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For the 1954 film version, see Top Banana .


Top Banana is a 1951 musical produced by Paula Stone and Mike Sloane that won comedian Phil Silvers a Tony award in 1952. The musical features music and lyrics by Johnny Mercer and book by Hy Kraft. The original cast co-starred Rose Marie, Lindy Doherty, Jack Albertson, Bob Scheerer and Ted "Sport" Morgan. It was released in a film version by United Artists in 1954.

The show opened on November 1, 1951 at the Winter Garden Theatremarker in New York City, New Yorkmarker and closed on October 4, 1952 with a total of 350 performances.

The Broadway production was directed by Jack Donohue and choreographed by Ron Feitcher. Vocal arrangements and direction by Hugh Martin, musical direction by Harold Hasting, and orchestrated by Don Walker. Scenic and lighting design by Jo Mielziner, Costume Design by Alvin Colt.

The Broadway Cast



Synopsis

Jerry Biffle is the star of the Blendo Soap Program. He has been invited to participate in an autograph-signing party for his new book at an important department store. Jerry meets Sally Peters, one of the department store models, and makes her part of his TV troupe. As part of his campaign to court Sally, Jerry gets Cliff Lane, the tenor of his TV company, to sing to her over the phone. When Sally and Cliff meet, they fall in love, with Biffle ignorant of the complications.

Biffle engineers a big publicity wedding between Cliff and "a girl," not knowing that Sally is the girl. To further complicate his life, Jerry learns that he is about to lose his sponsor. The publicity elopement between his girl and Cliff almost shatters his entire career and life.

When it seems that his whole world will cave in, Jerry's sponsor comes up with a new format for the Blendo program and, as far as Jerry is concerned, the day is saved.

Trivia

It was assumed by many at the time that the play was written as a thinly-veiled parody of Milton Berle, who began hosting the Texaco Star Theater on television in 1948. Later, Berle performed the song "Top Banana" on the Muppet Show with Fozzy Bear.

Songs Featured

  • Man of the Year This Week
  • You're So Beautiful That...
  • Top Banana - Joey Faye, Phil Silvers
  • Elevator Song
  • Only If You're in Love - Judy Lynn
  • My Home Is in My Shoes - Bob Scheerer, Ensemble
  • I Fought Every Step of the Way - Rose Marie
  • O.K. for TV - Judy Lynn, Phil Silvers
  • Slogan Song - Rose Marie, Phil Silvers
  • Meet Miss Blendo - Company
  • Sans Souci - Rose Marie, Ensemble
  • That's for Sure - Judy Lynn
  • Dog Is a Man's Best Friend - Phil Silvers
  • Word a Day - Rose Marie, Phil Silvers
  • Finale - Company


References




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