Book by Sandy Wilson
Music and Lyrics by Sandy Wilson

Divorce Me, Darling! | Book Musical| Rated G

  • About the Show

    Ten years have passed since Madame Dubonnet’s boy-crazy students wreaked havoc on the French Riviera in THE BOYFRIEND. Now it’s the 1930's and Polly and her friends are back in Nice for some fun under the sun – without their husbands – in the swinging sequel to that hit musical, by Sandy Wilson.
    The trouble begins when they discover handsome ex-playboy Bobby Van Husen is also in town… “sans” his wife, their old schoolmate Maisie. Polly and Bobby spend an evening catching up, opening the door to another series of misunderstandings and complications, this time involving a tell-tale lipstick smear, a trio of health nuts, a mysterious cabaret singer and a plot to assassinate a South American president, as Maisie and the girls’ husbands descend on Nice. Soon, divorce is in the air!

    Synopsis

    ACT ONE
    It's 1936 on the French Riviera. Dulcie delivers an introduction, identifying the principal players and sorting out the couples, bringing us up-to-date from where things ended a decade ago (in the roaring '20s) with Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend.

    Now we're in Nice on the French Riviera in the foyer of the Hotel du Paradis greeted by the hotel manager Gaston singing "Here We Are In Nice Again" with an assortment of hotel guests.

    The three naughty wives (Dulcie, Fay and Nancy) confess to Hortense, the hotel receptionist, they are on a spree having told their French husbands they were off to England to visit their families there.

    Polly, our heroine, arrives but without her husband, Sir Tony, busy at home handling their estate. The three naughty wives reappear with giddy greetings all around. Reflecting on their dreary mates who seem more concerned with matters of business than with matters of the heart, they croon "Whatever Happened To Love?"

    Hortense, hotel receptionist/confidante consoles the frustrated wives and cheers them up with the news that tomorrow night an international star, the mysterious Madame K, will appear in un Grand Cabaret.

    The American, Bobby van Husen, a bit tipsy, enters from the bar and sings "Someone to Dance With" offering to waltz, fox-trot, tango, or rumba if only he could find a partner.

    Hardly recognizing one another, Bobby and Polly meet and ask about each other's mate. He reports on his wife Maisie who is supposedly in London trying to round up a husband for his older sister Hannah. Bobby and Polly plan to have dinner together.

    Meanwhile, Mme Dubonnet confides in Hortense that she is the mysterious entertainer Madame K; she also admits she is Polly's mother-in-law, married to Percy who fled to South America after losing his fortune in the stock market crash of 1929. With the loss of their fortune and his escape to the New World, she was forced to pursue a lowly career in cabaret. She wants to keep the awful truth from Polly; she's changed her hair to blond and her name to Mme K (that ought to do it!) and expresses her hard, heart-breaking life behind the "glittering facade" of her theatrical calling in her number, "Lights! Music!"

    Cheering off stage heralds the arrival of the President of the South American nation of Monomania.

    Pierre, Marcel and Alphonse, the errant husbands of Nancy, Fay and Dulcie show up in Nice feeling like bachelors again and sing of a special girl they remember from their carefree single days-"Maisie".

    Lady Brockhurst (Polly's mother-in-law) arrives on the scene with a trio of young girls dressed in hiking gear. Their anthem is "Back To Nature," urging one and all to forget the city and explore the rugged life of the great outdoors. She brings her troops to a halt, and, of course, Lord Brockhurst, dressed in plus fours is a reluctant member of her troop--far more interested in pinching rather than bringing up the rear. The troop march off in search of a spot to pitch camp, and true to form, Lord Brockhurst sneaks off in the opposite direction in pursuit of a skirt. He runs into Dulcie, Fay and Nancy, and they agree not to snitch on each other--all having deserted their mates for a bit of frolicking. They sing "On The Loose."

