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Karen Mason, Chris Hoch, et al. Set for ARMS AND THE GIRL Reading, 5/26


UnsungMusicalsCo. Inc. ( will present a special exploratory reading of the 1950 musical comedy Arms and the Girl as part of The Archival Project, a UMC initiative aimed at researching, assembling and restoring the material from unpublished and out-of-print musical shows.

Directed by Callaway Award nominee Nick Corley (Flight, Tall Grass), and with musical direction by Rick Hip-Flores (Jacques Brel...), the reading cast will now include Drama Desk nominee Karen Mason (Mamma Mia, Wonderland), Chris Hoch (La Cage..., Shrek), Don Burroughs (Three Men on a Horse), Christopher Harrod, and Rebekah Melocik

They join the previously announced Traci Bair (Annie), Cicily Daniels (The Little Mermaid, Caroline, or Change), John Jellison (Memphis, All Shook Up), Kevin Vortmann (A Little Night Music), Tiffany Westlie ("The Truth About Jane") and Laura Woyasz (Wicked, Thoroughly Modern Millie).

The reading will be held on May 26 at 3pm at Manhattan Theatre Club's Creative Center, 311 West 43rd Street. To attend the reading and receive invitations to future UMC readings, visit

Based on the play The Pursuit of Happiness by Lawrence Langner and Armina Marshall, the musical has a book by Tony Award winners Herbert and Dorothy Fields (Annie Get Your Gun) and Rouben Mamoulian (Porgy and Bess), music by Pulitzer Prize winner Morton Gould (Billion Dollar Baby) and lyrics by Ms. Fields (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn).

A delightful musical comedy set during the Revolutionary War, Arms and the Girl tells the charming tale of Jo Kirkland, a fiery patriotic tomboy who haphazardly falls in love while aiming to save the Continental Army from a British spy!

The reading restores the original libretto and score with additional arrangements by Mr. Hip-Flores. Two cut songs - "Vintage of ‘76" and "Johnny Cake" - have been reinstated as the act one and two openings, respectively.

The original Broadway production of Arms and the Girl opened on February 2, 1950 at the 46th Street Theatre. Produced by The Theatre Guild, directed by Rouben Mamoulian and choreographed by Michael Kidd, the musical starred Nanette Fabray, Georges Guetary and Pearl Bailey. It received favorable reviews and played 134 performances. The score was originally to have been written by Burton Lane, who "resigned" four months prior to the start of performances due to "personality and opinion" differences with the Fields. As reported by the NY Times, a week following the opening, Pearl Bailey announced that she was quitting because of "anti-Negro remarks" made by persons not in the cast but associated with the musical. However, Mr. Mamoulian got involved and persuaded her to remain with the show; without his mediation, she said, "I'd have walked out the door."



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