​Dr. Casey J. Hayes

​Swingin' The Dream - courtesy Folger Library

Act I Musical Numbers - (all music by Jimmy Van Heusen & Eddie de Lange unless notated)
Spring Song - (music by Jimmy Van Heusen and Benny Goodman)
     Sung By -Deep River Boys and Ensemble

Peace - Sung By Brother Deep River Boys and Ensemble
There's Gotta Be a Weddin' - Sung By Bottom/Pyramus, Flute/Thisbe, Snout/Wall,        Quince, Starveling/Moon, Snug/Lion, the Rythmettes, Stable Boys and Kitchen          Maids
Peace, Brother (Reprise) - Sung By Bottom/Pyramus, Flute/Thisbe,                                      Starveling/Moon, Snout/Wall, Quince, Snug/Lion, Deep River Boys and                          Ensemble

Act II Musical Numbers

Swingin' a Dream - Sung By Jitterbugs and Dandridge Sisters
     Moonland Titania, Deep River Boys and Ensemble
Love's a Riddle - Sung By Titania, Dandridge Sisters, Deep River Boys and                          Ensemble
Darn That Dream - Sung By Titania, Bottom/Pyramus, Cupid, Dandridge Sisters,            the Rhythmettes, Deep River Boy and Ensemble
Jumpin' at the Woodside - (music by Count Basie) - Sung By Jitterbugs
Swingin' a Dream (Reprise) Titania, Deep River Boys and Ensemble
Pick-a-Rib - (music by Benny Goodman) - The Benny Goodman Sextette
Wedding March - (music by Felix Mendelssohn) - Theodore and his party, Deep              River Boys and Ensemble
The Opera "Pyramus and Thisbe" (The opera was comprised of interpolated jazz            standards not by Messrs. Van Heusen and DeLange) Quince, Bottom/Pyramus,          Flute/Thisbe, Snout/Wall, Starveling/Moon, Snug/Lion and Cupid
Jumpin' at the Woodside (Reprise)  - (music by Count Basie)

Louis Armstrong & the Dandridge Sisters

"Swingin' the Dream" was, by all accounts, a sure bet​.  Prior to this jazzy, 1939 setting of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, several modernized adaptations of literary classics had appeared on the Broadway stage, from an updated Mikado​ to a fresh ​The Boys from Syracuse, the George Abbott retelling of the Bard's Comedy of Errors​, with music by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rogers.  Rather than the mythical forest of the gods, Charell chose to set his version of this classic tale in 1890's New Orleans.

Director Erik Charell, fresh off of his Im weißen Rößl success, brought in the finest and most popular African-American performers of the day.  With Louis Armstrong playing Bottom the Weaver, the Dandridge Sisters as Fairies, Butterfly McQueen as Puck and the Count Basie Band on one side of the stage and the Benny Goodman Band on the other, it was a musical feast for the jazz afficionado.  In addition, the musical was choreographed by Agnes DeMille, with sets designed by none other than Walt Disney himself.  Charell and his investors were right to assume that this would be a sure hit.  However, it appears that there was "too much Shakespeare and not enough Swingin'".  The show ran for only thirteen performances and lost over $100,000.  In today's world, that monetary figure would be more like 1.7 million dollars.  

​Swingin' the Dream