Book, Music and Lyrics by
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's most ambitious and romantic musical tells the heart-stopping story of unlikely love that blossoms in Napa Valley.
From the composer of GUYS AND DOLLScomes this touching, dramatic and intensely personal love story. Your heart will be warmed
by this May-December romance when a city bride is wooed by an aging
Italian grape farmer who nearly botches everything until his true
through. With a gorgeous score and spirited dancing, it’s a simple
and touching love story that makes for an extraordinary night of
Tony, a middle-aged vintner, makes a mail order marriage proposal which 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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Kelsey Grammer, who plays Scrooge in the Menken/Ahrens "A Christmas Carol" on NBC in 2004, was in a workshop production of the musical "Sunday in the Park with George" when he read for the guest role of Crane in "Cheers."