Rio Rita


RIO RITA, one of Florenz Ziegfeld’s most successful and spectacular shows, is set in Texas and Mexico along the Rio Grande. The Texas Rangers are hunting a notorious bandit known only as the Kinkajou. The Rangers are lead by the handsome Captain Jim Stewart, who is in love with Rita Ferguson, an Irish-American-Mexican girl known as Rio Rita, who sings in the local hotel after being displaced from her family ranch along with her brother Roberto. The regional Mexican Governor, General Esteban, also loves Rita and convinces her that Jim courts her only because he believes that the man they are looking for is her brother. Only when Jim arrests Esteban as the real villain can he and Rita hope for happiness.

Rio Rita Quote Request & Licensing

  • Credits
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • Book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson
    Music by Harry Tierney
    Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book

  • (In order of appearance)

    Jose, a musician
    Dolly, an American cabaret girl
    Padrone, proprietor of the Mesa Francesca
    Generale Esteban
    Jim, a stranger
    Chick Bean, a bootlegger
    Ed Lovett,a lawyer
    Texas Rangers:
    Corporal Wilkins
    Roberto Ferguson, Rita’s brother
    Katie Bean, Chick’s wife

    Cowboys, Mexicans, Ruales, Texas Rangers, etc.
    Cabaret girls, Guests at Don Esteban’s Villa, etc.

  • RIO RITA opened on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre, February 2, 1927. It was later transferred, first to the Lyric and then to the Majestic Theatre and played for a total of 494 performances starring Ethelind Terry in the title role and J. Harold Murray as Captain Jim Stewart. The show was adapted into one of the first movies with sound in 1929, and it even included a couple of sequences filmed in an early version of Technicolor.

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