Five Guys Named Moe
A jazzy, sexy tribute to legendary composer and saxophonist, Louis Jordan.
Show Essentials
6
Roles
PG
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

As the preshow music fades, a voice reminds the audience that recording devices are illegal, and the Sound Operator brings up "Rock Doc" over the system. At the conclusion of the song, a radio announcer's voice informs his listeners that they just heard Louis Jordan's "Tymphany 5." The curtain rises on a man, Nomax, listening to this radio station in his home with a bad case of the blues ("Early in the Morning").

At the end of the song, voices are heard offstage complaining about the noise, and, although Nomax screams back at the voice, he switches off the radio and gazes out the window. Suddenly, accompanied by a big bang and a puff of smoke, No Moe appears with four friends – Little Moe, Four-eyed Moe, Big Moe and Eat Moe ("Five Guys Named Moe"). In their introductory song, Nomax learns that they are the "greatest band around." Thoroughly confused, Nomax asks why they are in his house. They tell him that he's been abusing himself with cigarettes, booze and self-deception, and that they've come to straighten him out ("Brother, Beware"). In this song, the five guys teach a lesson on how to avoid getting hooked by a woman and call upon the audience for verbal support.

When the song ends, Nomax is ready to agree with them, but Little Moe turns the tables on Nomax and sets him straight, informing him that woman should be treated as partners and equals. Eat Moe challenges Little Moe's term, "equals," claiming that the woman he saw Little Moe with last week was so "humungous" that she could easily dominate him. The five guys proceed to reveal the joys of big women ("I Like 'Em Fat Like That").

Nomax is starting to lose his patience with the five Moes and wants them out of his house. They tell him that they can't leave until he "gets the message," and they sing him another song that is relevant to his life ("Messy Bessy"). In this song, a man begs his woman, Bessy, not to get "messy" or drunk, saying, "When you've had a couple of drinks, woman, you just might start a riot." Nomax, failing to see how this song has anything to do with him, adds that his woman doesn't even drink. They respond, "So who's the Messy Bessy in your house?"

Nomax tries to escape the five guys named Moe, but they sit him down and tell him about Jack and Jill ("Pettin' and Pokin'" / "Life Is So Peculiar"). These two newlyweds are always at each other's throats, and everyone sees them fighting and yelling all of the time. The thing that makes them different, however, is that they really love each other and love fighting together... and making up.

Finally, after a bit of bickering between Nomax and the five guys, No Moe asks Nomax to tell them what is going on with him and his woman ("I Know What I've Got"). Nomax reveals that he does, in fact, love his woman, for better or for worse, but that he "forgets" to tell her so. Four-eyed Moe tells him that he'd better tell her soon, or he'll lose her forever ("Azure Te").

Nomax admits that he hasn't always been the most considerate guy – forgetting birthdays and anniversaries, etc. – and he wonders if he ought to just start over with someone new. The Moes try to convince him that "lovin' and leavin'" ain't no way to live, and sing him a little song about being alone ("Safe, Sane and Single"). In this song, the boys joke about how a woman changes once she becomes a man's wife (and not for the better!). Nomax thinks that staying safe, sane and single sounds like a good idea, but the guys once again try to convince him that he's wrong. They tell him that he needs to stop taking people for granted; to stop being a Saigo boy. When Nomax asks what a Saigo boy is... they tell him ("Push Ka Pi Shi Pie"). This song involves the entire audience. Lyrics drop from the ceiling, and the Moes teach the refrain to the crowd while dropping a few one-liners along the way. The audience should forget themselves during this roaring good time and give in to the music, the dance and the "Push Ka Pi Shi Pie!"

At the end of the song, No Moe tells the audience to go have a drink and meet them back on the stage in fiteen minutes.

Act Two

Nomax and the group come back, feeling great and talking about a gig that they have to go to... and some more "work" they have to do on Nomax. First, they tell him about the good food, music and drinks that they once knew at the welcome-one-and-all parties in New Orleans ("Saturday Night Fish Fry"). Nomax agrees that fish fries sound like the way to party and he asks for another drink. This allows the five guys to confront him about his drinking problem ("What's the Use of Getting Sober When You're Gonna Get Drunk Again?").

Nomax is now listening and beginning to reflect upon his own life. In a sort of confession, he sings "If I Had Any Sense," which tells how he came to leave his home, his parents and his sweetheart. He knew he was headed down the wrong path, but he had too much pride to turn back. Nomax tells the guys that he is going to try to change. They reply that trying isn't good enough and tell him what his friends are saying about him ("Dad Gum Your Hide, Boy").

