Me and My Girl
Picture Credit: Caithion, program
English Title: Me and My Girl
Japanese Title: ミー＆マイガール
Romanized Title: Mii & Mai Gaaru
Performances: Grand Theater, 8/11 - 9/25; Tokyo Theater, 12/1 - 12/26
Based On: Me and My Girl book and lyrics by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber, music by Noel Gay
Translation: Shimizu Shunji
Director/Composer: Ohara Hirotoshi, Miki Akio
Choreographer: Yamada Taku
Shinjin Kouen Director: Katou Makoto
Available on DVD: Yes (release date 7/20/06)
DVD Scene/Music Cut: None
|Shinjinkoen Cast (Act 1)
|Shinjinkoen Cast (Act 2)
|Sir John Tremayne
|Maria, Duchess of Dene
|Sir Jasper Tring
|The Honorable May Miles
Other Cast: Asahi Mari, Akatsuki Nagisa, Kouki Subaru, Koshi Haruki, Ujou Kaoru, Takachiho Mai, Matsunami Mitsuru, Kai Chihiro, Konami Azusa, Kazusa Mahiro, Misato Maya, Yuuki Kaoru, Hanaoka Miyuki, Matsudaira Rubi, Wakae Yuki, Mizuho Tamaki, Takashou Mizuki, Takamure Ayu, Nashiro Aoi, Suzuna Mio, Jouka Azuki, Mahoroba Yuu, Honami Aria, Mizushima Aoi, Tsubura Hitomi, Misugi Chika, Subaru Kazuki, Kitajima Mami, Kaji Yuuki, Ayazono Yuki, Nana Marika, Sonomiya Reina, Hanazuki Aya, Shizuki Kou, Haruna Rio, Dan Rei, Kitahara Rima, Minashiro Hikari, Taiju Maki, Kou Suzuka, Akane Mitsuki, Arika Jun, Kazaho Yuuri, Sakuma Yuki, Narumi Jun, Kanon Shiori, Ayura Kao, Asagi Yuuna, Asama Moyu, Murasakino Yuki, Akizuki Shou, Hanakage Misaki, Sono Mikage, Hanase Mizuka, Madoka Sakura, Isshiki Ruka, Takigawa Sueko, Keiju Mana, Ayadori Kanna, Chigusa Kotomi
WARNING!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!
(Extracted from the Original Broadway Cast album liner notes.)
The time is the late 1930s, and our story begins with a giddy throng of young Mayfair swells journeying by motorcar from London to Hampshire. As they ride they anticipate the delights of "A Weekend at Hareford," especially because of the expected appearance of the long-lost heir to the Earldom of Hareford. No one at Hareford Hall, however, is more anxious to meet him than Lady Jaqueline Carstone who, though engaged to the simpering Gerald Bolingbroke, makes no secret of her desire to snare the Earl for herself (''Thinking of No-One But Me").
At a conference of the Hareford clan, family solicitor Herbert Parchester relates the unfortunate tale of the 13th Earl who had secretly wed, and soon parted from, a woman beneath his station. With both of them now deceased, the title and the estate pass on to the Earl's son whom Parchester has located and who is waiting outside. The only hitch: the heir must be deemed a fit and proper person by the two executors of the will, Maria, Duchess of Dene and Sir John Tremayne.
The young man is summoned and he turns out to be Bill Snibson, a pugnacious Cockney ne'er-do-well from Lambeth, complete with bobbing brown bowler, loud checkered suit and flaming red scarf. ("Where do you live?," Lady Jaquie asks him. "I live in a distant village called London." "What part?" "All of me.") This, however, does not faze the determined Duchess who, much to the consternation of Sir John and the others, is certain that she can make Bill into a proper gentleman. But there is another hitch: Bill has brought along his girlfriend, Sally Smith, also from Lambeth. This is too much, even for the Duchess.
With Bill off to fetch Sally, the Hareford relatives listen to Parchester's bouncy advice to "Bring your troubles more and more to The Family Solicitor," then follow him as he skips merrily about the room. After they have adjourned to the library, Sally enters with Bill. Dazzled by her surroundings, she feels out of place, but Bill quickly reassures her, "Nobody is going to part Me and My Girl." That of course, is a song cue, and the twosome join in singing the lilting little number, followed by a snappy buck-and-wing which ends with the pair tapping on top of a long table.
