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Two By Two is a Broadwaymarker musical with a book by Peter Stone, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and music by Richard Rodgers.

Based on Clifford Odets's play The Flowering Peach, it tells the story of Noah's preparations for the Great Flood and its aftermath.

Directed by Joe Layton, the production opened on November 10, 1970 at the Imperial Theatremarker, where it ran for ten months. The opening night cast included Danny Kaye, Marilyn Cooper, Joan Copeland, Harry Goz, Madeline Kahn, Tricia O'Neil, and Walter Willison.

Reviews were mixed and Kaye, unhappy with the script, began to improvise on a nightly basis. His ad-libbed shtick and comic asides to the audience were crowd-pleasers, and word-of-mouth helped business. When he broke his foot, Kaye continued with the show, appearing at each performance either on crutches or in a wheelchair. Kaye's lack of professionalism and Rodgers' public grousing about the liberties he took with the script allegedly ruined his chances for a Tony Award nomination.

Willison was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, and he and O'Neil received Theatre World Awards for their performances.

Plot synopsis

On his 600th birthday, Noah receives a message from God, warning him about the impending flood. He is directed to save two of each animal and to build an ark for them. Noah's wife and family make fun of him as he starts to build the ark, but join in when it starts to rain.
The gitka
The "gitka" is a magical Old Testament species of mouse, created by Clifford Odets, that sings in the presence of God. The arrival of one convinces the family of Noah's story. It has no mate so they are unable to bring her aboard.


Act I
  • Why Me?
  • Put Him Away
  • The Gitka's Song
  • Something, Somewhere
  • Everything That's Gonna be has Been (Cut Number)
  • You Have Got to Have a Rudder on the Ark
  • Something Doesn't Happen
  • An Old Man
  • Ninety Again!
  • Two by Two
  • Gettin' Married (Cut Number)
  • I Do Not Know a Day I Did Not Love You
  • Something, Somewhere (Reprise)

Act II
  • When It Dries
  • Two by Two (Reprise)
  • You
  • Forty Nights (Cut Number due to demands of Danny Kaye who didn't want another male to have a funnier number than he)
  • The Golden Ram
  • Poppa Knows Best
  • The Brother Department (Cut Number)
  • The Death of Me (Cut Number)
  • I Do Not Know a Day I Did Not Love You (Reprise)
  • As Far as I'm Concerned
  • Hey, Girlie
  • The Covenant


  1. Hischak, pp.298-299
  2. Hyland, p. 297
  3. Two by Two on The Guide to Musical Theatre


  • Hischak, Thomas (2007). The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0313341400
  • Hyland, William (1998). Richard Rodgers. Yale University Press, ISBN 0300071159

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