 1940 and ran for 444 performances. It was produced by Buddy De Sylva, who also wrote the story, and staged by Edgar MacGregor. The musical orchestrations were by Robert Emmett Dolan and N. Lang Van Cleve, with the ballets by George Balanchine and the musical staging and dances by Carl Randall. On June 19, 1996, a concert version with the complete score was recorded at Carnegie Hall (during four performances), including three additional songs cut from the original album.



Original Broadway (1940) Film Adaptation (1941) New York Concert (1996)
Jim Taylor William Gaxton Bob Hope Michael McGrath
Marina van Linden Vera Zorina Judy Blazer
Senator Oliver P. Loganberry Victor Moore George S. Irving
Madame Yvonne Bordelaise Irène Bordoni Taina Elg
Emmy-Lou April Ames Phyllis Ruth Alet Oury
Beatrice Carol Bruce Dona Drake Debbie Gravitte
Alphonse Charles La Torre Keith Byron Kirk
Colonel Davis D. Davis Sr. Robert Pitkin Raymond Walburn John Wylie
Colonel Davis D. Davis Jr. Ray Mayer Michael Morotta
Lee Davis Nick Long Jr. James Ludwig
Dean Joseph T. Manning Ralph Riggs Andrew Tombes Merwin Goldsmith
Police Captain Whitfield Edward H. Robins Donald MacBride Rick Crom
Sam Liebowitz John Eliot Emory Parnell Merwin Goldsmith
Secretary Georgia Carroll Iris Meredith Erin Dilly


  1. ^ Bordman, 573
  • Bordman, Gerald (2001). American Musical Theater: A Chronicle. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513074-X
    • Suskin, Steven (2000) "Showtunes" 3rd ed. [Oxford University Press] ISBN 0-19-512599-1

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