Predictably, the servants are appalled that Bill isn't "An English Gentleman," and they are uncomfortable when he visits them in the kitchen. Bill, however, is even more uncomfortable when Lady Jaquie, in a revealing negligee, tries to seduce him on a drawing room sofa, where they are caught in an embarassing position by Gerald and Sally. This really convinces Sally that Bill would be better off without her, until they share their emotions in the tender ballad, "Hold My Hand" - only to be interrupted by the dancing weekenders in tennis garb.
Nothing daunted, the Duchess presses on with her plans for Bill as she gives him lessons in how to speak and behave at a party she is planning in his honor. Sally, of course, will not be invited. At the Hareford Arms pub, Sir John tries to persuade the unhappy girl that both she and Bill should go back to Lambeth, but he is deeply moved when Sally reveals how strongly she feels in the plaintive "Once You Lose Your Heart."
Just before the formal party is to be held on the terrace of Hareford Hall, the Duchess, Sir John, Lady Jaquie, Gerald and others await Bill's arrival. Bill enters in formal attire, regally waving his hand, putting on exaggerated airs, and speaking with a clipped Oxonian accent as he meets the guests. (Dowager to Bill: "Do you know my daughter, May?" Bill to dowager: "No, but thanks for the tip.") Suddently Sally shows up in an outrageous busker outfit and introduces her Lambeth mates to the startled toffs. She announces that she is going back where she belongs and Bill agrees to go too, saying, "We can't walk the Mayfair way any more than they can walk the Lambeth Way."
Then, blimey, if he doesn't lead both Cockneys and swells in "The Lambeth Walk" - strutting, prancing, kicking, cocking their thumbs and shouting "Oi!" in the proper manner - and soon they are all spilling out beyond the stage and up and down the theatre's aisles. By the time the scene is over, even the Duchess has had a go at it.
In the Hareford garden the following afternoon, Lady Jaquie, Gerald, and other pleasure-seekers are playing croquet as they sing and dance the jolly hip-hip-hip-hooray number, "The Sun Has Got His Hat On." Reason enough, indeed, why everyone is wearing a hat. Despite their previously expressed intention to leave, Bill and Sally have remained at Hareford. Sir John, who is now firmly on their side, wants them to marry, and Sally responds with a chipper bit of philosophy, "Take It on the Chin" ("Cultivate a little grin and smile").
Because he must soon make his maiden speech in the House of Lords, Bill, in coronet and "vermin'-collared scarlet cape, is in the library rehearsing. Sally tells him to marry someone with good blood ("What are you, anemic?"), and, alone just before leaving for London, she reprises "Once You Lose Your Heart." Returning with Bill, the Duchess explains the meaning of "noblesse oblige" and the importance of being a Hareford ("Song of Hareford"), a sentiment in which she is joined by Bill and the marching shades of his ancestors who descend from their picture frames. While they are alone together, Bill and Sir John, unhappy that the Duchess is so unyielding about Sally, get properly soused as they sing a swinging ode to the power of love ("Love Makes the World Go Round").
Back in Lambeth, Sally receives a telegram from Bill advising that he is chucking everything to be with her. She also receives a visit from Sir John offering his help at beating the Duchess at her own game. How can Sally do it? Simply by staying at the home of a speech professor he knows who lives on Wimpole Street. Sally leaves before Bill appears in white tie and tails - to explain to a policeman that he is "Leaning on a Lamppost" not because he is loitering but because he's hoping that "a certain little lady comes by." Sure enough, Sally does come by but it's only in Bill's imagination as he envisions the two of them gliding and twirling through the misty street.
Hareford Hall is once again the scene of another spiffy party. Now despairing of Bill because he does nothing but moon about his Lambeth love, the Duchess finally comes to realize how much Sally means to him. In her new mellow mood, she accepts Sir John's offer of marriage, and even Gerald gets Lady Jaquie to accept his offer. Bill enters in his Lambeth duds, informs one and all that he's finally decided to go home, and runs upstairs to pack.
To everyone's amazement, Sally arrives elegantly attired in tiara and white shimmering gown and speaking the King's English. (Sir John's reaction: "I think she's got it!") After Bill comes downstairs, Sally hides her face with her fan as she speaks to him. Once she reveals her identity, Bill can only blurt out - more in relief than in anger - "Where the bleedin' 'ell 'ave you been?" (Finale).
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