Where’s Charley? 1963

The Napier Operatic Society

Proudly Presents
FRANK LOESSER’S BROADWAY SUCCESS

Where’s Charley?

Book by
GEORGE ABBOTT

Music and lyrics by
FRANK LOESSER
Based on Brandon Thomas’ “Charley’s Aunt”

MUNICIPAL THEATRE. NAPIER
MARCH 30th – APRIL 6th
HASTINGS, APRIL 17th – 20th
MATINEES:-
NAPIER 30th MARCH and
6th APRIL.

Produced by DAVID ROSSITTER.   Souvenir Programme 1/6

Broadway and London’s Funniest Musical

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THE NAPIER OPERATIC SOCIETY
Established October, 1882.
An affiliate of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, London.
A foundation member of the N.Z. Federation of Operatic Societies.

OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY   1963
Patron: Dr R.H. BETTINGTON.   President: PETER COX Esq.   Vice-President: RON STEEL Esq.
Hon. Life Members: CEDRIC WHITE, Esq., PERCY SORRELL, Esq., MILLICENT SORRELL, EDWARD C. COLLIER, Esq., HAZEL COLLIER.
Executive Committee:
COLLEEN PATTERSON, PATRICIA ROUSE, R.B. WRIGHT, N. TOLHURST, I. McLEAN, D. ELTON, REG. JOHNSON, D. ANDERSEN.

“WHERE’S CHARLIE?”

SYNOPSIS
First London Performance – Thursday, 20th February, 1958, at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.

THE STORY AND BACKGROUND OF THE PLAY
“Where’s Charley?” is the musical adaptation of “Charley’s Aunt,” which must surely be the most successful play ever written. Theatregoers could be forgiven for accepting such a sweeping statement with a considerable degree of scepticism and so, in an endeavour to substantiate so extravagant a claim, and because it presents a fascinating slice of theatrical history, we sketch below a brief outline of the “Aunt’s” incredible background.

The author of “Charley’s Aunt,” Brandon Thomas, tailored the play to measure for W.S. Penley, one of the top comedians of Victorian England. They had met by chance on a train and Penley, who admired Thomas’ work as a serious dramatist and who was looking for something fresh for his own comic repertoire, asked him to write ” a pretty little three-act comedy with plenty of fun in it.”

Thomas jumped at the chance, for Penley’s name on a programme was almost a guarantee of full houses. He wrote “Charley’s Aunt” in three and a half weeks, but due to Penley’s other acting commitments it was two years before she first flounced on stage. It finally opened on February 29, 1892, in the small Suffolk town of Bury St Edmunds. It continued to play in the provinces for ten months, until a theatre became vacant in London. No backer could be found, however, who was interested in financing a London production, but at the last moment Thomas ran to earth a company promoter willing to guarantee the sum demanded to lease the theatre.

Finally, with second-hand sets and home-made costumes (the entire production costing no more than £100) the “Aunt” left the provinces and opened at the Royalty Theatre, Soho, on December 21, 1892. Next morning the critics pulled out their superlatives, and in the next few weeks hansom cabs and broughams were smashed in the crush of ticket hunters. The manager of the theatre next to the Royalty sought an injunction to stop the crowds blocking his doors, and Penley, sued for “carrying on the theatre in such a way as to cause a nuisance,” had to employ three policemen to handle the traffic. Within a month the play moved to the bigger Globe Theatre in the Strand, where it ran for 1466 performances.

Since that London opening the “Aunt” has never stopped playing – there has never been a single weekday when it has not been playing somewhere. At one time it was running simultaneously in forty-eight theatres in twenty-two different languages, among them Zulu, Gaelic, Afrikaans, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Icelandic and Esperanto. It has been filmed five times, broadcast, televised, made into a musical, used as the basis for foreign language textbooks.

Brandon Thomas always retained strict control over the way the play was produced, and the rules that he laid down are strictly adhered to today by his son and two daughters. The Brandon Thomases will not issue a licence for the play’s performance unless a guarantee is given that the detailed instructions set out by their father are adhered to – even to the exact details of the “Aunt’s” costume.

What is the secret of the “Aunt’s” fabulous success? A comedy of errors, the play concerns the embarrassments of a man in woman’s clothing – and there is nothing new about that. The essence of the plot is the Victorian principle that two young ladies must not lunch alone with two young gentlemen. A chaperon[chaperone] is necessary. The young men are Oxford undergraduates, and a friend of Charley’s decides to create a chaperon[chaperone] by impersonating Charley’s aunt. Not only do the girls fall for the impersonation, but two elderly suitors fall for the startled “aunt.” Hardly the material, it might be thought, for the biggest box office success in the history of the theatre. Numerous reasons for is success have been proffered by innumerable critics, but in a nutshell it is simply this – it is a very funny play.