    The President of Monomania and Percy, in a tropical suit and dark glasses, greet one another as compatriots. Since they are of the same stature and with the addition of a false beard and wearing the President's uniform, Percy agrees to go in the President's place to the gala at the Cafe Pataplon. The President must be elsewhere for a reason he cannot reveal. Percy agrees to take on the role. Then he spots Madame K featured on a poster. He gasps recognizing Kiki, his wife (Mme Dubonnet) but with blond hair.

    Scene 3 reveals two balconies side by side. Hortense and Gaston (both of the hotel staff) are inspecting each of the suites and simultaneously come out on the balconies to get a glimpse of the Riviera view. Ever dedicated to their chosen professions, their duet describes their dream resort, "Paradise Hotel" as other members of the staff join in the song. They exit before Polly enters one suite, kissing the photo of her husband Sir Tony; Bobby in the other suite follows suit, kissing the photo of his Maisie. Polly's on her balcony. He's on his. What a coincidence. He invites her, just as old friends, of course, to his balcony for champagne. They drink to absent mates and sing "No Harm Done," rationalizing "And what's a glass of wine between friends?" They dance a bit. She protests at bit saying they must say goodnight before anything silly happens. They dance a bit more from his suite to hers. He accidentally drops a scarf he's wearing in her quarters. The telephone rings. It's her husband, Tony. "Here? In Nice...? Downstairs?" He's on his way up! The two dancers repair to their respective suites. Bobby gets a call on his telephone. It's Maisie. In the adjoining suite Sir Tony spots the scarf. He argues with Polly as to what it's doing there. Angrily he exits... to take a bath. She rushes to the balcony to tell Bobby about his scarf. His news is that Maisie's on her way up.

    He welcomes Maisie to the suite and pours champagne. The glass has lipstick on it. She accuses him of having a secret lover--so that's why he came to Nice! In tears she rushes out of the room. He calls for Polly from the balcony and lets her know he has made Maisie as jealous as she has made her Tony. Isn't it delicious? Soon, from inside each suite, we can hear their mates apologize for their suspicious behavior. Polly and Bobby signal one another that they've each won this round.

    The next morning each couple in turn in pajamas and negligees on their respective balconies have breakfast and sing "Together Again." As the number ends the two couples spot each other. What a coincidence! Bobby puts on an act of surprise, as does Polly. Suddenly Hannah, Bobby's older husband-hunting sister, bursts in looking for her brother. Sir Tony’s mum, Lady Brockhurst, still in her camping togs, looking for her son and complaining about the hotel management follows the intrusion. She seems to have set up her tent in the hotel gardens. Arguments ensue. Hannah introduces herself to Sir Freddy once she discovers he's a baronet. From the suite above, Madame K (Mme Dubonnet) complains about all the noise below. Enter valets, chambermaids, manicurists, and chefs--in the manic style of a Marx Brother’s movie, all squeezing into the tiny room. Hortense and the hotel staff join in for a reprise of "Paradise Hotel" as pandemonium ends the act.

    ACT TWO
    Outside the Cafe Pataplon, Hannah mentions the scarf as well as the lipstick stain on the glass and provokes another argument between each couple (Tony vs. Polly as well as Bobby vs. Maisie). They sing to their mates "Divorce Me, Darling." Others arrive at the cabaret discovering their mate’s flirting. Husbands and wives are shocked at each other’s capricious behaviors, accusing one another and picking up loose ends of the song.

    The President (actually Percy in a false beard, the president's military uniform, and dark glasses) is ceremoniously announced as the Monomania "Anthem" is struck up by the band. Percy, upon seeing his daughter Polly, does a double take and enters the ballroom.

    Hannah laments her unattached state with "Here Am I, But Where's The Guy?" bemoaning the fact that "ev'ry time that I spot him/Some other dame has already got him." The sibilant challenged Sir Freddy arrives. She nabs

    him and sweeps him into the ballroom. Mme Dubonnet (Madame K) confides in Hortense explaining she cannot do her nightclub act for it would reveal to Polly that her mother-in-law is a lowly cabaret performer. She convinces Hortense to don a mask and go on in her place. They rehearse a brief reprise of "Lights! Music!"