All of the above is happening on the way to a gig that the five Moes have. At the conclusion of the song, a drum roll is heard and The Five Guys Named Moe are introduced at the "Funky Butt Club" by an unseen announcer. This begins the show within the show, and includes the following songs: "Let the Good Times Roll," "Reet, Petite & Gone," "Calcedonia," "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens," "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'," "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," and "Look out, Sister." (This "show" includes much witty banter with the audience and several opportunities for audience participation.)

The Five Guys Named Moe close their show and find Nomax, who finally "gets it" and is ready to see his woman, Loraine, again. But is she ready to see him? ("Hurry Home," "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby," "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin' – Reprise").

Nomax is now on the phone, apologizing to Lorraine and telling her that he really loves her. Just before hanging up the phone, he tells Lorraine that he is on his way and smiles as he switches of the radio ("Five Guys Named Moe – Reprise").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Small (Up to 10 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Big Moe
An authoritative, stern, and wise Moe who is single and very large.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 60
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Eat Moe
A hungry Moe who is merry, optimistic, cheery and overweight.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 60
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Four-eyed Moe
The bespectacled, clear-sighten "leader" of the group who is irreverent and magnetic.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 60
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Little Moe
A small, single Moe who likes his chicks large. He is sensitive to his size and very short-tempered.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 60
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: C3
No Moe
A straightlaced, conservative, and high-classed Moe with a sense of humor.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 60
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Nomax
Gloomy young man who is depressed about his girlfriend issues. A naive, self-absorbed, deadbeat alcoholic who needs to get his life together.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Ab2
Full Song List
Five Guys Named Moe: Early In The Morning
Five Guys Named Moe: Five Guys Named Moe
Five Guys Named Moe: Brother Beware
Five Guys Named Moe: I Like Them Fat Like That
Five Guys Named Moe: Messy Bessy
Five Guys Named Moe: Pettin' And Pokin'/Life Is So Peculiar
Five Guys Named Moe: I Know What I've Got/Azure-Te
Five Guys Named Moe: Safe, Sane, And Single
Five Guys Named Moe: Push Ka Pi She Pie
Five Guys Named Moe: Saturday Night Fish Fry
Five Guys Named Moe: What's The Use Of Gettin' Sober/If I Had Any Sense I'd Go Back Home
Five Guys Named Moe: Dad Gum Your Hide Boy
Five Guys Named Moe: The Cabaret: Five Guys Reprise/Let The Good Times Roll/Reet, Petite, And Gone
Five Guys Named Moe: Caldonia
Five Guys Named Moe: Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens
Five Guys Named Moe: Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying
Five Guys Named Moe: Choo Choo Ch'Boogie
Five Guys Named Moe: Look Out Sister
Five Guys Named Moe: Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?

Show History

Inspiration

Five Guys Named Moe is a piece, written and conceived by Clarke Peters, that uses the music of Louis Jordan. Jordan was a pioneering songwriter and bandleader known as "The King of the Jukebox," and many say that his new slant on jazz music paved the way for rock and roll in the 1950s. Peters, an actor, singer and director, grew up in Harlem at the intersection of 155th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Remembering his love for the comic lyrics and jazzy beat of Jordan's music that emerged from his family radio throughout his childhood, Peters created Five Guys Named Moe as an homage to this musical giant.

The musical is roughly based on an early musical short of the same name from Jordan, himself. In the song, Jordan describes all five characters, which was the jumping-off point for Clarke's book. The result was a product that combined Jordan's music, audience participation, actor improvisation and pure entertainment.

Critical Reaction

"A big party with conga lines, sing-alongs and enough high spirits to send a small rocket into orbit. ...Call it an Ain't Misbehavin' with audience participation. Call it finger painting for the ear. Call it Godspell for the 1990s. It's that kind of show and that kind of love-fest. And, of course, skewed or not, it's Louis Jordan Louis Jordan, Louis Jordan, to be savored in direct proportion to one's willingness or desire to be drawn into the singing, dancing and general cutting up."
– The LA Times

"A show short on plot and long on fun, catchy music and lively singing and dancing by six extraordinary performers who just don t quit. ...It is all fun and play, yet it s also savvy and appropriately self conscious. ...They are downright unstoppable and their mega-watt energy is infectious."
– MLive

"A high-stepping, bright-voiced group of singers and dancers, who work up a sweat during the opening number and don t let up until the curtain comes down two hours later."
– The Herald Tribune

Olivier Award

1991 - Best Theatre Choreographer, Winner (Charles Augins)