“WHERE’S CHARLEY?”

In “Where’s Charley?” the only adaptation of the play so far permitted, some of the dialogue and a few minor characters have been eliminated in order to make room for the musical and dance numbers, and the impersonation of the aunt is done by Charley himself.

Charley and his friend, Jack Chesney, have invited two young ladies – Amy Spettigue and Kitty Verdun – to lunch during the commemoration week celebrations at Oxford University. Also expected is Charley’s aunt from Brazil, an extremely wealthy widow. When she fails to arrive. Jack persuades Charley to impersonate her as, if there is no chaperon[chaperone], it will give Lawyer Spettigue all the excuse he needs to whisk the ladies home again. Spettigue’s interest in Amy and Kitty is that he is the uncle of one and the guardian of the other, and has control of their money until they marry – an eventuality he is determined to prevent as long as possible.

Another visitor to Oxford for the celebrations is Jack’s father. Sir Francis Chesney, who brings with him the bad news that his financial resources have suffered a severe setback. Jack suggests to his father that a possible solution to the problem would be to marry Charley’s wealthy aunt – meaning, of course, the real one who is still expected. Sir Francis, however, has the misfortune to meet the bogus “aunt” first, and though somewhat repelled by her odd appearance and behaviour, nevertheless makes a brave attempt to woo her.

Hypnotised also by the aura of so much money is villain-of-the-piece, Spettigue, who stalks the “aunt” relentlessly, determined to get his hands on her “cool twenty million in cash,” Charley, beset by the unwelcome attentions of the two elderly suitors, has the additional worry of placating his bewildered Amy who cannot understand why he keeps disappearing. Then the real aunt arrives and one would expect that to be the end of the mix-up. But no! Intrigued by the fact that someone is impresonating[impersonating] her she decides not to reveal her true identity and – but we will confuse you no further. Suffice it to say that Charley becomes deeped and more hilariously bogged down in his deception before the final curtain reunites him with Amy, Jack with Kitty, and – guess who? – with the aunt.

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PRODUCER
David Rossiter

Producer of the well remembered “Music Man” last year; born in England and, though having been in New Zealand only a short while, is already building a reputation of bringing to his productions latest techniques now popular on the English professional and amateur stage, these techniques already appealing so much to New Zealand audiences.

Has had acting experience on the London stage in both musicals and straight plays, together with broadcasting and T.V. appearances, followed by considerable experience producing in the English provinces. Leaves Napier to produce in Wanganui and other centres before making a welcome return to Napier.

MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Cedric White

Has directed the musical side of the Society for many years. He was a member of the original “Kiwi” Concert Party and remained in England under a Government Bursary and passed through the Royal Academy of Music. He was a member of the Savoy Orchestra. He then moved to Paris and enrolled at the National Conservatoire and was in the Alhambra Theatre Orchestra. On his return to New Zealand he toured with the J.C. Williamson organisation, but eventually settled in Napier, where he is in practice as a public accountant.

CHOREOGRAPHER
Betty Gray

The society has been fortunate in securing the services of Betty Gray as Choreographer and Ballet Mistress for this production. “Where’s Charley,”

An Associate of the Royal Academy of Dancing, being the first in Hawke’s Bay to gain her Solo Seal Examination, the highest examination for a dancer, is also a graduate of the National Examination System of Dancing in Australia (Contemporary Dancing).

Betty Gray has danced leading roles in the ballets for the society’s productions of “Chu Chin Chow” and “Oklahoma” before touring throughout New Zealand with J.C. Williamson as a professional dancer.

Betty has so impressed all who have worked under her with her friendliness and the manner in which she has been prepared to assist the producer with the principal and chorus dancing, so easily taking everything in her stride. We are certain her work will impress.

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DAWN WRIGHT as Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez
DON ANDERSEN as Sir Francis Chesney

TERRY COYLE as CHARLEY WYKEHAM and JOCELYN McIVOR as AMY SPETTIGUE

ANNE CLIFFORD as KITTY VERDUN and YORK DAVIS as JACK CHESNEY

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BRIAN HOWLETT as STEPHEN SPETTIGUE
BRYAN JOHNSON as THE PHOTOGRAPHER

HEATHER BLACK as MARGARET
PATRICIA ROUSE as EMMA BRASSETT
JACK CRISP as BRASSETT

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THE FULL COMPANY OF “WHERE’S CHARLEY?”

