I Do! I Do! (musical)

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I Do! I Do!
Music Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics Tom Jones
Book Tom Jones
Basis Jan de Hartog play The Fourposter
Productions 1966 Broadway
1982 US Television
1996 Off-Broadway revival

I Do! I Do! is a musical with a book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt which is based on the Jan de Hartog play The Fourposter. The two-character story spans fifty years, from 1895 to 1945, as it focuses on the ups and downs experienced by Agnes and Michael Snow throughout their marriage. The set consists solely of their bedroom, dominated by the large fourposter bed in the center of the room.


Robert Preston and Mary Martin

For producer David Merrick, who initially presented the play on Broadway, I Do! I Do! was an ideal investment in that it had neither expensive sets and costumes nor a large cast. After four previews, the Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, opened on December 5, 1966 at the 46th Street Theatre, and closed on June 15, 1968 after 560 performances. Mary Martin and Robert Preston comprised the original cast. Carol Lawrence and Gordon MacRae played matinees starting in October 1967[1] and then replaced Martin and Preston in December 1967.[2]

Martin and Preston starred in a national tour, originally scheduled to play 27 cities for one year, starting in March 1968 in Rochester, New York. However, in February 1969 Martin became ill and the remainder of the tour was cancelled.[3] Carol Burnett and Rock Hudson also starred in a national tour, appearing during Burnett's hiatus from her television show in 1973[4] and again in 1974 at The Muny, St. Louis, Missouri[citation needed] and in Dallas.[5]

A film adaptation, written by Champion and starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, was announced by United Artists in 1969 but, following the commercial failure of several movie musicals, the project was abandoned in the spring of 1970.[6] A television version with Lee Remick and Hal Linden was broadcast in 1982.

A 1996 Off-Broadway revival at the Lamb's Theatre was directed by Will Mackenzie and starred Karen Ziemba and David Garrison.[7] It ran for 52 performances.[8]

The show is frequently presented by regional theatres across the United States, because of the minimal cost of mounting it. A production at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in Chanhassen, Minnesota ran for more than 20 years with leads David Anders and Susan Goeppinger, who eventually married during their run. This set the American record for a play running with the original cast.[9]

Song list[edit]

The original cast album was released by RCA Victor. Ed Ames had a major hit with his recording of the song "My Cup Runneth Over."


In his review for The New York Times, Walter Kerr wrote that the stars were "great." Martin has "several funny little vocal tricks...and always...with that mellow sound that comes from her throat like red wine at room temperature." Preston is "at his untouchable best when the show asks him to be pompous, and blissfully obtuse." The work of the director is noted: "Then, courtesy of Gower Champion, there are all those engaging things the two do together...one of them is literally the soft-shoe to end all soft-shoes, because it is done with no shoes at all." Kerr further wrote that the material was "on the whole barely passable, a sort of carefully condensed time capsule of all the cliches that have ever been spawned by people married and/or single...the lyrics are for the most part remarkably plain-spoken."[10] In reviewing the new cast of Carol Lawrence and Gordon MacRae, Clive Barnes wrote in The New York Times that they "exerted a certain charm." The musical is "very slight indeed...Carol Lawrence was more than [Martin's] equal. She did the younger scenes with less cuteness and her acting had a depth unusual in a musical. Mr. MacRae...has a better if more conventional voice."[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1967 Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
Best Lyricist and Composer Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Robert Preston Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Mary Martin Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Gower Champion Nominated
Best Scenic Design Oliver Smith Nominated
Best Costume Design Freddy Wittop Nominated

1996 Off-Broadway revival[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1996 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical David Garrison Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Karen Ziemba Nominated


  1. ^ Funke, Lewis. "New of the Rialto", The New York Times, October 22, 1967, p. 117
  2. ^ a b Barnes, Clive. "Theater: A Reappraisal", The New York Times, November 28, 1967, p. 54
  3. ^ Davis, Ronald L."'I Do!I Do!' "Mary Martin, Broadway Legend (2008), University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN 0-8061-3905-6, pp. 241-242
  4. ^ Suskin, Steven."Carol Burnett"Second Act Trouble (2006), Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN 1-55783-631-0, p. 95
  5. ^ "Dallas Theater"Texas Monthly, June 1974, p. 108
  6. ^ Gilvey, John Anthony."A Most Peculiar Lady"Before the parade passes by:Gower Champion (2005), Macmillan, ISBN 0-312-33776-0, pp. 206-207
  7. ^ Brantley, Ben."Till Death Do Them Part, Again", New York Times (March 29, 1996)
  8. ^ I Do! I Do! on the Internet Off-Broadway Database
  9. ^ Freeman, Patricia and Nelson, Margaret."6,500 'I Do's' Make for One Sturdy Marriage for Susan Goeppinger and Fellow Actor David Anders" people.com, May 1, 1989, Vol. 31 No. 17
  10. ^ Kerr, Walter. "Theater: Musical 'I Do! I Do!' Arrives", New York Times, December 6, 1966, p.58

External links[edit]