- At the Drop of a Hat
name= At the Drop of a Hat
caption= Opening night program
"At the Drop of a Hat" is a musical
revueby Flanders and Swann, described by them as "An After-Dinner Farrago". In the show, they both sang, accompanied by Swann on the piano. The songs were linked by contemporary social commentary, mostly by Flanders.
The show opened at the New Lindsey Theatre, a fringe theatre outside the
London West End theatredistrict, on December 31 1956. It was successful and transferred to the Fortune Theatrein the West End on January 24 1957, where it ran for 808 performances. On October 8 1959the show opened in New York Cityat the Golden Theater, running there for 215 performances.
Although they had performed together in the summer of 1940 in a revue they both directed and staged, this was Flanders and Swann's first show performing in the format for which they would become successful, and from 1959 to 1967 they toured with it off and on, performing it a total of 1,700 times over 11 years around the world. [ [http://www.iankitching.me.uk/humour/hippo/career.html Information from the IanKitching website] ] The two continued to perform together for three decades.
Description of the show
The two-man show was performed with Flanders in a wheelchair (he had
polio) and Swann seated at a piano on an otherwise empty stage. The show consisted of a collection of mainly humorous songs, written by them, connected by topical comments. A second revue called " At the Drop of Another Hat" was produced in 1963.
Each performance ended with the song "Hippopotamus", in which the audience was encouraged to join in, followed, in Britain, by a musical rendition of the
Lord Chamberlain's requirements.
* "A Transport of Delight" (The Omnibus Song)
* "Song of Reproduction"
* "In the Bath"
* "A Gnu"
* Songs for Our Time:
** "Philological Waltz"
** "Satellite Moon"
** "A Happy Song"
* "A Song of the Weather"
* "The Reluctant Cannibal"
* "Je suis le ténébreux"
* "Design for Living"
* "Tired by the Centre Court"
* "Kokoraki...A Greek Song"
* "(Have Some) Madeira, M'Dear?"
* "Too Many Cookers" (added in later performances and recordings)
* "Vanessa" (added in later performances and recordings)
* "Tried by the Centre Court" (added in later performances and recordings)
* "The Wom Pom"
* "Hippopotamus" (Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud)
* [http://www.nyanko.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/fas/hatintro.html Information from the Flanders and Swann website]
* "Oxford Companion to Popular Music" by Peter Grimmond - ISBN 0-19-280004-3
* "Guinness Who's Who of Stage Musicals" editor Colin Larkin - ISBN 0-85112-756-8
* Cover notes from London production recording - Angel Records 65042
*ibdb title|id=2752|title=At the Drop of a Hat
* [http://www.donaldswann.co.uk/hatshow.html Information about the several productions]
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