CHARLEY’S AUNT’S TEA PARTY

THE NAPIER OPERATIC SOCIETY [INC]

An Affiliate of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, London. Foundation Member of the New Zealand Federation of Operatic Societies – Founded October, 1882.

PROUDLY PRESENTS
by arrangement with Music Theatre International, N.Y.

“WHERE’S CHARLEY?”

Producer: DAVID ROSSITER.   Musical Director:
CEDRIC WHITE.   Choreography: BETTY GRAY.

ADAPTED FROM THE PLAY “CHARLEY’S AUNT”
BY BRANDON THOMAS

THE CAST
IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

REGGIE, undergraduate at St Olde’s College, Oxford   JOE CORRY
BRASSET, a College Scout   JACK CRISP
CHARLEY WYKEHAM, undergraduate at St Olde’s College Oxford   TERRY COYLE
JAMES also an undergraduate   BERNARD READE
JOHN, also an undergraduate   ALFRED CRADDOCK
BILL, also an undergraduate   NOEL BROWNE
JACK CHESNEY, also an undergraduate   YORK DAVIS
AMY SPETTIGUE, Spettigue’s Niece   JOCELYN McIVOR
KITTY VERDUN, Spettigue’s Ward   ANNE CLIFFORD
WILKINSON, a Professor   KEN REIPER
SIR FRANCIS CHESNEY, Colonel, late Indian Service   DON ANDERSON
STEPHEN SPETTIGUE, Solicitor, Oxford   BRIAN HOWLETT
EMA BRASSETT   PATRICIA ROUSE
PATRICIA   PAM WALKER
MARGARET   HEATHER BLACK
MARY   AUDREY LONDON
DONNA LUCIA D’ALVADOREZ (from Brazil)   DAWN WRIGHT
THE PHOTOGRAPHER   BRYAN JOHNSON
PATSY   GILLIAN DAVIS

SYNOPSIS OF SCENES

ACT 1 –

Prologue in the Grounds of Oxford University.

SCENE 1 – A Room at Oxford University.
SCENE 2 – A Street.
SCENE 3 – The Garden.
SCENE 4 – Where The Nuts Come From.

ACT 2

SCENE 1 – The Garden
SCENE 2 – A Street.
SCENE 3 – Where the Ladies Go.
SCENE 4 – A Garden Path
SCENE 5 – The Ballroom.

TIME – 1892

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRODUCER

In this production of “Where’s Charley?” I have attempted to bring to Napier audiences Mr Brandon Thomas’ original ideas which have proved so popular on the English stage for so many years and which are so well known to me. With the cast, I feel I have been more than lucky in this aim, being able to present as many of the original situations of this world-famous “Aunt.”

To all those concerned in the Napier Operatic Society, both on stage and back stage, I extend my sincere thanks for the wonderful co-operation extended to me, it has made my task not only easy but so enjoyable.

In particular, I would like to express appreciation of the Musical Director, Cedric White, and the Choroeographer[Choreographer], Betty Gray, both of whom have worked with me so willingly and so readily accepted any suggestions I have made, thus making it easy for the production, music and dancing, to tell one complete story. Having also heard the Orchestra in rehearsal, which so delighted the ear. what more could a Producer wish for.

Ladies of the Chorus

VICKY BETTINGTON   ANNABEL CRAWFORD   GILLIAN GORDON   COLLEEN PATTERSON   CHRISTINE BIRD   JENNIFER DANIELL   JEAN GORDON   PAT ROUSE   HEATHER BLACK   GILLIAN DAVIES   VALERIE HART   WENDY RIEPER   JEAN BOWES   PENNY ELLIOTT   CARINE JACKSON   PAMELA WALKER   BETTY BROOKER   GLENNIS FLAVELL   AUDREY LONDON   LESLEY WILDEY   JOCELYN COOK   DOROTHY FOSTER   HEATHER NICHOLSON

Gentlemen of the Chorus

TREVOR BAILEY   JACK CRISP   CARL JAMIESON   TREVOR WAKELY   NOEL BROWNE   MIKE DOWNING   DAVID LENNIHAN   TONY YATES   LEO BRUNTON   RUSSELL DRIEBERG   IAN McMASTER   JOHN VARGA   JOE CORRY   RICHARD HEATH   KEN RIEPER   MIKE POPPLEWELL   ALF CRADDOCK   GODFREY HUSHEER   DAVID ROSS

CORPS DE BALLET
ASHMOLEAN

College Girls
VALERIE FLANDERS   JOANNE JENSEN   DAMARIS McCONNELL   JACQUELINE ROLLS   LEIGH ROWELL   LESLEY WOLFE
Head Mistress   JENNY BRAZIER

