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The Marx Brothers

Of Thee I Sing

This show had a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind and music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. It premiered in New York on 26 December 1931 and ran for 441 performances. It's a hilarious and melodious send-up of American politics, starring John P. Wintergreen (who runs for President on a platform of love), Vice-President Throttlebottom (who wanders the White House unrecognised by his own staff), Diana (the winner of the beauty pageant and the intended bride of the President) and Mary (the secretary who bakes the best corn muffins). The score includes such standards as the title song, Who Cares? and Love Is Sweeping The Country.

Kaufman and Ryskind were involved in several of the Marx Brothers' plays and films and many times during the 30s there were rumours that the Marxes would film Of Thee I Sing as well. It was apparently close both during the work with Duck Soup and then again in the deal with RKO which produced Room Service (planned to be the first in a series of Marx films for RKO) but in the end it came to nothing.