Bloomer Girl



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Book by Sig Herzig and Fred Saidy
Based on a play by Dan and Lilith James
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E. Y. Harburg


Set during the Civil War, BLOOMER GIRL is the story of rebellious Evalina Applegate, an abolitionist who falls in love with a Kentucky slave holder. The original production included a Civil War Ballet choreographed by Agnes De Mille.


BLOOMER GIRL played for 654 performances on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre starring Celeste Holm, David Brooks, Richard Huey, Joan McCracken and Dooley Wilson.


By 1861, Horatio Applegate, a successful Yankee hoop skirt manufacturer with six attractive daughters, had carefully married five of them to good hoop skirt salesmen, but the sixth and youngest, Evalina, is more difficult to handle. She is passionately attached to her Aunt Dolly Bloomer, who is an ardent suffragette, the originator of the bloomer, and a believer in the emancipation of slaves. So Evalina works for her causes and even wears bloomers in defiance of her father.

Horatio decides that the best cure for Evalina is marriage, and he brings forth a handsome suitor from the southern hoop skirt district, Jefferson Lightfoot Calhoun of Kentucky. But Evalina suspects Jeff of having the same opinions as her father, so to test him she tricks him into freeing his own slave, Pompey.

This makes Evalina interested in Jeff, but it also gets him in to trouble with his own brother, Hamilton, the real business power of the southern district, who objects to Jeff giving away family property. Jeff almost gives Pompey back to Hamilton, thereby losing Evalina. She gets herself into trouble by championing a parade of Aunt Dolly’s Bloomer Girls and insists on going to jail with them. Everything is in a deplorable state until Jeff comes through by buying Pompey’s freedom, thus really winning Evalina’s love. The Governor of the state, an old suitor of Aunt Dolly’s, pardons the prisoners in the jail.

Shortly after this, Fort Sumter is fired upon and war looms above everything. But since Kentucky stays in the Union, Evalina and Jeff can be united and look forward to a happy life. Musical numbers include: When the Boys Come Home, Welcome Hinges, Evalina, Right as the Rain, The Eagle and Me, and Sunday in Cicero Falls.


Full Orchestration:

1 Violin A
1 Violin B
1 Violin C
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Flute I
1 Flute II & Piccolo
1 Oboe
1 Clarinet I & II
1 Bassoon
1 Trumpet I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Percussion
1 Piano
  Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.


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