A good starting place is the Musical Theatre International online database
(http://www.mtishows.com/musicals.htm). You can browse Production
Specifications by Production, and choose Small (2-10) or Medium (11-20) from
the Cast Size pulldown menu. Click the Add to Production button, add on any
other parameters you want, then click Start Search. It includes musicals from
the 1920's through the present.
Some of the musicals noted for small casts include the following (for the
longer synopses, see the Web site):
All in Love (Opened 1961)On holiday in Bath, England, a mismatched
collection of blue-blooded 18th century Brits swap affections and misdirected
love letters in this hilarious musical setting of Sheridan's The Rivals, one
of the funniest comedy of manners ever written.
"The Apple Tree" (Opened 10/18/1966) A unique evening of three one-act musicals
about men, women and a little thing called temptation.
"archy & mehitabel" (Opened 4/13/1957)This bizarre, highly original musical
takes us into the streets of the big city as [cockaroach] archy tries
hopelessly to bring the toujours gai [alley cat] mehitabel off the back fence
and into a respectable home as a housecat.
Ernest In Love(Opened 5/5/1960)A faithful adaptation of Wildes comic
masterpiece, Ernest In Love features all of its much-beloved characters and
most of the same production demands, with the addition of a small band. The
clever, tuneful score is the perfect complement to Wildes incomparable
wordplay and immortal witticisms in this delightful reworking of what has been
called the funniest play in the English language.
"I Do! I Do" (Opened 12/5/1966)The story of a marriage is at the center of this
intimate and nostalgic work by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, the authors
of The Fantasticks. I Do! I Do! delivers Broadway quality and universal
appeal with minimal production requirements.
The Fantasticks (Opened 5/3/1960)is the longest-running musical in the
world. Its moving tale of young lovers who become disillusioned, only to
discover a more mature, meaningful love is punctuated by a bountiful series of
catchy, memorable songs, many of which have become standards.
"Riverwind" (Opened 12/12/1962) A tender, humorous book and a fresh, well-
crafted, witty and eclectic score made this very human drama one of the most
successful off-Broadway shows of the 1960s.
The No-Frills Revue takes its cue from the brilliantly sardonic topical
revues of the 1950s, employing original songs, sketches, a small cast and trio
of musicians in an hilarious all-out assault on the world as we know it
"A Pocketful of Rhymes" (Opened 1968)Classic nursery rhymes are set to a catchy
contemporary score that covers the range of 20th century music. Enormously
popular, the original production staged with only a chair and six blocks
played limited engagements on Broadway and even inspired a CBS television
"She Loves Me" (Opened 4/23/1963) It is the rare musical theatre aficionado who
doesnt have a soft spot in his heart for this intimate show, considered by
many the most charming musical ever written.
Wheres Charley (Opened October 11, 1948)A tuneful and hysterically funny
classic thats non-stop entertainment.
You can also check out these Web sites:
Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online
Moderate Length and Short Small Cast Plays for Touring
You can also do a search using the terms "small cast musical music theater OR
Clarification of Answer by
22 Apr 2002 10:00 PDT
Also try searching using the terms: forgotten OR lost musicals.
Has a very useful catalog of musicals by composer's last name. Search under any
of the names you know, for example those listed below (Hart, Kern, Porter, etc.)
You'll find listings like
- Lady in the Dark, (Moss Hart& Ira Gershwin, 1941)
- The Cat and the Fiddle (Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach, 1931)
- Sweet Adeline (Kern, 1929)
- The Cabaret Girl (Kern, 1922)
- Music in the Air (Kern, 1932)
- Fifty Million frenchmen (Porter, 1929)
* If you have RealPlayer installed on your computer, you can download the
following multimedia files from the fynsworth alley broadway radio archives
- Forgotten Musicals of the 1950s
- More Forgotten Musicals of the 1950s
- Forgotten Musicals of the 1960s
Rational Magic, an online magazine, suggests looking for forgotten musicals in
the book "Broadway Musicals Show by Show, 5th ed." by Hal Leonard (ISBN 0-7935-
7750-0). While the book isn't lauded as a whole, it does "provide information
about many mostly forgotten musicals and musical performers, successful in
their heyday but sadly neglected now"
The site also recommends
- The Streets of New York (Music by Richard B. Chodosh, lyrics and book by
Barry Alan Grael), "one of the great forgotten musicals of the 1960s"
* The 1998 "Discover The Lost Musicals" series at the Barbican Theatre in
- Irving Berlin and Moss Hart's "As Thousands Cheer" (193Os)
- Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane's "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" (1965)
- "Hollywood Pinafore" (1946) George S Kaufman's adaptation of Gilbert &
SUllivan's "HMS Pinafore"
- "Strike Up The Band" (1927)
* A Website about British actress, singer, & puppeteer Louise Gold
mentions her work
- Love Life (Alan Jay Lerner, 1948)
- By Jupiter (Rodgers & Hart, 1942)
- One Touch Of Venus (1943)
- Du Barry Was A Lady (Cole Porter, 1939)
- New Girl In Town (George Abbot & Bob Merrill, 1957)
- Red Hot and Blue (Cole Porter, 1936)
- Something For The Boys (Cole Porter, 1943)
- Of Thee I Sing (Kaufman & Gershwin, 1931)
- Panama Hattie (Cole Porter, 1940)
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
- Oh Kay (Gershwin, 1926)
- 110 In The Shade (Richard Nash, 1964)
The Rodgers & Hammeerstein Organization sells a catalogue of musicals available
R&H Theatre Library at 229 West 28 Street, 11th floor, New York, New York 10001
Phone (212) 564-4000 or 1-800-400-8160; Fax: (212) 268-1245.
"42nd Street Moon" (http://www.42ndstmoon.com/) is a troupe that performs many
of their lost/forgotten musicals
- Mr. President (1962)
- A Connecticut Yankee (1943)
- I Married an Angel (1938)
- America's Sweetheart (1931)
- Pipe Dream (1955)
- Three Sisters (1934)
- Very Warm for May (1939)
- Allegro (1947)
- Peggy Ann (1926)
* You can write to the
The Lost Musicalsä Charitable Trust
London NW5 1QP ENGLAND
* And you can search the Lost Musicals web site (http://www.lostmusicals.com/)
for more musicals (though mostly those that flopped)
I hope that suits your search better.