1998 – Call Me Madam

Call Me Madam

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin. Book by Howard Lindsey and Russell Crouse.

 

Monday, 11th May to Saturday, 16th May, 1998
The Spadesbourne Suite, Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove.

This was the first (and only to date) show under the direction of Paul Milton.

Cast And Credits

 

 

  • Stage Director and Choreographer: Paul Milton
  • Musical Director: Alan Biddle
  • Sally Adams: Lynda Dunn
  • Cosmo Constantine: Malcolm Dunn
  • Kenneth Gibson: J. Paul Murdock
  • Princess Maria: Sue Thomas
  • Sebastian Sebastian: Mike Faulkner
  • Pemberton Maxwell: George Brooks
  • Hugo Tantinnin: David Shaw
  • Miss Phillips: Pam Crawley
  • Grand Duchess Sophie: Hillary Holland
  • Grand Duke Otto: Ian G. Cox
  • Henry Gibson: Norman Briers
  • Secretary Of State Acheston: Frank Fawcett
  • Senator Gallagher: David Holland
  • Congressman Wilkins: John Teece
  • Senator Brockbank: David Pavely

 

Synopsis

 

Sally Adams, a brash Washington hostess, is suprisingly made ambassador to Lichtenburg, a small and very poor Duchy in central Europe. She appoints Kenneth Gibson as her young assistant to go with her as a political favour to his father.

Her brash approach is disconcerting to the rather stuffy society of Lichtenburg, except to Cosmo Constantine, the Foreign Minister, who falls in love with her. Cosmo is an idealist who does not want his country ‘Americanised’, unlike his political opponents who would dearly like a dollar grant.

Sebastian, the wily Prime Minister, tricks Sally into obtaining a loan much to the dismay of Cosmo, who resigns, causing a general election.

Meanwhile, the other love interest between the Princess Maria and Kenneth is promoted by Sally, which puts her in disfavour with the Grand Duke and Duchess. Sally also commits the cardinal diplomatic sin of campaigning for Cosmo in the elections. This interference in the politics of another country results in her being recalled to Washington in disgrace.

Kenneth and the Princess marry and Kenneth builds a hydro-electric plant which solves Lichtenburg’s economic problems.

Cosmo is elected as Prime Minister and on a state visit to America proposes to Sally.

Song List

 

Act 1:

  • Mrs Sally Adams (Ensemble)
  • The Hostess with the Mostess (Sally)
  • Washington Square Dance (Sally & Ensemble)
  • Lichtenburg (Cosmo)
  • Can You Use Any Money Today (Sally)
  • Marrying For Love (Cosmo & Sally)
  • The Ocharina (Maria, Maxwell & Ensemble)
  • It’s A Lovely Day Today (Kenneth & Maria)
  • The Best Thing For You Would Be (Sally)

Act 2:

  • Something to Dance About (Sally and Ensemble)
  • Once Upon A Time Today (Kenneth)
  • They Like Ike (Wilkins, Brockbank & Gallagher)
  • You’re Just In Love (Kenneth & Sally)
  • It’s A Lovely Day Today – reprise (Kenneth & Maria)
  • Mrs Sally Adams – reprise (Ensemble)
  • You’re Just In Love – reprise (Kenneth & Sally)

Irving Berlin

Born May 11th 1888, Temum, Siberia, Russia.
Died May 11th 1989, New York aged 101.
Originaly named Isreal Isadore Baline.

Call Me Madam was Irving Berlin’s follow up to Annie Get Your Gun, And was first staged in 1950. He is best remembered, however, for the biggest selling song of all time, White Christmas.

What The Press Said

 

Song for Europe

Common Market developements have tended to date the story about the USA coming to the financial rescue of a struggling European country – with or without the help of the impressionable Ambassador Sally Adams.

The musical’s major asset, however, is the timeless popularity of Irving Belin’s catchy songs. Coupled with appealing performances by leading cast members the outcome is a value for money package.

Lynda Dunn’s warm personality makes her an obvious choice as the American Ambassador sent to help struggling Lichtenburg. She strike a happy medium between brash dominance and subtle persuasion.

Sue Thomas has a sweet singing voice as Princess Maria and Malcolm Dunn (Cosmo), J. Paul Murdock, George Brooks and Mike Faulkner are prominent performers.

Review by Pete Swingler for the Birmingham Evening Mail

Call Me Madam

This is not one of Irving Berlin’s (or mine) most popular shows but this production was by far the best I have seen, Lynda Dunn “Sally” and real life husband Malcolm “Cosmo” were excellent and led a very strong cast. Paul Murdock “Kenneth” was also outstanding and has a very good baritone range. Sue Thomas was a lovely “Princess Maria”. The other principals and chorus together with excellent orchestral backing completed a most accomplished performance. Thank you Bromsgrove for a very enjoyable evening.

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