Gay Divorce

Gay Divorce (1932)

Musical: Gay Divorce (Ethel Barrymore Theatre, NY & Shubert Theatre, NY)
Published/Performed: Nov 29, 1932 - Jul 1, 1933

Author: Dwight Taylor
Born: Jan 1, 1902 New York City, NY
Passed: Dec 31, 1986 Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, CA

Film: The Gay Divorcee
Released: 1934

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About the Musical Gay Divorce:

Gay Divorce is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Dwight Taylor, adapted by Kenneth Webb and Samuel Hoffenstein. It was Fred Astaire's last Broadway show and featured the hit song "Night and Day" in which Astaire danced with co-star Claire Luce.

It was made into a musical film by RKO Radio Pictures in 1934, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and renamed The Gay Divorcee.

Astaire's sister Adele retired from showbusiness and married Lord Charles Cavendish after her last show with Fred, The Band Wagon (1931). When the producers of Gay Divorce asked Fred to star in the show, he deferred an answer until he could spend the summer of 1932 wooing his future wife, Phyllis, in London. He finally agreed, and rehearsals began in September 1932.[1] The show was both Astaire's last Broadway musical (after which he moved to Hollywood) and also his only stage musical without Adele. Also in the cast were Erik Rhodes and Eric Blore who soon became famous in the early 1930s RKO comedies.

Gay Divorce opened in pre-Broadway tryouts at the Wilbur Theatre, Boston on November 7, 1932 and then moved to the Shubert Theatre, New Haven on November 21, 1932. It opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on November 29, 1932 and transferred to the Shubert Theatre on January 16, 1933 and closed on July 1, 1933 for a total run of 248 performances. Directed by Howard Lindsay with choreography by Barbara Newberry and Carl Randall, and set design by Jo Mielziner, the cast featured Fred Astaire as Guy Holden, Claire Luce as Mimi, Luella Gear as Hortense, G. P. Huntley Jr as Teddy, Betty Starbuck as Barbara Wray, Erik Rhodes as Tonetti, Eric Blore as Waiter, and Roland Bottomley as Pratt.

The show opened in the West End at the Palace Theatre on November 2, 1933 and ran for 180 performances. It was directed by Felix Edwardes with Astaire, Luce, Rhodes and Blore reprising their roles. They were joined by Olive Blakeney as Gertrude Howard, Claud Allister as Teddy, Joan Gardner as Barbara Wray and Fred Hearne as Octavius Mann.

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Featured Cast (Names and Roles) of the Film The Gay Divorcee: