Most Happy Fella

The Most Happy Fella is a musical with a book, music, and lyrics by Frank Loesser. The story, about a romance between an older man and younger woman, is based on the play They Knew What They Wanted by Sidney Howard. The original Broadway production ran for 14 months and it has enjoyed several revivals, including one staged by the New York City Opera.

Loesser’s friend recommended the Howard play They Knew What They Wanted as material for a musical in 1952.

After he read it, he agreed it had musical potential, but decided to omit the political, labor, and religious material. It took him four years to complete the musical.

The heart-warming story of the ageing, shy and self-deprecating Italian fruit grower Tony, living in California, and the San Francisco waitress Rosabella, who he courts by mail. During his convalescence after a car accident, he wins through his sincerity.

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