Tony® Award

1992 - Book Of A Musical, Nominee (Clarke Peters)
1992 - Musical, Nominee (Cameron Mackintosh (producer))
1992 - Best Musical, Nominee (Five Guys Named Moe)
1992 - Best Book Of A Musical, Nominee (Clarke Peters)

Outer Critics Circle Award

1992 - Best Broadway Musical, Nominee (Five Guys Named Moe)

Connect

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
(Your organization)
presents
 
FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE
 
A Musical by CLARKE PETERS
featuring LOUIS JORDAN's Greatest Hits*
 
Originally Produced at the Theatre Royal Stratford East**
 
*No other credit shall be larger than the names PETERS and JORDAN.
**May be deleted on ads and leaflets only.
NOTE: Section I, Paragraph 4, of this contract should be amended to read:
"FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE is presented through special arrangement with
Cameron Mackintosh and Music Theatre International. All authorized
performance materials are supplied by Music Theatre International,
421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019."
 

ACT I

EARLY IN THE MORNING
(Louis Jordan/Leo Hickman/Dallas Bartley)

FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE
(Larry Wynn/ Jerry Breslen)

BEWARE, BROTHER, BEWARE
(Morry Lasco/Dick Adams/Fleccie Moore)

I LIKE 'EM FAT LIKE THAT
(Claude Dematriou/Louis Jordan)

MESSY BESSY
(Jon Hendricks)

PETTIN' AND POKIN' (Lora Lee)/
LIFE IS SO PECULIAR (Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen)

I KNOW WHAT I'VE GOT
(Sid Robin/Louis Jordan)

AZURE TE
(Bill Davis/Don Wolf)

SAFE, SANE & SINGLE
(Louis Jordan/Johnny Lange/Hy Heath)

PUSH KA PI SHI PIE
(Joe Willoughby/Louis Jordan/Dr. Walt Merrick)

ACT II

PUSH KA PI SHI PIE (Instrumental Reprise)

SATURDAY NIGHT FISH FRY
(Ellis Walsh/Louis Jordan)

WHAT'S THE USE OF GETTING SOBER
(Bubsy Meyers)

IF I HAD ANY SENSE
(R. McCoy/C. Singleton)

DAD GUM YA HIDE BOY
(Guy Browley, Jr.)

THE CABARET

FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL (Fleecie Moore/Sam Theard)

REET, PETITE AND GONE
(Spencer Lee/Louis Jordan)

CALDONIA
(Fleecie Moore)

AIN'T NOBODY HERE BUT US CHICKENS
(Joan Whitney/Alec Kramer)

DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING
(Jo Greene)

CHOO, CHOO, CH'BOOGIE
(Vaughn Horton/Denver Darling/Milton Gabler)

LOOK OUT, SISTER
(Sid Robin/Louis Jordan)

MEDLEY

HURRY HOME
(Joseph Meyer/Buddy Bernier/Robert Emmerich)

IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN'T MY BABY?
(S. Austin/Louis Jordan)

DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING (Reprise)

In addition, all programs in the United States shall include the following credits for the musical numbers:
EARLY IN THE MORNING
Written by Louis Jordan/Leo Hickman/Dallas Bartley
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE
Written by Larry Wynn/Jerry Breslen
By Permission of MCA?Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

BEWARE, BROTHER, BEWARE
Written by Morry Lasco, Dick Adams, Fleecie Moore
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

I LIKE 'EM FAT LIKE THAT
Written by Claude Demetriou/Louis Jordan
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

MESSY BESSY
Written by Jon Hendricks
By Permission of Hendricks Music, Inc.,
Administered by EMI April Music, Inc.

PETTIN' AND POKIN'
Written by Lora Lee
By Permission of Pic Corp.

LIFE IS SO PECULIAR
Written by Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen
By Permission of Famous Music Corporation

I KNOW WHAT I'VE GOT
Written by Sid Robin, Louis Jordan
By Permission of Pic Corp.

AZURE TE
Written by Bill Davis, Don Wolf
By Permission of Fred Ahlert Music Group

SAFE, SANE & SINGLE
Written by Louis Jordan, Johnny Lange, Hy Heath
By Permission of RYTVOC, Inc.

PUSH KA PI SHI PIE
Written by Joe Willoughby, Louis Jordan, Dr. Walt Merrick
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

SATURDAY NIGHT FISH FRY
Written by Ellis Walsh, Louis Jordan
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

WHAT'S THE USE OF GETTING SOBER
Written by Bubsy Meyers
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

IF I HAD ANY SENSE
Written by R. McCoy, C. Singleton
By Permission of WB Music Corp.,
As Administrator for Walden Music, Inc.

