1976 - 1977
Dames at Sea
Dames at Sea is a delightful small-cast musical parody of the beloved 1930s movie musicals which often starred Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler, with unforgettable dance extravaganzas created by Busby Berkeley for movies such as 42nd St., Dames and the Gold Diggers series. A young Bernadette Peters played Ruby when Dames at Sea ran off-Broadway in 1968.
Young Ruby arrives at a Broadway theatre from Utah with only her tap shoes and a prayer in her heart as temperamental diva Mona is dress-rehearsing for a show called, of course, Dames at Sea. When Ruby faints from hunger she is rescued by a young sailor, Dick, who has also retrieved her suitcase from the bus terminal. Ruby is immediately assigned to the chorus of the show because a showgirl has eloped. Ruby and Dick fall in love when they discover they are both from Centerville, Utah. Dick is also a composer and writes a song for Ruby, but Mona is jealous. Dick’s sailor pal Lucky arrives, an old beau of friendly wise-cracking cast member Joan. They sing about a “Choo Choo Honeymoon”. Ruby sings Dick’s praises as “The Sailor of My Dreams” in a letter to President Roosevelt. But alas, producer Hennessey brings bad news that the theatre is sold and to be demolished the next day. The sailors come up with a plan to move the show to their ship and everyone begins to pack up for the move.
As Act Two begins, we are aboard the battleship. Mona, recalling an old romance with the Captain, vamps him into letting them perform the show aboard the ship. Then she pursues Dick again, to the despair of Ruby, whose heart is breaking as she and the cast sing “Raining in My Heart” amidst many twirling umbrellas. Dick once again writes a production number, “Singapore Sue”, which is immediately added to the show. When Mona becomes seasick the leading role is given to – wait for it! – Ruby. She and the cast bring out all the red, white and blue for the grand finale, “Star Tar”. A new star is born! Ruby even receives a congratulatory telegram from President Roosevelt. The show ends with a triple wedding: Ruby and Dick, Lucky and Joan, Mona and the Captain as they all sing “Let’s Have A Simple Wedding”.
Director: Peter Cochrane
Musical Director, Orchestra: John McGovern
Choreographer: Susie Bregg