    Bobby and Maisie are still at odds. She's still determined to divorce him. He sings "Out Of Step" and urges her to dance. She joins him reluctantly. The manager of the Cafe Pataplon introduces the act, and Hortense, wearing a mask, goes on as Madame K singing "Fancy Forgetting." Percy (disguised as the President) leaps up to expose the impostor, tears off Hortense's mask and Mme Dubonnet steps in singing a line from the song. Percy is overwhelmed. She, in turn, exposes him. He's not the President of Monomania! He admits it tearing off the beard. Polly cries out "Daddy!"

    Lady Brockhurst and her uniformed girls march in and perform a military drill. A champagne bottle literally explodes! Someone has placed a bomb in the jeriboam to kill the President of Monomania. The real President enters and commends Percy for his bravery in impersonating him and putting himself on the line. Phew... luckily no one is hurt. Or... where is Lady Brockhurst? She emerges soot-covered; uniform is disarray. The President invites all to continue the party aboard his yacht. Percy, Mme Dubonnet, and Polly--husband, wife, and daughter--are reunited with a song "Together Again."

    The proper British Sir Freddy and the all-American Hannah get reunited too with a song, "You're Absolutely Me," laced with affectionate homage to Cole Porter. (She: "You're Boston beans." He: "You're tinned sardines." She "You're corned beef hash." He: "You're sausage 'n mash.")

    On board the President's yacht Polly and Tony are reunited, each apologizing for playing games and acting foolish. In each other's arms they sing "Back Where We Started." Polly and Bobby run into each other on deck and she assures him everything is patched up between her and Tony. Maisie is approaching them as the yacht lurches and Polly stumbles into Bobby's arms. Maisie, in tears, runs off.

    Entertaining the President and his guests, Mme Dubonnet sings (a la Marlene Dietrich) "Blondes For Danger," warning sailors to beware of this breed ("You can make a household pet/Of a redhead or brunette... " but cautions them about the dangerous blonde). Commending Percy for his heroism, the President awards him a deed to the Monomanian Platinum Mine. Percy and Mme Dubonnet embrace.

    Hannah has Sir Freddy in tow; they're to be married. Bobby is searching for Maisie. Lady Brockhurst is shocked to see her girls have traded their scouting uniforms for scanty shorts, sailor caps and tap shoes as they break into song with a trio of sailors: "Swing Time Is Here To Stay." Maisie, in an abbreviated seafaring uniform, leads the cast in the song and dance.

    Bobby patches things up with Maisie, supported by Polly and Tony. Suddenly Polly faints. In turn Maisie and the other girls faint as well. Their husbands come to their rescue--all delighted to discover they're all in the family way. They reprise the title song singing "I would like to make it plain/You'll never hear me say again/Divorce me, darling!"

    Casting Information

    ALPHONSE DUBOIS
    Dulcie's French husband who travels to Nice to go on an outing with his friends. Dreams of more carefree days, but makes almost every decision to appease his wife.
    Male, 20-35 yrs old
    Range: Bb2 - Eb4

    BOBBY VAN HUSEN
    Polly's attractive, rich, and lonely friend. Fed up with his mundane marriage, he becomes very flirtatious when drinking.
    Male, 25-35 yrs old
    Range: B2 - G4

    DULCIE DUBOIS
    Alphonse's wife and one of the "Naughty Wives," She has deserted her husband for a trip with her friends to engage in some playful frolicking. The most outspoken and flirtatious in her group of friends.
    Female, 18-30 yrs old
    Range: A3 - C6

