Babes in Arms (Guare)
Babes in Arms (Guare)
Music by Rodgers, Richard | Lyrics by Lorenz Hart | Book by Rodgers & Hart | Adapted by John Guare
The 1937 version of Rodgers & Hart's BABES IN ARMS is the quintessential 'Hey, kids, let's put on a show!' musical, boasting one of the greatest scores ever written. A group of teenagers are left without adult supervision when their folks hit the vaudeville summer circuit, and the local sheriff is determined to send the loafers to a work farm. But the determined kids talk the sheriff into a two-week reprieve, just enough time to produce their own show and prove their mettle. The son of a wealthy Southerner agrees to bankroll the production but only on the condition that the two black kids (roles created by the legendary Nicholas Brothers) not appear in the show. The other kids are outraged, but of course the show must go on and does, in a succession of comeuppance, reconciliation and romance. The old-fashioned virtues of a 30's musical comedy are peppered with socio-political issues which have remained resonant for more than six decades, and which later became the hallmark of Rodgers' collaboration with Hammerstein. But it's the sophisticated jocularity that make his musicals with Hart utterly unique, propelling these talented teens in their onward march toward self-discovery. The 1959 adaptation by George Oppenheimer is also available. Please specify which version you would like when ordering.
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About The Show

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Trivia for Babes in Arms (Guare)

In 1937 Rodgers & Hart's musical BABES IN ARMS had its New York premier at the Shubert Theatre before moving to the Majestic Theatre for a total of 289 performances.
In 1895 Lorenz Milton Hart was born in New York City. In 1918 he was introduced to Richard Rodgers, and they collaborate on twenty six Broadway musicals over the next two decades, including A CONNECTICUT YANKEE (1927), BABES IN ARMS (1937), I MARRIED AN ANGEL (1938), THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE (1938), PAL JOEY (1940), and BY JUPITER (1942).

 Press for Babes in Arms (Guare)

  • Quotes
"The show is charming, the numbers sizzle, what more can you ask?" — The Cincinnati Enquirer, January 01, 1998
"BABES IN ARMS is almost too enjoyable for a theatergoer's good!" — Ben Brantley, The New York Times, January 01, 1999
"A score that is altogether superb...fresh, youthful, and utterly captivating." — The New York Times, January 01, 1937
"Pace, humor and presence that belies its age...there hasn't been a musical written in this decade with anywhere near as many first class numbers." — The Day, January 01, 2007
"Pace, humor and presence that belies its age...there hasn't been a musical written in this decade with anywhere near as many first class numbers." — The Day, January 01, 1986
"It is cheering to rediscover the authentic joys of this 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical. An exhilarating hymn to youth... Hart's acerbic wit perfectly counterpoints Rodgers' innate romanticism, and his lyrics are a triumph of ingenious wordplay." — Michael Billington, The Guardian, January 01, 2007
"A pleasant outing featuring one of Broadway's most memorable scores."

— Jonas Schwartz — Jonas Schwartz, Theatermania, January 01, 2003

Musical Numbers for Babes in Arms (Guare)

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Writers Notes for Babes in Arms (Guare)

Written By: Ray Heatherton

"It was very exciting: hearing and seeing that fabulous score come alive, having the thrill of introducing 'Where Or When' in the first eight minutes of the show, being the first 'Funny Valentine' (my character's name was 'Valentine'). Our cast included Alfred Drake, Mitzi Green, a chorus boy named Dan Dailey who later became a star, the Nicholas Brothers who were then appearing at the Cotton Club, though they were both just kids, and my future wife.

