Musical (1938)


Musique: Richard Rodgers
Paroles: Lorenz M. Hart
Livret: George Abott • William Shakespeare
Production à la création:

The Boys from Syracuse is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, based on William Shakespeare's play, The Comedy of Errors, as adapted by librettist George Abbott. The score includes swing and other contemporary rhythms of the 1930s. The show was the first musical based on a Shakespeare play.[1] The Comedy of Errors was itself loosely based on a Roman play, The Menaechmi, or the Twin Brothers, by Plautus.
The play premiered on Broadway in 1938 and Off-Broadway in 1963, with later productions including a West End run in 1963 and in a Broadway revival in 2002. A film adaptation was released in 1940. Well-known songs from the score include "Falling In Love With Love", "This Can't Be Love" and "Sing for Your Supper".

The twins Antipholus of Ephesus (Ronald Graham) and Antipholus of Syracuse (Eddie Albert), who were separated when young, have taken on twin servants, both named Dromio (Teddy Hart and Jimmy Savo). When the pair from Syracuse come to Ephesus, a comedy of errors ensues that involves the wife Adriana (Muriel Angelus), her sister Luciana (Marcy Wescott), and others in the town.

Synopsis complet

1 Boys from Syracuse (The) est une adaption à la scène d'une oeuvre littéraire: The Comedy of Errors - Shakespeare.


As the story has it, Rodgers and Hart were on a train to Atlantic City, where their I Married An Angel was in rehearsal, when Rodgers proposed to Hart that they do something based on Shakespeare. Today of course, after West Side Story (arguably the best musical in history), Rockabye Hamlet (possibly the worst), and several shows in between, the idea has all the zing of, "How about a rock musical?", but in early 1938, no such musical comedy had reached Broadway, and Hart reportedly loved the notion.
He especially loved the idea of creating an opportunity for his younger brother, the comedian Teddy Hart. Teddy had a problem: he looked a lot like another better known comic, Jimmy Savo; but the resemblance could be put to good use in an adaptation of The Comedy Of Errors, in which the low-comedy roles of the twin Dromios steal the show.
Rodgers and Hart brought in George Abbott, who had been working with them on and off since Jumbo in 1935. For The Boys From Syracuse, Abbott would produce, direct, and adapt the play. "The book that he came up with was exactly what we wanted, " Rodgers recalled in the New York Herald Tribune at the time of the 1963 revival, "bright, fast moving, but, in its own wacky way, very much in the bawdy Shakespearean tradition." On November 23, 1938, The Boys from Syracuse became, amazingly, the sixth Rodgers and Hart show to reach Broadway in three years, but despite a pleasing cast that included Eddie Albert, Muriel Angelus and Burl Ives, the reviews were mixed, and the show ran for only 235 performances - not unusual for a "hit" of the day, but still something of a disappointment. "This Can't Be Love", however, reached the national top 10 twice in 1938-39, in recordings by Horace Heidt and then Benny Goodman; Frances Langford's 1939 "Falling In Love With Love" gave the show yet another hit record.
Abbott directed and George Balanchine choreographed the original production, which opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theater on November 23, 1938, after tryouts in New Haven, Connecticut and Boston. The show closed on June 10, 1939 after 235 performances. It starred Eddie Albert (Antipholus of Syracuse), Ronald Graham (Antipholus of Ephesus), Teddy Hart (Dromio of Ephesus), Jimmy Savo (Dromio of Syracuse), Muriel Angelus (Adriana) and Marcy Westcott (Luciana). Scenic and lighting design were by Jo Mielziner and costumes were by Irene Sharaff.
The show was revived Off-Broadway, opening at Theatre Four on April 15, 1963 and running for 500 performances. Directed by Christopher Hewett, the cast featured Stuart Damon (Antipholus of Syracuse), Clifford David (Antipholus of Ephesus), Danny Carroll (Dromio of Syracuse), Rudy Tronto (Dromio of Ephesus), Ellen Hanley (Adriana), Julienne Marie (Luciana), and Cathryn Damon.
A West End production opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane[3] on November 7, 1963 based on the off-Broadway production, starring Denis Quilley, Maggie Fitzgibbon, Paula Hendrix, Pat Turner, Sonny Farrar, Adam Deane, John Adams, Edward Atienza, Ronnie Corbett, Lynn Kennington, and Bob Monkhouse.
A film version was released on August 9, 1940 by Universal Pictures. Directed by A. Edward Sutherland, the film starred Allan Jones in the dual roles of the two Antipholuses, Joe Penner in the dual roles of the Dromios, Martha Raye and Irene Hervey.
A revival directed by Judi Dench was mounted at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in London in July through August 1991, and toured the UK in September and October 1991. Louise Gold played Adriana.
The Roundabout Theatre revival opened on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre on August 18, 2002 and ran for 73 performances and 29 previews. The revival featured a new book by Nicky Silver based on the original book. It was directed by Scott Ellis with choreography by Rob Ashford, and the cast featured Jonathan Dokuchitz (Antipholus of Syracuse), Tom Hewitt (Antipholus of Ephesus), Lee Wilkof (Dromio of Syracuse), Chip Zien (Dromio of Ephesus), Erin Dilly (Luciana) and Lauren Mitchell (Adriana).