Schoolgirls
JOCELYN COOK   GILLIAN GORDON   CARINE JACKSON   HEATHER NICHOLSON
Mistress VIVIENNE JENSEN

Bandsmen
LEO BRUNTON   RUSSELL DRIEBERG   IAN McMASTER   ROBIN NEWTON   ROBIN RICKEY   TONY YATES

Solo Boy   ROBIN RICKEY

PERNAMBUCO

Tango Girls   VALERIE FLANDERS   JOANNE JENSEN   DAMARIS MCCONNELL
Samba Girls   JENNY BRAZIER   LEIGH ROWELL   VIVIENNE JENSEN   LESLEY WOLFE   JACQUELINE ROLLS
Pernambuco Boys   YORK DAVIS   RUSSELL DRIEBERG   ROBIN NEWTON   RICHARD HEATH   ROBIN RICKEY   TONY YATES
Boy with Hat   TONY YATES   Girl with Hat   JACQUELINE ROLLS
Pernambuco Duo   LEIGH ROWELL and ROBIN RICKEY
The Don   TERRY COYLE   Lucy JOCELYN McIVOR
Stephen Spettigue   BRIAN HOWLETT   The Butterfly Girl LESLEY WILDEY
Butterfly Girl’s Friends   COLLEEN PATTERSON   ANNABEL CRAWFORD   JEAN GORDON
Pernambuco Girls   JOCELYN COOK   GILLIAN GORDON   CARINE JACKSON   HEATHER NICHOLSON

Red Rose Cotillion

JENNY BRAZIER   VALERIE FLANDERS   JOANNE JENSEN   VIVIENNE JENSEN
DAMARIS McCONNELL   JACQUELINE ROLLS   LEIGH ROWELL   LESLEY WOLFE
NOEL BROWNE   JOE CORRY   RUSSELL DRIEBERG   RICHARD HEATH
IAN McMASTER   ROBIN NEWTON   ROBIN RICKEY   TONY YATES
ANNABEL CRAWFORD   JOCELYN COOK   GILLIAN GORDON   JEAN GORDON
CARINE JACKSON   HEATHER NICHOLSON   COLLEEN PATTERSON   LESLEY WILDEY   ANNE CLIFFORD   YORK DAVIS   DAWN WRIGHT   DON ANDERSON

Members of the Orchestra

Musical Director   CEDRIC WHITE
Piano   WINIFRED QUARRIE
Violins  ENID DUNN (Leader)  ANNA WILSON  JOAN PALMER  GEORGE WADE  STEWART ELTON  MARGARET WILLIAMS
‘Cello  JOAN PALMER
Bass  LEON SPEAKMAN
Flute  ENID HOCKING
Oboe  JANE OLDROYD
Clarinets  DON MORI  HAROLD BUSH
Trumpets  KEVIN KEOGH  CYRIL GIRVAN
Trombone  DOUG ROBINSON
Timpani and Percussion  JOCK SETON

OUR ADVERTISERS

We do thank our advertisers.These good people have stood behind us for many years and without their financial help we could not have such a good programme. Members are asked to support these firms as a mark of appreciation.

THE FULL DANCERS OF “WHERE’S CHARLEY?”

MUSICAL NUMBERS

PROLOGUE
“Wheres’ Charley?”   Male Chorus, Charley, Reggie, Brassett, James, John and Bill.
“The Years Before Us.”   Reggie, Brassett, James, John and Bill.

ACT 1 – SCENE 1
“Better Get Out of Here”   Charley, Amy, Jack and Kitty

ACT 1 – SCENE 2
“Ashmolean Marching Song”   Brassett, Emma, Patricia, Margaret, Mary, Girls’ Chorus, Male
Chorus and Dancers

ACT 1 – SCENE 3
“My Darling Mr Darling”   Jack and Kitty
“Make a Miracle”   Charley and Amy
“Serenade With Asides’ ‘   Spettigue
“Lovelier Than Ever”   Donna Lucia, Sir Francis, Girls’ Chorus and Male Chorus
“The Woman In His Room”   Amy

ACT 1 – SCENE 4
“Pernambuco”  James, Reggie, Patricia, Margaret, Patsy, Mary, John and Bill
“Pernambuco Ballet”   Charley, Amy, Dancers, Girls’ Chorus and Male Chorus

ACT 2 – SCENE 1
“Where’s Charley?”   Charley, Jack, Reggie, John, Bill, Emma, Patricia, Margaret,Mary, Brassett, Photographer, Male Chorus and Female Chorus

