Cole Porter's Nymph Errant
Cole Porter's Nymph Errant
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“Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant” features one of Porter’s most sexy, witty and sophisticated scores in this sleek, hilarious new musical. From a Swiss boarding school, to a French seaside resort, to a Parisian jazz club, to an Austrian nudist colony, to a Venetian palace, to a Greek battlefield, to a Turkish harem, to an Arabian desert, to the Folies in Paris, follow the outrageous adventures of young Eve Edwards and her international school chums as she sets off an a world-wide adventure, vowing to experiment before she returns home to Oxford and her betrothed. This new adaptation is a fresh take on a rarely-heard gem, chock full of terrific Porter tunes.


SYNOPSIS


ACT I

Scene 1: Miss Pratt encourages Eve and the Girls (Madeline, Pidge, Bertha and Henrietta), who are graduating from boarding school, to experiment.  In Oxford, Aunt Erymntrude and Reverend Pither dispute Eve’s moral purity, as Oliver, Eve’s betrothed, listens with concern. Instead of returning home to her aunt and fiancée, Eve sets off on a world-wide adventure. (“Experiment”)

Scene 2: Andre de Croissant is entranced by Eve, and vows to make her a star in his musical revue. She runs off to Neauville-Sur-Mer with him. Throughout her travels, Oliver follows Eve, unseen, and the Girls offer advice. (“It’s Bad For Me”)

Scene 3: Eve watches a preview of Andre’s revue, and bumps into Madeline, who charms Andre, who abandons Eve. She is given advice by Clarissa, and meets Alexei. She runs off to Paris with him. Oliver follows. “(Girls”) (“The Cocotte”) (“ Neauville-Sur-Mer”)

Scene 4: Eve bumps into Pidge, who owns the club where Haidee performs. Pidge is growing weary of her beau Heinz. When Alexei succumbs to Haidee’s charms, Eve runs off to Austria with Heinz. Oliver follows. (“Red, Hot and Blue”) (“The Physician”) (“Dizzy Baby”) (“Back to Nature”)

Scene 5: Eve bumps into Bertha, who has fallen in love with Fraulein Krauthammer. When Alexei makes unwanted advances, Eve is rescued by Count Ferdinand. She runs off to Venice with him. Oliver follows. (“Sweet Nudity”)

Scene 6: Eve bumps into Henrietta, whose mother, Mrs. Bamberg, wants her to marry the Count. The Count introduces Eve to Constantine, and Eve, abandoning her goal to remain pure, runs off to Greece with him. Oliver follows. (“They’re Always Entertaining”) (“Cazanova”) (“The Boyfriend Back Home”) (“Dizzy Baby”-reprise) (“Nymph Errant”)

Act II

Scene 7: Ignored by Constantine, Eve bumps into Bertha, who has lost Krauthammer. When Constantine is killed in the war, Eve is taken to a Turkish harem by Vassim, a warrior. Oliver follows. (“Ruins”) (“Dance Specialty”) (“You’re Too Far Away”) (“Back to Nature” - reprise)

Scene 8: Eve is bored by the lack of attention she receives at the harem, and attempts to seduce Ali, a eunuch. She bumps into Bertha and Haidee. She runs off to the desert with Ben, an American plumber. Oliver follows, as Krauthammer arrives to help Bertha liberate the women in the harem. (“Solomon”)

Scene 9: Eve attempts to seduce Ben, who is more interested in plumbing. She asks him to take her to Paris, the city of sin. Oliver follows. (“You’re Too Far Away” - reprise) (“Plumbing

Scene 10: In Paris, Eve bumps into Miss Pratt, who is performing in Andre’s revue, and Madeline, who is the star. She also bumps into Pidge, Heinz, Clarissa, Haidee, Alexei and Vassim who show up at the Le Folies. She decides, at long last, to return to Oxford. Oliver follows. (“Si Vous Aimez Les Poitrines”) (“Paree”) (“Dizzy Baby” - reprise)

Scene 11: Eve arrives home, to Aunt Erymntrude and Reverend Pither’s relief.  She and Oliver reunite, even though they’ve never really separated. (“How Could We Be Wrong”) (“Experiment reprise)

QUOTE


It's a frothy mix of racy innuendo (for the time) and exotic adventure.

–Fern Seigel, Huffington Post


SONG LIST

  1. Experiment
  2. It's Bad for Me
  3. Girls
  4. The Cocotte
  5. Red, Hot and Blue
  6. The Physician
  7. Dizzy Baby
  8. Back to Nature
  9. Sweet Nudity
  10. They're Always Entertaining
  11. The Boyfriend Back Home
  12. Nymph Errant
  13. Ruins
  14. Dance Specialty
  15. You're Too Far Away
  16. Back to Nature (Reprise)
  17. Solomon
  18. You're Too Far Away (Reprise)
  19. Plumbing
  20. Si Vous Aimez Les Poitrines
  21. Paree
  22. Dizzy Baby (Reprise)
  23. How Could We Be Wrong

Characters:

The Girls: 

Eve—British. Naïve, but curious.

Pidge—British. Hale and hearty. 

Henrietta—American. Sassy and robust.

Bertha—German. Athletic. Sapphist. 

Madeline—French. Sensual.  

The Women: 

Miss Pratt—British. A prim professor. 

Clarissa—French. A “cocotte,” ie, lady of the night 

Haidee—Brash American. Resiliant 

Mrs. Bamberg—A brassy American. 

Aunt Ermyntrude—British. Older. Crusty.

Professor Krauthammer–German. Physically fit. 

The Men: 

Oliver–British. Rugged. A gardener.

Reverend Pither—British. Older. Crusty.

Andre De Croissant—French. Dapper.

