In the mid-1910s composer Jerome Kern teamed up with writers Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse to produce a new style of musical comedy that would appeal to the new generation – fun-loving, crazy musicals about contemporary themes and having a decidedly intimate, personal air. The resulting shows, which were produced in the tiny 299-seat Princess Theater in New York, were an important step in the development of the American musical during the 1920s.
Oh, Bo! (1917) was the best of these Princess Theater shows – a deliberately silly boy-meets-girl-boy-just-about-loses-girl-everyone-gets-put-in-their-place farce that all but defined the form for the next decade. Kern’s score is terrific and Bolton & Wodehouse’s book is nothing short of ludicrous. For those of us who know and love the later work of Wodehouse, it’s enough to say that Oh, Bo! is pure Wooster and Jeeves. For the rest of you…well, you’ll just have to come and see!
Oregon Festival of American Music and Actors Cabaret of Eugene are extremely proud – and not a little tickled – to be able to recreate this little bit of Broadway in its youth in the appropriate intimacy of the Soreng Theater.