Jerome Kern's 1917 Musical, Have a Heart, Gets NYC Concert Staging, May 4-16

News   Jerome Kern's 1917 Musical, Have a Heart, Gets NYC Concert Staging, May 4-16
The obscure Jerome Kern musical, Have a Heart, is the next revival in concert by Musicals Tonight!, the Off Broadway piano-and-voice series on East 14th Street.

The May 4-16 production, produced by MT! founder Mel Miller, is, Miller said, the first time the show has been seen in 87 years. The songlist includes such little-known titles as "It's a Sure Sign," "You Said Something," "My Wife My Man," "Napoleon," "Daisy" and "I See You There."

Kern would go on to make musical theatre history with Show Boat, recognized as a major step in the development of musical theatre.

The 1917 plot of Have a Heart (book by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, lyrics by Wodehouse) concerns ex-spouses Ruddy and Peggy, who are in love with each other all over again, much to the chagrin of the soon-to-be-wife's parents, who try to thwart the reunion by hiring a detective to help get dirt on the husband (or, technically, ex-husband). Other potential mates for Ruddy and Peggy also complicate matters.

The cast includes Christopher Guilmet (Ruddy), Jenn Morse (Peggy), Evelyn Page, Robert Sevra, Larry Brustofski, Ellie Mooney, James Patterson, Jon Peterson, Martina Vidmar, Melissa Gietzen, Jenny Milsap, Andrea Rae, Richard Rowan and Julia Tilley.

Performances play The MainStage of the 14th Street YMHA. For more information, call (212) 868-4444 or visit *

According to Musicals Tonight! notes, "Appropriately sub titled The-Up-To-The-Minute Musical Comedy, Have A Heart was the first teaming of Jerome Kern, P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton who would go on to create the legendary Princess Theatre musicals. The show opened at the Liberty Theatre on Jan. 11, 1917 and only ran for 76 performances. The show faced stiff competition during the 1916-1917 theatre season when 25 musicals opened on Broadway. The short run was also caused because the star performer, Billy B. Van, was hired away by a competing producer."

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