DAD GUM YA HIDE BOY
Written by Guy Browley, Jr.
By Permission of EMI Unart Catalog, Inc.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
Written by Fleecie Moore, Sam Theard
By Permission if RYTVOC, Inc.

REET, PETITE AND GONE
Written by Spencer Lee, Louis Jordan
By Permission of Pic Corp.

CALDONIA
Written by Fleecie Moore
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

AIN'T NOBODY HERE BUT US CHICKENS
Written by Joan Whitney, Alec Kramer
By Permission of The Bourne Company

DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING
Written by Jo Greene
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

CHOO, CHOO CH'BOOGIE
Written by Vaughn Horton, Denver Darling, Milton Gabler
By Permission of RYTVOC, Inc.

LOOK OUT, SISTER
Written by Sid Robbin, Louis Jordan
By Permission of Pic Corp

HURRY HOME
Written by Joseph Meyer, Buddy Bernier, Robert Emmerich
By Permission of Larry Spier, Inc.

IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN'T MY BABY?
Written by S. Austin, Louis Jordan
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division if MCA, Inc.

KNOCK ME A KISS
Written by Mike Jackson, Andy Razaf
Vocal and Orchestral arrangements by Reginald Royal
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing
A Division of MCA, Inc.
 

All programs in Canada must use credits on the following page.
EARLY IN THE MORNING
Written by Louis Jordan/Leo Hickman/Dallas Bartley
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE
Written by Larry Wynn/Jerry Breslen
By Permission of MCA?Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

BEWARE, BROTHER, BEWARE
Written by Morry Lasco, Dick Adams, Fleecie Moore
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

I LIKE 'EM FAT LIKE THAT
Written by Claude Demetriou, Louis Jordan
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

MESSY BESSY
Written by Jon Hendricks
By Permission of Hendricks Music, Inc.,
Administered by EMI April Music, Inc.

PETTIN' AND POKIN'
Written by Lora Lee
By Permission of Pic Corp.

LIFE IS SO PECULIAR
Written by Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen
By Permission of Famous Music Corporation

I KNOW WHAT I'VE GOT
Written by Sid Robin, Louis Jordan
By Permission of Pic Corp.

AZURE TE
Written by Bill Davis, Don Wolf
By Permission of Fred Ahlert Music Group

SAFE, SANE & SINGLE
Written by Louis Jordan, Johnny Lange, Hy Heath
By Permission of RYTVOC, Inc.

PUSH KA PI SHI PIE
Written by Joe Willoughby, Louis Jordan, Dr. Walt Merrick
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

SATURDAY NIGHT FISH FRY
Written by Ellis Walsh, Louis Jordan
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

WHAT'S THE USE OF GETTING SOBER
Written by Bubsy Meyers
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

IF I HAD ANY SENSE
Written by R. McCoy, C. Singleton
By Permission of WB Music Corp.,
As Administrator for Walden Music, Inc.

DAD GUM YA HIDE BOY
Written by Guy Browley, Jr.
By Permission of EMI Unart Catalog, Inc.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
Written by Fleecie Moore, Sam Theard
By Permission if RYTVOC, Inc.

REET, PETITE AND GONE
Written by Spencer Lee, Louis Jordan
By Permission of Pic Corp.

CALDONIA
Written by Fleecie Moore
By Permission of Cherio Corp.

AIN'T NOBODY HERE BUT US CHICKENS
Written by Joan Whitney, Alec Kramer
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING
Written by Jo Greene
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division of MCA, Inc.

CHOO, CHOO CH'BOOGIE
Written by Vaughn Horton, Denver Darling, Milton Gabler
By Permission of RYTVOC, Inc.

LOOK OUT, SISTER
Written by Sid Robbin, Louis Jordan
By Permission of Pic Corp

HURRY HOME
Written by Joseph Meyer, Buddy Bernier, Robert Emmerich
By Permission of Larry Spier, Inc.

IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN'T MY BABY?
Written by S. Austin, Louis Jordan
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing,
A Division if MCA, Inc.

KNOCK ME A KISS
Written by Mike Jackson, Andy Razaf
Vocal and Orchestral arrangements by Reginald Royal
By Permission of MCA Music Publishing
A Division of MCA, Inc.
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK10
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE2
STUDY GUIDE1

Production Resources

Resource
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO-DIGITAL SCRIPT/SCORE
REFERENCE RECORDING
STAGE WRITE APPLICATION
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIDEO SAMPLER

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
DRUMSCLAVE , COWBELL , KIT , WOOD BLOCK
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , TENOR SAXOPHONE
TROMBONE
TRUMPET