Plain and Fancy

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Plain and Fancy
Music Albert Hague
Lyrics Arnold Horwitt
Book Joseph Stein
Will Glickman
Productions 1955 Broadway
1956 West End

Plain and Fancy is a musical comedy with a book by Joseph Stein and Will Glickman, lyrics by Arnold Horwitt, and music by Albert Hague. One of the first depictions of an Amish community in American pop culture, it includes a traditional barn raising and an old-fashioned country wedding.


The Broadway production, directed by Morton DaCosta and choreographed by Helen Tamiris, opened on January 27, 1955 at the Mark Hellinger Theater. It was produced by Richard Kollmar. A month later it transferred to the Winter Garden, where it remained for slightly more than eight months before returning to the Mark Hellinger to complete its run of 461 performances. The cast included Richard Derr as Dan, Shirl Conway as Ruth, Will Able as Jacob, Gloria Marlowe as Katie, Douglas Fletcher Rodgers as Ezra, Barbara Cook as Hilda, and David Daniels as Peter. Bea Arthur understudied Conway and Carol Lawrence was among the chorus members.

The West End production opened on January 25, 1956 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where it ran for 315 performances. The cast included Jack Drummond, Joan Hovis, Malcolm Keen, Grace O'Connor, Michael Craze, and Virginia Somers.

Since 1986, The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana has staged Plain and Fancy every year as part of its repertory program. To date it has been performed by the company more than 3,500 times. Richard Pletcher, founder and producer, dedicated the theatre's stage to Joseph Stein in 1996 following its production of The Baker's Wife.

In 2006, the York Theatre Company in New York City worked with librettist Joseph Stein to reduce the show to a 13-character musical, and this new version was produced as part of the company's Mufti Theatre series directed by David Glenn Armstrong. It starred Cady Huffman, Charlotte Rae, Nancy Anderson, Jack Noseworthy, Erick Devine, Jordan Leeds, and Sara Delaney.

Plot synopsis[edit]

New York City sophisticates Dan King and Ruth Winters travel to Bird-in-Hand in the Amish country of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to sell a piece of property to Jacob Yoder, who intends to present it to his daughter Katie and her intended Ezra as a wedding gift. While there, they become involved with the local villagers, including Hilda Miller, who mistakes Dan's kindness for romantic overtures, and Ezra's banished brother Peter, who returns to claim the hand of his childhood sweetheart - Katie.

Song list[edit]


Original cast recordings of both the Broadway and London productions were released.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1956 Theatre World Award Shirl Conway Won
Barbara Cook Won
David Daniels Won

External links[edit]