Rose-Marie: Part Two
It is hard to understand today just how popular Rose-Marie was in its day; the Broadway show ran for 557 performances, after which there were two movie adaptations in 1936 and 1954.
In terms of recordings, the 1925 London cast recorded six numbers; Al Goodman recorded the major songs in 1948; and the most complete recording released to date was made in 1958, starring Julie Andrews and Giorgio Tozzi.
In 1961 EMI issued an LP of selections, and The Smithsonian recorded but did not release the complete score in 1981, starring Ron Raines.
This week, we are going to feature lesser-known songs from the 1958 Julie Andrews/Giorgio Tozzi recording for the first four days of the week. On Friday, we will post the entire recording of 39 minutes so that you can enjoy the music over the weekend.
Rose-Marie had a rather complicated plot. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Malone keeps law in Saskatchewan; Jim Kenyon has come to Canada to find a fortune mining for gold; Edward Hawley is a wealthy man from Quebec; Rose-Marie is in love with Kenyon, but her brother, Emile, wants her to marry Hawley for his money.
Black Eagle claims Kenyon is mining on his land, while Kenyon has a map that shows his claim being on open land. Black Eagle lives with a half-blooded Indian, Wanda, but Wanda is in love with Hawley.
Black Eagle finds Wanda with Hawley and tries to kill him. In the struggle, Wanda stabs Black Eagle and kills him but claims that Jim did it.
Rose-Marie is betrayed by her brother, Emile, who knows where Jim is but will keep it from Sergeant Malone if Rose-Marie will go to Quebec to marry Hawley. She reluctantly agrees.
Just before the wedding is to take place, Jim’s partner, Herman, gets Wanda to confess; Wanda is still in love with Hawley. The wedding is cancelled, and Jim and Rose-Marie are reunited in Saskatchewan.
The score follows the script quite closely; Act One, Scene 1 opens with two minor songs, “Vive la Canadienne,” sung by Malone in jest to Herman’s girlfriend, Jane, and “Hard-Boiled Herman,” sung by Herman.
The third song is Jim’s declaration of love, “Rose-Marie.”
The fourth song is Malone’s reminder to everyone that the law will be enforced by him, “The Mounties.”
Rose-Marie explains to Emile that she loves Jim in “Lak Jeem;” and the two lovers, Jim and Rose-Marie, declare their love in the duet, “Indian Love Call.”
In Scene 5, Rose-Marie admits that she likes “Pretty Things,” and Wanda leads in the “Totem-Tom-Tom” song and dance. Herman and Jane sing the love duet, “Why Shouldn’t We?”
In Act Two, Scene 1, Herman and Jane quarrel over Malone in “Only a Kiss,” and Rose-Marie tries to send Jim away by telling him she loves Hawley, in “I Love Him.”
In Scene 2, the wedding between Rose-Marie and Hawley is being prepared, as Rose-Marie sings “The Minuet of the Minute.”
The processional “The Door of Her Dreams (The Door of My Dreams)” is sung by the ensemble; but Wanda’s confession sends Rose-Marie back to Jim in the Finale Ultimo.