Of Thee I Sing (1931) was the second of the musical comedy-social commentary trilogy George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, and George & Ira Gershwin created in the opening years of the Great Depression, which also included Strike Up The Band! (1927, 1930), and Let ‘Em Eat Cake (1933). The first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it was a smash hit on Broadway running for 441 performances, the longest run in its decade.
This is not surprising given the wonderful libretto and score. Aiming their sharp wit (which had been honed on Marx Brothers musicals) at everything from politics to love, Kaufman and Ryskind build a hilarious series of situations around John P. Wintergreen's less than profound campaign for President. And the Gershwins’ whimsical, sophisticated score and lyrics are magnificent, with stellar hits like “Of Thee I Sing", “Who Cares",” and “Love Is Sweeping The Country”.
With Politicians skewered right and left, Of Thee I Sing is a hilarious and melodious send-up of national politics that can only be described as a cross between Gilbert & Sullivan and the Marx Brothers. A perfect dose of medicine for any election year!