Act I
I Had Twins – A Sergeant, Aegon, Duke of Ephesus and The Crowd
Dear Old Syracuse – Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse
What Do You Do With a Man? – Dromio of Ephesus and Luce
Falling In Love With Love – Adriana
The Shortest Day of the Year – Adriana and Antipholus of Ephesus
This Can't Be Love – Antipholus of Syracuse and Luciana
Let Antipholus In – Entire Company (not in 2002 revival)

Act II
You Took Advantage of Me – The Courtesans (in 2002 revival, from Present Arms, 1928)
Ladies of the Evening – Singing Policeman, Another Policeman, Policemen and Courtesans (not in 2002 revival)
He and She – Dromio of Syracuse and Luce
You Have Cast Your Shadow on the Sea – Antipholus of Syracuse
Come With Me – A Sergeant and Syracuse Policemen
Big Brother – Dromio of Ephesus (comes before "Come With Me" in 2002 revival, and sung by both Dromios)
Sing for Your Supper – Adriana, Luce, Luciana, Madam, The Courtesans and The Crowd
Oh, Diogenes! – Adriana, Luce and Luciana

The 2002 revival ended with :
Hurrah! Hurroo (reprise) (Sing for Your Supper) – Madam, Courtesans, Luce, Adriana, Luciana, and the Crowd
This Can't Be Love (reprise) – The Company

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Boys from Syracuse (The)


Version 1

Boys from Syracuse (The) (1938-11-Neil Simon Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Original Broadway
Théâtre: Neil Simon Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 6 mois 2 semaines
Nombre : 235 représentations
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : mercredi 23 novembre 1938
Dernière : samedi 10 juin 1939
Mise en scène : George Abbott
Chorégraphie : George Balanchine
Producteur :

Version 2

Boys from Syracuse (The) (1940-08-Film)

Type de série: Film
Théâtre: *** Film (*** - ***)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : vendredi 09 août 1940
Première : vendredi 09 août 1940
Dernière : vendredi 09 août 1940
Mise en scène : A. Edward Sutherland
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Presse : "Considering that it was adapted from a Broadway musical by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and George Abbott, The Boys From Syracuse must rank as a disappointment, though it manages to remain entertaining throughout its surprisingly brief 74-minute running time. Like its theatrical predecessor, the film was inspired by Shakespeare's The Comedy Of Errors ("After a play by William Shakespeare long, long after" reads the opening title). In ancient Ephesus, young tyrant Antipholus (Allan Jones) sentences elderly merchant Aegeon (Samuel S. Hinds) to death unless the latter can come up with a handsome ransom. What Antipholus doesn't know is that Aegeon is his own father; he also doesn't know that he has a twin brother, also named Antipholus (and also played by Allan Jones) who has just arrived from Syracuse in search of dear old daddy. Further complicating matters is that Antipholus of Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracuse both have slaves named Dromio (Joe Penner)-likewise identical twins! The mistaken-identity angle is played to the hilt, with A. of E.'s wife Adriana (Irene Hervey), A. of S.'s girlfirend Phyllis (Rosemary Lane), and Dromio of Ephesus' main squeeze Luce (Martha Raye) ending up just as confused as everyone else. Only four of the original Rodgers & Hart songs were retained-"This Can't Be Love", "Falling In Love With Love", "Sing For Your Supper", and "Oh, Diogenes"-while two new ones were written for the film. Most of the best jokes are based on anachronisms, with Dromio the slave organizing a labor union (complete with placards), a cheering section at an execution shouting "Give him the ax", and a parchment newspaper bearing such headlines as "Ephesus Blitzkriegs Syracuse". Originally purchased by Universal as a vehicle for the Ritz Brothers, The Boys from Syracuse isn't any great shakes, but it would certainly be well worth seeing again (last telecast in the 1970s, it seems to have fallen off the face of the earth in recent years!)" Hal Erickson
"Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's superbly melodic score for their hit The Boys From Syracuse, first presented on Broadway in 1938, received short shrift from producer Jules Levey, whose filmed version of this quintessential tale of mistaken identity (based on Shakespeare' s The Comedy of Errors ) fell just this side of disaster. Numbers like "Sing For Your Supper," "Falling In Love With Love," "He And She" and "This Can't Be Love" - classics every one of them were only included by default, or in truncated versions that failed to do them justice, while new ones (such as "Who Are You?" and "The Greeks Have No Word For It") were added. Leonard Spigelgass and Charles Grayson's screenplay (based on the George Abbott stage version) traded in anachronisms at the expense of the satire originally intended, with cigar smoking Greeks and checkered chariot-cabs typical of the humour on offer." Clive Hirschhorn - The Hollywood Musical
"Hollywood, or at least Universal, should be hanged for what it did to the celebrated Broadway show by George Abbott and Rodgers and Hart (based on The Comedy of Errors). The rewriting was so disastrous that the studio finally cut the picture down to 74 minutes, which doesn't leave much time for Martha Raye and Charles Butterworth or for the wonderful songs—"Falling in Love with Love," "Sing for Your Supper" and "This Can't Be Love." The cast includes Allan Jones, Joe Penner, Rosemary Lane, Irene Hervey, and Alan Mowbray. Directed by Eddie Sutherland; the dance director was Dave Gould. " Pauline Kael

