Good News

Good News is a musical with a book by Laurence Schwab and B.G. DeSylva, lyrics by DeSylva and Lew Brown, and music by Ray Henderson. The show opened on Broadway in 1927, the same year as Show Boat, but its plot was decidedly old-fashioned in comparison to Show Boat’s somewhat tragic and (for the time) daring storyline involving gambling, desertion, and miscegenation. Good News spawned two films and a Broadway revival and still is performed occasionally. It proved to be DeSylva, Brown, and Henderson’s biggest hit out of a string of topical musicals.

The original Broadway production, directed by Edgar MacGregor and choreographed by Bobby Connolly, opened on September 6, 1927 at The 46th Street Theatre, where it ran for 557 performances, which was a very successful run, as few if any Broadway shows had reached 500 performances since 1919’s Irene. The cast included John Price Jones as Tom Marlowe, Mary Lawlor as Connie Lane, Gus Shy as Bobby Randall, and Inez Courtney as Babe O’Day. Donald Oenslager designed the production’s sets

World War I is over, the Roaring Twenties have arrived, women have won the right to vote, and college campuses, such as fictional Tait College, are as much a social scene as an academic one. Football is the big game, and star player Tom Marlowe is a prime catch. All the girls are interested in Tom, and vice-versa, although one society climber seems to have him in hand. Studious part-time school librarian Connie Lane doesn’t seem to have a chance and stays out of the fray. When Marlowe fails a final exam, he needs a tutor to help him pass so he can play in the big game on Saturday. Connie is selected to help keep his nose to the grindstone, and the two fall for each other. The couples’ romance can only endure if the team wins the big game.

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