Alexei—Russian. Shaggy. Intense 

Heinz—German. Even more intense. 

Count Ferdinand—Italian. A charmer.

Constantine—Greek. A lover. 

Vassim – Turkish. A warrior, with flair. 

Ali—Persian. A eunuch. 

Ben—All-American guy. 

Note: Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant can be performed with a minimum of 10 actors, with 21 actors if no roles are double-cast, or more if you want a big chorus. The Girls should not be double cast, as they make frequent appearances throughout. The show can be performed with or without an interval. The show should be performed with shamelessly broad comic accents. 

Race is open for all characters

Setting: Switzerland; Oxford; a train compartment; the Coast of France; Paris; Austria; Venice; Greece; Turkey; Asia

 

Rob Urbinati is a freelance director and playwright based in New York City. He has directed at The Public Theater, Culture Project, Abingdon Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Pearl Theatre, New York University and theatres and universities across the country. He is Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre. Rob’s plays include Hazelwood Jr. High, West Moon Street and Death by Design, published by Samuel French, who will also be publishing Rebel Voices and Mama's Boy. UMW:University of Mostly Whites, is published by Steel Springs Stage Rights, who will also be publishing The Queen Bees and Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant. New work includes Miss Julie in Hollywood, a bilingual adaptation of Strindberg's play. His book, “Play Readings: A Complete Guide for Theatre Practitioners” was published by Focal Press/Routledge. Rob is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. His plays have received over 160 productions world-wide.

Cole Porter(Music & Lyrics) was born in Peru, Indiana in 1891. He attended Yale, where his football songs are still popular. After the failure of his first Broadway show, he lived in Europe where he met and married legendary beauty Linda Thomas. Returning to NY in the late 1920s, he gained renown for composing many of the greatest songs for stage and screen, among them “Night and Day”, “You’re the Top”, “Begin the Beguine” and “I Get a Kick Out of You”. His 1930s were highlighted by such Broadway offerings as Anything Goes, Gay Divorce, and Jubilee. A crippling riding accident in 1937 left him in constant pain, yet he continued to write memorable scores, among them Can Can, Silk Stockings, High Society and his masterpiece, Kiss Me Kate. He died in California in 1964.

James Laver (1899–1975) was an English author, critic, art historian, and museum curator who acted as Keeper of Prints, Drawings and Paintings for the Victoria and Albert Museum between 1938 and 1959. He was also an important and pioneering fashion historian described as "the man in England who made the study of costume respectable" and author of Nymph Errant, published in 1932.

Nymph Errant is an adaptation of the titular novel by James Laver, with a book written by Romney Brent and music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Though Laver’s 1932 novel, the story of a young girl travelling throughout Europe in hopes of losing her virginity, provoked some controversy, it nonetheless became a best-seller. The musical adaptation, featuring Porter’s impeccable songwriting and the acting talents of Gertrude Lawrence, opened in London’s West End in 1933 and ran 154 performances. After Noel Coward turned down the offer to write the music in Nymph Errant, producer Charles B. Cochran asked Porter, who later considered it his best score as well as his favorite show. Being distinctly English in its worldliness and sense of humor, it did not premiere in America until 1982 at the Equity Liberty Theatre in New York City.

Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote. 

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant, click here.

“There are songs in Cole Porter’s score for the 1933 musical Nymph Errant, which has been reconstituted by the enterprising Prospect Theater Company, that chime with the unmistakable wit of Porter at his smartest and gayest — in the original meaning of that word.” –Charles Isherwood, New York Times 

“Cole Porter’s musical Nymph Errant comprises one of his very best scores.” –John Simon, Westchester Chronicle

Screwball comedy is an art -- and it reached its apex in the Thirties. Cole Porter's 1933 Nymph Errant sets the genre to music. It's a frothy mix of racy innuendo (for the time) and exotic adventure. It’s best described as a lark.” –Fern Seigel, Huffington Post

“There’s something for everyone here, so sit back and be prepared for the unexpected.” Oscar E. Moore, Talk Entertainment

Nymph Errant is an entertaining look at one woman’s quest for independence and liberation. It’s silly. It’s preposterous. And it’s fun. The songs are filled with literary and cultural references that are often hilarious. Nymph Errant is an engaging romp. If you’re looking for an entertaining night out, it’s a safe bet.”–Eleanor J. Bader, Theatre Is Easy

Nymph Errant has a remarkably witty and melodic Porter score made up mainly of specialty numbers on love and sex, mostly of rarely heard songs.” –Victor Gluck, Theatre Scene.Net

“With 28 musical numbers including the entire original score, this should be a must for devotees of the Cole Porter canon. And watch out for Eve’s apple from first to last!” –Victor Gluck, Theatre Scene.Net

“Romance and adventure greet a young woman as she travels through Europe on her way home to Oxford, England from her finishing school in the 1933 musical, Nymph Errant. Boasting a bevy of tunes by Cole Porter, the show couldn't be more buoyant musically. It's light-as-air travel.” –Andy Propst, Theatremania


“I very much looked forward to seeing Nymph Errant and wasn't the least bit disappointed.” –John Clum, Theatre Reviews

“Frankly, I was entertained. A lot of thought went into this production, and I'm pleased that there was an intelligent take on it. My compliments to the chefs! “ –Peter Filichia, Broadway Radio

Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.

The required materials for Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant include:

 

Production Scripts, Piano/Conductor Score

 

Orchestrations: Bass, Drums, Violin, Reed,

 

Available Products:

 

Print Edition – Beautifully bound scripts available at wholesale costs to sell in your lobby!

 

Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.


Logo Pack – Includes high-resolution artwork, ready-designed posters, and reference photos.

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