Revenge with Music

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Revenge with Music
Sheet music cover (cropped)
Music Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics Howard Dietz
Book Howard Dietz
Productions 1934 Broadway

Revenge with Music is a musical comedy with book and lyrics by Howard Dietz and music by Arthur Schwartz, that opened on Broadway in 1934. This was the first "book" musical by Dietz and Schwartz.

Background and production[edit]

Dietz, inspired by a trip to Spain, wrote his libretto based on the Spanish novel El Sombrero de Tres Picos by Pedro de Alarcon. The duo had wanted to write something other than the revues they had been doing. The musical takes place in Spain in 1800, and involves a young Spanish couple, played by Libby Holman, as Maria a young, new bride, and Georges Metaxa as Carlos, her new groom. The story is based on a Spanish folk tale about seduction.[1] Carlos seeks revenge on Don Emilio, the Spanish governor, for his attempt at seducing newly-wed Maria on their wedding night, by seducing the governor's willing wife, Doña Isabella.[2]

Produced by Arch Selwyn and Harold B. Franklin, the Broadway production, opened on November 28, 1934 at the New Amsterdam Theatre for a total of 158 performances. The production had a brief closure from December 15, 1934 until December 24, 1934 to permit one of the leads, Charles Winninger, recover from a broken ankle so that he could return to his role without having to use crutches.[3]

The dance ensembles were by Michael Mordkin, direction by Theodore Komisarjevsky, orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett. The cast starred Charles Winninger as Don Emilio, Ilka Chase as Doña Isabella, Libby Holman and Georges Metaxa.[4]

The composers and members of the Broadway cast presented a 30-minute condensed version of Revenge with Music over station WABC of the CBS radio network in December 1934.[5] The show was adapted again for NBC radio's The Railroad Hour in 1950, with Gordon MacRae and Nadine Conner in the leads.[6]

Although this show was considered a failure, it included two hit songs "You and the Night and the Music" and "If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You."[7] The former was used again in The Band Wagon.

A Revenge with Music medley was the subject of the first recording session by Andre Kostelanetz and his orchestra, on Victor Records' 12-inch release 36142, in November, 1934.[8]



  1. ^ Green, Stanley. The World of Musical Comedy (1984), Da Capo Press, ISBN 0-306-80207-4, p. 166
  2. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (2009). "Broadway Plays and Musicals: Descriptions and Essential Facts of More Than 14,000 Shows through 2007, "4530. Revenge with Music"". Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 386. ISBN 978-0-7864-3448-0. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Variety, "Another Tough Break for Frankwyn"". December 11, 1934. p. 54, Column 2. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ "IBDB: Internet Broadway Database, "Revenge with Music"". Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Variety, Radio Reports section, "Revenge with Music"". December 11, 1934. p. 38, Column 3. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs: The Railroad Hour". Retrieved August 8, 2015. 
  7. ^ Furia, Philip, Lasser, Michael L. America's songs (2006), CRC Press, ISBN 0-415-97246-9, p. 123
  8. ^ "The Online 78rpm Discographical Project: Victor Records, 36000 Series". Retrieved August 8, 2015. 

External links[edit]