Hit the Deck (musical)

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Hit the Deck is a musical with music by Vincent Youmans, lyrics by Clifford Grey and Leo Robin and book by Herbert Fields.[1] It was based on the play Shore Leave by Hubert Osborne. Overall, it ran for 352 performances.[1] The title refers to a nautical slang term that means to prepare for action (general) or to drop to a prone position on the ground (as a defensive response to hostile fire).

The original production was staged at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway on April 25, 1927. Charles King played Bilge and Louise Groody played Loulou. The show's co-producers were Youmans and Lew Fields, and Lew Fields co-directed with Alexander Leftwich. The production ran for 352 performances.[2]

The first London production opened at the Hippodrome on July 3, 1927 and ran for 277 performances. It starred Stanley Holloway.[3][4] In The Manchester Guardian, Ivor Brown praised Holloway for a singing style "which coaxes the ear rather than clubbing the head."[5]


Act I
  • Join the Navy – Loulou, Gobs and Girls
  • What's a Kiss Among Friends? – Toddy, Charlotte, Alan and Girls
  • Harbor of My Heart – Loulou and Bilge
  • Shore Leave – Chorus
  • Lucky Bird – Lavinia
  • Looloo – Loulou and Boys
  • Why, Oh Why? – Charlotte and Chorus
  • Sometimes I'm Happy (Sometimes I'm Blue) – Loulou and Bilge
Act II
  • Hallelujah! – Lavinia and Chorus
  • Hallelujah! (Reprise) –Lavinia
  • Looloo (Reprise) –Loulou and Boys
  • Utopia – Loulou and Bunny

Film adaptations[edit]

1955 film, "Hit The Deck"

Two films based on the musical were made. The first was in 1930 and starred Jack Oakie.[6] It was remade in 1955 with a slightly different screenplay and differently named characters. It starred Jane Powell and Tony Martin.[7]


  1. ^ a b Soul, Keeping (5 December 2010). "Malcolm Lowry @ The 19th Hole: Hit The Deck 1927". Malcolmlowryatthe19thhole.blogspot.com. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  2. ^ Hit the Deck, IBDB database, accessed 16 March 2012
  3. ^ "Stanley Holloway The English Entertainer In Hit The Deck". Gettyimages.co.uk. 1927-07-03. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  4. ^ "Hit the Deck", The Times, 4 November 1927, p. 7
  5. ^ Brown, Ivor. "Hit the Deck", The Manchester Guardian, 4 November 1927, p. 15
  6. ^ Hall, Mordaunt. "New York Times: Hit the Deck". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  7. ^ "New York Times: Hit the Deck". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-08-18.