The Most Happy Fella


The Most Happy Fella


Book, Music and Lyrics by  Frank Loesser
Based on They Knew What They Wanted by Sidney Howard

Three or More Acts, Book Musical, Thru Sung / Operetta, Rated PG
Original Broadway Version (1956)

Frank Loesser (GUYS AND DOLLSHOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING) scored his greatest artistic triumph with this touching, dramatic and intensely personal love story about a middle-aged vintner, Tony, whose mail-order marriage proposal is accepted under the girl's mistaken assumption a photo of his young, handsome foreman is her intended husband.

Her hurt and humiliation when she learns the truth, as well as a terrible accident which nearly kills Tony as he hurries to meet her, almost ends the relationship before it begins, but a loving understanding blossoms between them during Tony's long convalescence.

Filled with sweeping ballads, intense dramatic arias and tuneful, splashy Broadway-style numbers, this ambitious "Broadway opera" has found a home on opera and musical theatre stages alike. Its sizable score showcases strong singers, including a mature operatic baritone and a young soprano ingénue for the two lead roles. The rest of the large cast consists of a winsome comic duo for the secondary leads and a host of other compelling characters. The show's lasting popularity has led to two Broadway revivals, the latter with a two-piano accompaniment that is available for rental.

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The musical that garnered the most Tony nominations is The Producers, the new Mel Brooks musical (2001), with 15. Company (1971) received 14 nominations and won six Tonys.

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