Version 3

Boys from Syracuse (The) (1963-04-Theatre Four-Off Broadway)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Theatre Four (Broadway (Off) - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 1 an 2 mois 2 semaines
Nombre : 502 représentations
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : lundi 15 avril 1963
Dernière : dimanche 28 juin 1964
Mise en scène : Christopher Hewett
Chorégraphie : Bob Herget
Producteur :
Commentaires longs: Le livret a été adapté pour cette version par Fred Ebb. Fred Ebb was not credited for his book revisions to this production, which was then licensed and supplanted the original version. In addition to dialogue revisions, the end of the first act in this version was largely reconceived: "Let Antipholus In" was cut and a ballet ("Ladies Choice") was added.

Version 4

Boys from Syracuse (The) (1963-11-Drury Lane Theatre-London)

Type de série: Original London
Théâtre: Drury Lane Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : jeudi 07 novembre 1963
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Christopher Hewett
Chorégraphie : Bob Herget
Producteur :
Commentaires longs: Le livret a été adapté pour cette version par Fred Ebb. Fred Ebb was not credited for his book revisions to this production, which was then licensed and supplanted the original version. In addition to dialogue revisions, the end of the first act in this version was largely reconceived: "Let Antipholus In" was cut and a ballet ("Ladies Choice") was added.

Version 5

Boys from Syracuse (The) (1991-07-Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : lundi 22 juillet 1991
Première : mercredi 24 juillet 1991
Dernière : jeudi 05 septembre 1991
Mise en scène : Judi Dench
Chorégraphie : Kenn Oldfield
Producteur :
Avec : Cast: Peter Woodward (Antipholus of Syracuse), Jenny Galloway (Luce), Louise Gold (Adriana), Gillian Bevan (Luciana), Richard O’Callaghan (Dromio of Syracuse), Gavin Muir (Dromio of Ephesus), Bill Homewood (Antipholus o f Ephesus)
Commentaires : Autumn the production went on tour, including playing The Forum Theatre Billingham Cleveland around 17 September 1991, and Theatre Royal Brighton from 14 to 19 October 1991.
Presse : "After the second rude interruption, Louise Gold, as Adriana declared it was a lovely day. Huddled under our macs and brollies, we believed her. And when the gleefully statuesque, not-so-pure Gold ripped into the splendid trio of "Sing For Your Supper," we would have believed anything." Michael Coveney - The Observer, 28 July '91
"The adaptation softens the character of Adriana - Louise Gold plays her delightfully, as a woman whose sexual potential is being far from fully tapped. There's an aura of surplus desire about her that is both comic and wistful. It's characteristic that at the end - Gold doesn't freak out but coos like a rampant dove." Paul Taylor - Independent, 26 July '91
"Falling In Love With Love", sung with exquisite sweetness by Louise Gold, a monument to precariously-controlled wifely patience…. But it is "Sing For Your Supper", trilled in harmony by Miss Gold, Gillian Bevan and Jenny Galloway, which stops the show. Do go." Jack Tinker - The Daily Mail, 25th July '91

Version 6

Boys from Syracuse (The) (1997-05-New York City Center) Encores! Concert

Type de série: Concert
Théâtre: New York City Center (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée :
Nombre : 0 previews - 5 représentations
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : jeudi 01 mai 1997
Dernière : dimanche 04 mai 1997
Mise en scène : Susan H. Schulman
Chorégraphie : Kathleen Marshall
Producteur :

Version 7

Boys from Syracuse (The) (2002-07-American Airlines Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: American Airlines Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 2 mois
Nombre : 29 previews - 73 représentations
Première Preview : mardi 23 juillet 2002
Première : dimanche 18 août 2002
Dernière : dimanche 20 octobre 2002
Mise en scène : Scott Ellis
Chorégraphie : Rob Ashford
Producteur :

 Pas encore de video disponible pour ce spectacle


1) 1938-12-Studio Cast
2) 1953-06-Studio Cast
3) 1963-04-Off-Broadway Cast

4) 1963-11-Original London Cast
5) 1997-05-Encores! Concert Cast