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.
- Rehearsal Materials
- Brief History
Book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson
Music by Harry Tierney
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
1 Piano Conductor’s Score
1 Prompt Book
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.