    ENSEMBLE: HOTEL GUESTS; CAFE PATAPLON DINERS AND STAFF; HEALTH AND BEAUTY GIRLS; SAILORS; HOLIDAYMAKERS
    FAY DE LA FALAISE
    Marcel's wife and one of the "Naughty Wives." She has deserted her husband for a trip with her friends to engage in some playful frolicking.
    Female, 18-30 yrs old
    Range: B3 - C6

    HANNAH VAN HUSEN
    Bobby's rather uncouth and brash older sister. Constantly on the hunt for a husband, she is able to find a mate in prim Sir Freddy.
    Female, 25-35 yrs old Range: G#3 - B5 HORTENSE The maid, hotel receptionist, and confidante for Polly and her friends. Tries to keep everything in order, including the affairs of her guests. She is oblivious of Gaston's feelings for her. Female, 18-30 yrs old
    Range: Bb3 - Ab5

    LADY BROCKHURST
    Sir Tony's rich and British mother. She is infatuated with the outdoors and tries to encourage everyone around her to share the passion.
    Female, 50-65 yrs old
    Range: C4 - F5

    LORD BROCKHURST
    Sir Tony's British blue-blood father. He always sneaks away from his wife to chase after a younger skirt.
    Male, 55-65 yrs old
    Range: E2 - E4

    M. GASTON
    Hotel manager of the Hotel du Paradis. He loves his job and often dreams of managing the perfect hotel. In love with Hortense, but fails to make her recognize his feelings.
    Male, 30-45 yrs old
    Range: C3 - Eb4

    MADAME DUBONNET
    The former headmaster of a finishing school in Villa Chaprice who has married Polly's father. With her husband's loss in fortune, she has taken up an alternate cabaret personality.
    Female, 45-55 yrs old
    Range: F3 - G5

    MAISSIE VAN HUSEN
    Bobby's wife who is determined to have a reconciliation with her husband. She eventually becomes vengeful and bitter due to an extramarital desire. An excitable madcap.
    Female, 18-30 yrs old
    Range: A3 - C6

    MARCEL DE LA FALAISE
    Fay's French husband who travels to Nice to go on an outing with his friends. He dreams of the more carefree days.
    Male, 25-35 yrs old
    Range: Bb2 - Eb4

    NANCY LEBRUM
    Pierre's wife and one of the "Naughty Wives." She has deserted her husband for a trip with friends to engage in some playful frolicking. Mostly clueless of her surroundings, both past and present.
    Female, 18-30 yrs old
    Range: B3 - F#5

    PERCY BROWNE
    Polly's father and former stockbroker who initially fled to South America after losing his fortune. Has come to Nice, to clear his name, disguised as the President of Monomania.
    Male, 50-60 yrs old
    Range: D3 - E4

    POLLY BROCKHURST
    The heroine of our story and Tony's wife. She is frustrated with her husband's constant attention to his estate. A clear-voiced romantic.
    Female, 18-30 yrs old
    Range: B3 - A5

    SIR FREDDY FFOTHERINGTON-FFITCH
    A proper, blue-blooded British baronet. Frumpy and with a lisp, which makes him awkward and uncomfortable. He falls in love with Hannah.
    Male, 33 yrs old
    Range: G#2 - F4

    THE HON. TONY BROCKHURST
    Polly's wealthy and attractive husband. Very concerned with his business and estate, but passionately in love with his wife.
    Male, 30-40 yrs old
    Range: C#3 - F#4

    THE PRESIDENT OF MONOMANIA
    A South American president visiting Nice to unearth a conspiracy. He is a considerably large political figure who treasures this celebrity status.
    Male, 45-60 yrs old
    Speaking Role

    Production Material

    LIBRETTO
    PIANO VOCAL SCORE

    BASS FLUTE CLARINET
    PERCUSSION CONGA, KIT, TYMPANI, WOOD BLOCK
    TENOR SAXOPHONE CLARINET, FLUTE, TENOR SAXOPHONE
    TRUMPET

Partners & Associates

  • cipc
  • bsa
  • samro