What else do I remember about BABES IN ARMS? Coming fresh from radio where I had been singing with some modest success to audition for the new Rodgers and Hart musical; walking through the stage door in Shubert Alley, backstage of the Shubert Theatre; presenting myself to the stage manager and waiting for my cue to go out on the big, bare stage; looking out on a sea of blackness, where we all know the monsters who devour poor performers like me dwell. The stage manager announced my name and I stepped out of the wings, hat in had (my security blanket) and sang a ballad -- I don't remember which one. Then a voice from the back asked if I had a rhythm number. I responded with an old Rodgers and Hart tune, 'I've Got Five Dollars' from one of their earlier shows.

When I finished my songs a voice said, 'Thank you very much' and I walked off -- not knowing whether they liked me or despised me. As I got to the wings, little Larry Hart, who had run from the audience up the side aisle to backstage, grabbed me by the arm and with great enthusiasm said, 'You're the one we want, now don't ask for too much money, you're great!' -- the most beautiful words I ever heard!"

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Rental Materials for Babes in Arms (Guare)


  • BABES IN ARMS (GUARE) - Orchestration - (18 Books/20 Players)
    • 1 – Piano I
    • 1 – Piano-Conductor
    • 1 – Piano II
    • 1 – Reed I (Flute and Piccolo)
    • 1 – Reed II (Oboe and English Horn)
    • 1 – Reed III (Alto Sax, Flute, Clarinet)
    • 1 – Reed IV (Alto Sax and Clarinet)
    • 1 – Reed V (Tenor Sax and Clarinet)
    • 1 – Reed VI (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bassett Horn [Opt.])
    • 1 – Trumpet I
    • 1 – Trumpet II
    • 1 – Trumpet III
    • 1 – Trombone
    • 1 – Drums/Percussion (1 Player - see "Materials Notes", under "Production Information")
    • 1 – Violin I (Divisi)
    • 1 – Violin II (Divisi)
    • 1 – Cello (Divisi)
    • 1 – Bass
  • BABES IN ARMS (GUARE) - Pre-Production Pack - (2 Books)
    • 1 – Piano-Conductor
    • 1 – Libretto-Vocal
  • BABES IN ARMS (GUARE) - Rehearsal Set - (22 Books)
    • 20 – Libretto-Vocal
    • 1 – Logo CD
    • 2 – Piano-Conductor
    • Digital Logo


  • BABES IN ARMS (GUARE) - Libretto-Vocal 10-Pack - (10 Books)
    • 10 – Libretto-Vocal

Cast Requirements for Babes in Arms (Guare)

3 Girls
5 Boys
1 Man

2 Women
3 Boys
3 Men

Singing-dancing ensemble as desired.

Val LaMar - our hero
Billie Smith - our heroine
Marshall Blackstone - Val's best friend
Dolores Reynolds - the Sheriff's daughter
Gus Fielding - a forceful friend of the Sheriff's daughter
Baby Rose - a former Hollywood child star
Irving de Quincy - half of an Afro-American dance team
Ivor de Quincy - his little brother, the other half of the dance team
Peter - who believes in Communism
Lee Calhoun - the son of a rich Southern Colonel
Beauregard Calhoun - his little brother
The Gang - Boys and Girls of the Ensemble
Dan LaMar - Val's dad, a vaudevillian
Maizie LaMar - Val's mom, a vaudevillian
Nat Blackstone - Marshall's dad, a vaudevillian
Emma Blackstone - Marshall's mom, a vaudevillian
Sheriff Reynolds - Dolores' father
Rene Flambeau - a French aviator
Phil McCabe - a radio announcer

Set Requirements for Babes in Arms (Guare)

BABES IN ARMS takes place in Seaport, Long Island during the Great Depression.

The LaMars' House in Seaport, Long Island
The Oscar W. Hemmingway Post of the American Legion
The Clubhouse
The Living Room of the Calhoun mansion
The Old Red Barn
A Barn on the Work Farm
The LaMar's Field

Materials Notes

Traps, 2 Timpani, Vibes, Xylophone, Gong, Sleigh Bells, Muffled Drum, Horse Whip, Cowbells, Chinese (Temple) Blocks, Wood Block, Oriental Drum

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