EXPRESSO BONGO - Opened in London in 1958

"Sleazy hustler Johnny Jackson, who is always on the lookout for fresh talent to exploit, while managing his hectic life with his stripper girlfriend. Maise is looking to find a better life in singing. He discovers a teenage singer named Bert Rudge in a coffee shop and sets about sending him along the rocky road to fame. He changes his name to Bongo Herbert and soon gets him a record deal and a relationship with singing sensation Dixie.
However, Bongo soon realizes that his 50/50 contract with Johnny isn't as great as he thought it was, and breaks from Johnny's contract with help from Dixie."

in Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia


IRMA LA DOUCE - Opened in London in 1958

"Irma La Douce is a successful and wealthy prostitute, living in Paris. A poor law student, Nestor le Fripé, falls in love with her. In order to keep her for himself, he assumes the disguise of a rich older man, Oscar, and takes many jobs. Finally no longer able to sustain his exhausting life, he "kills" Oscar, but is found innocent of the murder charges in the end."

AWARDS: Tony Award for Best Actress (Elizabeth Seal); also nominated for more 6 Tonys including Best Musical, Direction and Choreography

in Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia / Photos from the 1960 Broadway production © Stanley Green


MAKE ME AN OFFER - Opened in London in 1959

"The story is set in the world of the small-time antique dealers in and around the Portobello Road Market in London. Charlie, an expert in Wedgwood china, longs to own a beautiful piece for himself. His chance comes when he is involved in an auction for a complete (fake) Wedgwood room - and he ends up with a valuable (genuine) vase. Charlie's main rival dealer in the saga is the stunning Redhead, and his wife, Sally."

AWARDS: Evening Standard Award for Best Musical 1959

in The Guide to Musical Theatre


HALF A SIXPENCE - Opened in London in 1963

"Based on H.G. Wells's novel “Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul”. Tommy Steele plays Arthur Kipps, an orphan who unexpectedly inherits a fortune, and climbs the social ladder before losing everything and realizing that you just can't buy happiness. The novel is somewhat autobiographical, being inspired by the rapid changes in Wells's own life when his early novels brought him financial security.

AWARDS: Nominated for 9 Tonys including Best Musical, Composer & Lyricist, Actor (Tommy Steele), Direction and Choreography

in Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia / Photos from the movie adaptation © Paramount Pictures


JORROCKS - Opened in London in 1966

"John Jorrocks, Master-of-Foxhounds, is a social hero among the hunting fraternity. This successful huntsman and grocer's praises are even sung by the men in his tea warehouse. They also chorus the charms of his niece and ward, Belinda. The domineering Mrs. Jorrocks, however, finds her husband's hunting, eating and drinking habits more than a little irksome. When she receives less than what she considers her rightful degree of social acknowledgment at the inauguration of Mr. Jorrocks as Master-of-Foxhounds for Handley Cross Spa, she plans his overthrow.
She is aided in her plans by Marmaduke Muleygrubs, Dr. Roger Swizzle and Captain Misererrimus Doleful. The latter refuses to promote Jorrocks as Spa's patron in succession to Mrs. Barnington, despite his earlier convictions. A comical but seldom sober huntsman from Newcastle named James Pigg helps Mr. Jorrocks immeasurably in the field. It is Charlie Stobbs, engaged to marry Belinda, who is able to aid Mr. Jorrocks in a legal way. His skill as a lawyer is sufficient to expose the scheming of the Handley Cross 'black sheep' and our lovable 'h'-dropping hero emerges triumphant as the 'appiest man alive. ."

in The Guide to Musical Theatre


CHARLIE GIRL - Opened in London in 1965

"Lady Hadwell, the widow of an aristocrat is struggling to make ends meet by opening her home to the public. The youngest of her three daughters, Charlotte, known as "Charlie", is a tomboy. Their loyal assistant, Joe, is in love with Charlie. When he learns he has won a fortune on the football pools, he conceals the fact from his employers. In the meantime, her mother is hoping for an engagement between Charlie and an American millionaire."

in Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia / Photos from the 1986 London Revival © Reg Wilson


THE BIOGRAPH GIRL - Opened in London in 1980

"It salutes Hollywood's glorious era of silent pictures. Parading the movies' earliest heroes, heroines and clowns, it takes a refreshing look at the birth of the "flickers" and that memorable age of stardust and stars, of tinsel glamour and scandals, of sky-rocketing salaries and tremendous vitality. It is a nostalgic reminiscence of the silent movies seen through the eyes of four famous figures: Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish, both of them great silent film stars; David Wark Griffith, the most famous of all the American silent directors and Adolph Zukor, one of the studio bosses who laid the foundations of the movie industry we know today."

in The Guide to Musical Theatre / Photos from the original London production © Reg Wilson


PEG - Opened in London in 1984

"It is 1913 at Simla Lodge in Sussex and the Chichesters are hopelessly in debt. However, today marks the reading of the will of a close relative. Mrs. Chichester, her son, Alaric, and daughter, Ethel, expect to receive a substantial sum. The entire household is buzzing in anticipation of a recovery to a grand style of living.

Sir Gerald Adair, a young family friend and solicitor, discloses the contents of the will. As they are well provided for, they will receive nothing under the terms of the will. But, in fact, the Chichesters are broke. The bulk of the inheritance will go to Mrs. Chichester's niece, Margaret (Peg) O'Connell of New York City. However, £1,000 a year will be paid to any woman of breeding who will act as governess and undertake the education and raising of the child. With no other source of income. Mrs. Chichester agrees to accept the task. Margaret is arriving today and will not be told the conditions of the will. She is to be treated by her relatives simply as a guest."

in The Guide to Musical Theatre / Photos from the original London production © Mike Martin