Run Time: Two hours and 27 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
Hello, I must be going!
Hurrah for Captain Spaulding, the African explorer, skirt chaser and wise-cracking guest of honor at a posh Long Island house party. High jinks meet high society when he and his cronies mix it up with social climbers and stolen paintings. Written for the Marx Brothers, this slapstick madcap musical busts out with zany songs and lavish dance numbers. Released as a film after the 1929 Wall Street crash and recently adapted, it proves that you can’t keep an anarchic comedy full of pungent one-liners down.
Audience notes: Strobe lights, e-cigarettes and e-cigars are used in this production. There is the sound of gun shots.
Society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse has opened her Long Island estate to honor Captain Spaulding, the African ex-plorer, and to exhibit the famous Beaugard painting, “After the Hunt.” Not to be outdone, Mrs. Rittenhouse’s social rivals, Mrs. Whitehead and her sister Grace, set out to humiliate her. They convince Hives, the butler, to steal the painting and replace it with Grace’s obviously inferior imitation.
At the same time, reporter Mary Stewart urges down-on-his-luck painter John Parker to exhibit his copy of the Beaugard in order to prove his artistic talent. Mary enlists Emanuel Ravelli and the Professor, two dubious musi-cians, to steal the painting and replace it with John’s obviously excellent copy.
Complications ensue as gossip columnist Wally Winston discovers that financier Roscoe W. Chandler is actually Abie Kabibble, a fish peddler from “Czecho-Slovakia.” A scoop this big will surely get him a raise so he can marry Mrs. Rittenhouse’s daughter, Arabella.
Or will it?
The estate gets turned upside down when all three paintings go missing. Schemes get made and foiled, and no one’s quite sure who stole what from whom when. Absurdities abound as everyone inhales sleeping gas, Spaulding dreams of Madame DuBarry and “four of the three musketeers” sing “My Old Kentucky Home”—in French.