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I'd Rather Be Right

I'd Rather Be Right is a musical comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, with lyrics by Lorenz Hart and music by Richard Rodgers and produced by Sam H. Harris. It opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on November 2, 1937, transferred to the Music Box Theatre, and ran for 290 performances.

It starred George M. Cohan as Franklin Roosevelt. The musical is prominently featured in the 1942 Cohan biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy, where it serves as a narrative bookend. Cagney, as FDR, performs a vigorous dance number in connection with the piece called "Off the Record", not possible in real life for the wheelchair-bound President.

The story is a Depression-era political satire set in New York City, about Washington politics and political figures, such as President Franklin Roosevelt. The plot centers on Peggy Jones (Joy Hodges) and her boyfriend, who needs a raise in order for them to get married. The President steps in and solves their dilemma.

H. G. Wells wrote enthusiastically about the musical, and Cohan's performance as Roosevelt, in an article "The Fall in America 1937", published in Collier's on 28 January 1938 and reprinted in his World Brain (1938).

Musical numbers

Act I

  • "A Homogeneous Cabinet"--Cabinet Members
  • "Have You Met Miss Jones?"--Peggy Jones and Phil Barker
  • "Take and Take and Take"--The Judge's Girl and Ensemble
  • "Spring in Vienna"--Tony
  • "A Little Bit of Constitutional Fun"--The Judge's Girl and Ensemble
  • "Sweet Sixty-Five"--Peggy Jones and Phil Barker
  • "We're Going to Balance the Budget"--The President of the United States and Company
Act II

  • "American Couple"--Ensemble
  • "Labor Is the Thing"--James B. Maxwell and Ensemble
  • "I'd Rather Be Right"--Peggy Jones, Phil Barker, The Judge's Girl, The President of the United States and Ensemble
  • "Off the Record"--The President of the United States
  • "A Baby Bond"--The Secretary of the Treasury

External links

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