Let It Ride – Original Broadway Cast 1961 (Arkiv Version)
ACT I Commuting on a bus from New Jersey to New York City is a hectic way of life (Run, Run, Run) for our hero, Erwin Trowbridge (George Gobel). Erwin writes verses for greeting cards. His girl, Audrey (Paula Stewart), reveals that loving Erwin is The Nicest Thing. She is shocked, however, to learn that Erwin dopes the scratch sheet each day on the bus. When Erwin explains to Audrey and his boss, Jack Carver (Stanley Grover), that picking the horses is only a hobby and that he never bets, they don’t believe him and accuse him of concealing his winnings. Angrily, Erwin walks out on his girl, his boss, and his job. At this point in his life, Erwin is suddenly tired of being the “small quiet type,” as he is known in the office, and he sings Hey Jimmy, Joe, John, Jim, Jack to the children of the world, explaining how events in his childhood made him what he is, and exhorting them not to let the same thing happen to them. Erwin drops into the bar of the Hotel Lavillere, a hangout near Times Square, where he tells the bartender (Harold Gary), and two horseplayers, Frankie (Larry Alpert) and Charlie (Albert Linville), all about his girl Audrey. But to them, Broads Ain’t People. They are joined by Patsy (Sam Levene) and his girl Mabel (Barbara Nichols), a former ecdysiast. When Patsy discovers Erwin’s ability to pick the winners, he starts taking his tips and makes a big killing. When Mabel suggests that he quit now, while he is ahead, Patsy and everybody in the bar proclaim that there is only one thing to do when you hit a lucky streak – Let It Ride. Erwin, who admires Patsy’s courage and strength, asks Patsy, “How can I become a man like you?” and Patsy replies, I’ll Learn Ya. In the meantime, a perplexed Audrey is still at the office, wondering which man she prefers – the shy Erwin or the aggressive Jack Carver – and Carver joins her as she musically expresses her dilemma (Love, Let Me Know). To show his appreciation to Erwin, Patsy gives him a big “birthday” party to celebrate the birth of their new partnership, where a bevy of party girls serenades him with Happy Birthday, Erwin. But while Erwin is telling the girls that Audrey is Everything Beautiful, Patsy is coerced into giving away 90% of him to Nice-Nose Brophy (Dort Clark), head of a big gambling syndicate. Patsy owes Nice-Nose $25,000 and has no choice. In Ozone Heights, New Jersey, Audrey, her mother (Maggie Worth), her father (Ted Thurston) – the local police chief – and Jack Carver discuss Erwin’s disappear–ance and wonder Who’s Doing What to Erwin? Erwin, the object of their concern, after passing out at the party, awakens in Mabel’s room. Mabel confesses that if she had met someone like Qim earlier in her life, she never would have become a stripper (I Wouldn’t Have Had To). Nice-Nose now puts the squeeze on Patsy to get Erwin to pick the Kentucky Derby winner that day. Erwin, who doesn’t know about Nice-Nose’s interest in him, goes off on the Ozone Heights bus, where he always does his doping, to pick the Derby winner for Patsy. ACT II The act opens with a group of assorted horseplayers comparing the certainties of betting on the horses to the speculative aspects of the stock market, as they explain, There’s Something About a Horse. Patsy now learns that Erwin has gone back to Audrey and is through doping the horses. With the threat of Nice-Nose hanging over him, Patsy in desperation sends Frankie and Charlie to Erwin with the news that he is dying (He Needs You) and hopes that Erwin will grant him a last request and predict the Derby winner. Erwin is touched and, accompanied by Frankie and Charlie, goes off on the commuter bus to pick the winner. On the bus, all three are arrested for bookmaking. Patsy, however, impersonates a judge and gets all three men released. When they realize they have been hoodwinked, the police, let by Audrey’s father – the Chief – and Officer Repulski (Stanley Simmonds), plead that it was all Just an Honest Mistake. Erwin now learns that Patsy has sold him to Nice-Nose. Disillusioned at being betrayed by his friend, and unhappy because now he has nothing – no friend, no girl, no job – he is in a lonely mood as he reflects that everyone lives on His Own Little Island. He is brought to the Lavillere Bar by Nice-Nose and his gang, and is forced to pick the Derby winner. Charlie, Frankie, Harry, Erwin, and Patsy express their thoughts as they explain what they will do If Flutterby Wins. Flutterby does win; Erwin is reunited with Audrey, Patsy embraces Mabel, and Erwin forgives Patsy as the whole group sings the Finale.
Erwin – George Gobel Audrey – Paula Stewart Carver – Stanley Grover Harry – Harold Gary Charlie – Albert Linville Frankie – Larry Alpert Mabel – Barbara Nichols Patsy – Sam Levene Nice Nose Brophy – Dort Clark Mother – Maggie Worth Chief Schermerhorn – Ted Thurston Repulski – Stanley Simmonds First Cop – John Ford Announcer’s Voice – Ted Thurston Singers: Helen Baisley, Francine Bond, Austin Colyer, Clifford Fearl, John Ford, Carol Glade, Robert Lenn, Virginia Perlowin, Michael Roberts, Maggie Worth Music & Lyrics: Jay Livingston & Ray Evans Additional material by Ronny Graham Publisher: Livingston & Evans, Inc. (ASCAP) Musical Direction: Jay Blackton Vocal Director: Jerry Packer Orchestrations by Raymond Jaimes Dance Music Arrangements by Billy Goldenberg Dances and Musical Numbers Staged by Onna White Directed by Stanley Prager Recorded November 5, 1961, at Webster Hall, New York City Recording Engineer: Ernest Oelrich Produced for records by George Avakian & Joe Linhart Original album: LSO-1064, released November, 1961