A smash hit for Flo Ziegfeld in 1928 on Broadway and again in 1930 for Samuel Goldwyn, Whoopee! made Eddie Cantor an even bigger star than he already was and gave the world two of the greatest songs of the first half of the 20th century, "Makin' Whoopee" and "Love Me Or Leave Me". A thoroughly goofy story of rivalry, car (and horse) chases, threatened violence, and true love, Whoopee! is a gem of a show that is a lot like 1930 Bolton/McGowan/Gershwin beaut Girl Crazy only with a whole lot of hypochondria thrown in! William Anthony McGuire's book is a gas, and Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson's songs are an outright hoot in classic, saucy 1920s musical comedy style. We're not talking deep here, but man are we having fun!
Bob Wells, the sheriff of Mission Rest, Arizona, the scene of our story, is preparing to marry local beauty Sally Morgan from the Bar M Ranch, but she loves her childhood friend Wanenis, the Dartmouth-educated son of the chief of a local tribe of native Americans. Since Sheriff Bob has made it clear that he'll kill her love if he comes anywhere near town, Sally flees the wedding with hypochondriac Henry Williams (who has come out West to die) leaves a note saying they've eloped! Chasing them are jilted Bob, Henry's nurse Mary (who's totally in love with him and knows he isn't dying) and plenty of others. All, of course, works out for the best in this best of all musical comedy worlds!
August 8, 2015
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A smash hit for Flo Ziegfeld in 1928 on Broadway and again in 1930 for Samuel Goldwyn, Whoopee! made Eddie Cantor an even bigger star than he already was and... More info at www.oregonfamily.com/events/64721/whoopee
The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts 868 High Street , Eugene, OR 97401