Marinka (operetta)

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Marinka is an operetta by Hungarian composer Emmerich Kálmán with book by George Marion, Jr. and Karl Farkas, and lyrics by George Marion, Jr. The operetta is a retelling of the story of the Mayerling Incident, but with a happy ending replacing the infamous 1889 double suicide of Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress, Maria Vetsera. The best-known songs include "Only One Touch of Vienna," "Sigh by Night," "The Cab Song," and "When I Auditioned for the Harem of the Shah".


It was first produced on Broadway by Jules J. Leventhal and Harry Howard with financial backing from Lee Shubert and Warner Bros.. It was staged by Hassard Short, choreographed by Albertina Rasch and used set designs by Howard Bay and costume designs by Mary Grant. The work premiered on July 18, 1945 at the Winter Garden Theatre.[1] The production moved to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on October 1, 1945, running until December 8, 1945, for a total of 165 performances.[2] The opening night cast included Joan Roberts (Marinka), Harry Stockwell (Rudolph), Romo Vincent (Bratfisch), Michael Barrett (Sergeant Negulegul), Paul Campbell (Count Hoyos), Ronnie Cunningham (Tilly), Bob Douglas (Lieutenant Baltatzy), Leonard Elliott (Francis), Jack Gansert (Lieutenant Palafy), Noel Gordon (Naval Lieutenant), Adrienne Gray (Countess Huebner), Taylor Holmes (Count Lobkowitz), Jack Leslie (Waiter), Ethel Levey (Madame Sacher), Reinhold Schünzel (Emperor Franz Josef), Elline Walther (Countess von Diefendorfer), Ruth Webb (Nadine), and Luba Malina (Countess Landovska).[1] Later in the show's run radio personality Jerry Wayne replaced Stockwell as Rudolph and actress Edith Fellows replaced Roberts as Marinka.[2]


The plot, set in Vienna, Mayerling, and Budapest, with a prologue and epilogue in an open air movie theatre in Connecticut, was a retelling of the story of the Mayerling Incident.

In the prologue, youngsters at a movie palace watch a film about the Mayerling story and feel that it is too tragic. Their bus driver, the son of Rudolph's coachman, has his own version of the story.

Musical numbers

Act 1[3]

  • "Only One Touch of Vienna" – Bratfisch and Girls
  • "The Cab Song" – Bratfisch and Tilly
  • "My Prince Came Riding" – Marinka and Debutantes
  • "If I Never Waltz Again" – Marinka and Crown Prince Rudolph
  • "The Cab Song" (Reprise) – Tilly, Countess von Diefendorfer and Debutantes
  • "Turn on the Charm" – Bratfisch
  • "One Last Love Song" – Marinka and Rudolph
  • "Old Man Danube" – Bratfisch and Officers
  • "Czardas" – Countess Landovska and Officers
  • "Sigh by Night" – Marinka and Rudolph
  • "One Last Love Song" (Reprise) – Marinka and Crown Prince Rudolph
  • "Paletas" – Lieutenant Palafy and Dancers

Act 2

  • "Treat a Woman Like a Drum" – Marinka, Tilly, Bratfisch, Francis and Lieutenant Palafy
  • "When I Auditioned for the Harem of the Shah" – Countess Landovska
  • "Young Man Danube" – Francis, Tilly, Lieutenant Palafy and Ensemble
  • "Turn on the Charm" (Reprise) – Marinka and Rudolph
  • "Sigh by Night" (Reprise) – Marinka and Rudolph
  • "One Last Love Song" (Reprise) – Marinka, Rudolph and Company

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Sam Zolotow (July 18, 1945). "'Marinka' In Debut At Winter Garden:Musical, Based on Mayerling Tragedy, Opens Tonight". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b Sam Zolotow (December 5, 1945). "Marinka Leaves Boards Saturday: Lavish Musical at Barrymore Will Have Had Run of 165 Performances—May Tour". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Musical numbers sourced from Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine


  • Nathan, George J. (1974). "Marinka July 18, 1945". Theatre Book of the Year, 1945–1946. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, pp. 52–60. ISBN 0-8386-1174-5
  • Time (July 30, 1945). "The Theater: New Musical in Manhattan"

External links

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