ACT 2 – SCENE 2
“Once In Love With Amy”   Charley, Jack and Male Chorus

ACT 2 – SCENE 3
“The Gossips”   Emma, Patricia, Margaret Mary, Patsy and Girls’ Chorus

ACT 2 – SCENE 4
“At the Red Rose Cotillion”   Jack and Kitty

ACT 2 – SCENE 5
“Finale”   Jack, Kitty, Donna Lucia, Sir Francis, Dancers, Girls and Male
“Finale Ultimo”   Charley and Amy and Full Company
Entire Company

The setting to the Overture which is a popular idea in England, has been devised and set by the Producer, David Rossiter, together with the Prologue, which does not appear in the original Musical but which was felt did commence the show on a lively musical note.

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ROBIN RICKEY, Principal Male Dancer

THE PRINCIPAL DANCERS OF “WHERE’S CHARLEY ?”

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NOEL BROWNE as BILL, AUDREY LONDON as MARY, ALFRED CRADDOCK as JOHN, JOE CORRY as REGGIE, PAMELIA[PAMELA] WALKER as PATRICIA.

PRODUCTION PERSONNEL

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Producer   David Rossiter
Musical Director and Chorus Master   Cedric White
Choreography   Betty Gray
Stage Director   Cedric Wright
Property Master   Noel Tolhurst
Hon. Pianiste   Winifred Quarrie
Assistant Hon. Pianiste   Betty Hague
Wardrobe Mistresses   Rita Coyle, Pat Rouse
Chief Mechanist   Ira Owen
Make-up Supervisor   Isobel Johnson
Prompts   Kathleen Singleton, Elizabeth Pettit
Call Steward   Dianne Walkingshaw
Publicity   Ron Steel, Colleen Patterson, Reg Johnson
House Manager   Peter Cox
Sound Effects   Graham Bowes
Rehearsal Officer   Colleen Patterson
Secretary:   MURRAY WALL, Colenso Chambers, Emerson Street. Box 21. Phone 8149.

ASSISTANTS TO PRODUCTION PERSONNEL

Stage Crew: Lionel Clover, Ted Wildey, Allan Jones, Derek Pryce, John McKinnon, Harry Eraser, Graham Murray, Don Hurley, Don Andrews, Kerry Rushbidge[Rushbridge?], Joe Jenkinson, Barry Brown, Alister Flett, Peter Saggers, A. Dobbs, Les Dunnett.

Properties: Roly Cook, Rod Ingle, Noel Hatton, Jim Mayo, Bob Strickland, Fred Barton, Justine Cook, Pat Spriggs, John Kuiper,

Wardrobe: Marion Bettington, Peggy Budd, Elsa Alexander, Cathie Cox, Betty Hague, Mabel Salvigny, Dianne McCarthy.

Make-up: Gwynne Ace, Joan Colwill, Jo White, Mavis Steel.

Front of House Staff: Bill Quarrie, Reg. Johnson, Francis Smith, Mary Coyle, Rosemary Crump, Ann Roberts, Valerie Winter, Jean Apperley, Joy Sanderson, Dianne Gilmour, Bernice McCosh, Beth Graham, Kathleen Botherway, Joan Wilkinson, Joanne Reid, Erin Flemwell, June Fowler.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Daily Telegraph, The H.B. Herald-Tribune, Gwynne Ace, Kirkman and Rossiter, H.B. Paint and Varnish Co., The Napier Citizens’ Band, H.B. Highland Pipe Band, David Etheridge (The Bike Man) for loan of Penny Farthing Bicycle, Allan Bowes Cycles Ltd. for loan of Tandem Bicycle, Raphael Studios for loan of Silverware and Furniture, Mrs W. Flavell and assistants for the many hours spent in tea making. Members of Vintage Car Club, Pioneer Marching Club, and all those members and friends of the society who have assisted in so many ways.

Support Your Amateur Theatre

If you have enjoyed “Where’s Charley?” spend an evening with the Repertory Players in “A House on the Lake,” showing all this week at the Little Theatre, McGrath St.

THE LADIES OF THE BALLET

LADIES OF THE CHORUS OF “WHERE’S CHARLEY?” WITH CHARLEY’S AUNT

GENTLEMEN OF THE CHORUS OF “WHERE’S CHARLEY?”

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Daily Telegraph Print

Original digital file

CoozeL814_WheresCharleyProgramme.pdf

Business

Napier Operatic Society Inc.

Date published

1963

Format of the original

Pamphlet

Accession number

814/1959/46434

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