cast recordingTHREE WALTZES

A Musical Play in Three Acts, 12 Scenes. Book by Clare Kummer and Rowland Leigh. Adapted from the Swiss operette Drei Walzer by Paul Knepler and Armin Robinson. (Lyrics by Clare Kummer.) Music after Johann Strauss, Sr. (Act 1), after Johann Strauss, Jr. (Act 2), by Oscar Straus (Act 3). (All music adapted by Oscar Straus.)

Majestic Theatre, Broadway 25 December, 1937 (122 perfs)
Prince's Theatre, London - 1 March, 1945 (189 perfs)


Originally produced as Les Trois Valses for the Paris Exposition of 1937, the show consists of three acts which follows the lives and loves of three successive generations, the first two unfortunate and the third happily paying for all past sorrows. The first act is set in the Exposition of 1867 and uses the music of Johann Strauss Snr; the second act at the 1900 fair uses the music of Johann Strauss Jnr. The final act uses original music by Oscar Strauss


Act 1 (1867, during the Universal Exhibition)

Scene 1

In the dance foyer, Marquis Octave de Chalancey, lieutenant of Hussars, is in love with Fanny Grandpré. Prima ballerina assoluta during the Second Empire. And has decided to marry her, much to the displeasure of his family.

Scene 2

A room in the Chalancey house. Gathered together as a family, the Chalanceys remind young Octave that he must respect the traditions and thus renounce this marriage.

Scene 3

Fanny’s home. Afraid of ruining the military career of Octave, Fanny, after being visited by the dowager de Chalancey, renounces the marriage and bursts into tears.

Act 2 - In 1900, during another Exposition Universelle.

Scene 1

In the wings at the Apollo, Paris. The great opera singer, Yvette Grandpré, Fanny’s daughter, encounters Philippe de Chalancey, son of Octave. He falls in love with the young woman but the latter, being aware of her mother’s misadventure, remains reserved.

Scene 2

In the street, night time. We can make out Philippe. On the way to Maxim’s.

Scene 3

Chez maxim. Philippe’s sincere passion soon has an effect on Yvette.

Scene 4

In a box at the Apollo. In order to get married, Yvette promises Philippe to leave the theatre that afternoon and for good. General consternation! Suddenly, it is announced that the Prince of Wales will be at the opera that evening. She must sing, her honour is at stake and she gives in. Philippe learns of this. Believing himself to be betrayed, he leaves without a word.

Scene 5

On stage. Hiding her tears, Yvette sings her finest love waltz.

Act 3 - In 1937, during the last Exposition Universelle, before the war.

Scene 1

A film studio. They are filming “The Waltz of Destiny”, the love story of the unhappy love affair between Octave de Chalancey and Fanny Grandpré, whose role is being taken by her grand daughter Irène.

A simple insurance agent, Gérard, Octave’s grandson, goes to the studio one day out of curiosity. By chance, the actor playing the role of his grandfather is not there. Seeing his fine appearance and aristocratic manners, engages Gérard to stand in for the absent player. Irène is not too enthusiastic about the engagement of this amateur.

Scene 2

In a bar. Irène finally gets to like her improvised partner.

Scene 3

The studio

The last scene of the film is being made. But the two artistes rewrite the script and fall into each other’s arms, so that, this time, there is a happy ending.

Original Cast

(in order of appearance)

Act I — Vienna:

  • Herr Baltramini: Ralph Bunker.
  • Kalliwoda: Ivy Scott.
  • Marie Hiller: KITTY CARLISLE.
  • Karl Brenner: GLENN ANDERS.
  • Sebastien: Len Mence.
  • Countess Von Hohenbrunn: MARGUERITA SYLVA.
  • Egon Von Hohenbrunn: Harry Mestayer.
  • Herbert von Hohenbrunn: Alfred Kappeler.
  • Feliz Von Hohenbrunn: Earl McDonald.
  • Leopold Von Hohenbrunn: Charlie Amt.
  • Field Marshall Count Maximilian Von Hohenbrunn: George Baxter.
  • Count Rudolph Von Honebrunn: MICHAEL BARTLETT.
  • Herr Diffinger: Wheeler Dryden.
  • Lilli: Ruth MacDonald.
  • Orderly: William Newgord.

Scandal Girls (Ladies Ensemble): Dolly Miller, Sylvia Liggett, Anita Arden, Kay York, Lila Royce, Diana Rutherford, Alice McWhorter, Dana Doran, Frances Rands, Jayne Manners. Ballet Girls: Wanda Cochran, Paula Kaye, Joan Engel, Marion Broske, Jean Sharpe, June Sharpe, Ellen Gibb, Dorothy Hardy.

Eight Officers (8 Men of Manhattan): Roger Gerry, Fred Ratliffe, William Parker, Gene Greenlaw, Lipman Duekat, Ted Daniels, Jack Phillips, Walter Lewis. Ballet Boys: Boris Butleroff, Michael Mann, Milton Barnett, Barry Gunn, Harold Taub, David Preston, Richard D'Arcy, Mischa Pompianov.

Act 2 — Paris:

  • Charlotte Hiller, Marie Hiller's Daughter: KITTY CARLISLE.
  • Conductor: Truman Gaige.
  • Andre Coroit, Baritone at the Theatre: Ralph Magelssen.
  • Manager: Alfred Kappeler.
  • Author: Ralph Bunker.
  • Reporter: Earl McDonald.
  • Karl Brenner: GLENN ANDERS.
  • Lilli Castelli: Ruth MacDonald.
  • Steffi Castelli, Lilli's Daughter: Rosie Moran.
  • Baron Delauncey: Victor Morley.
  • Viscount Reve Duval: John Barker.
  • Count Otto Von Hohenbrunn, Rudolph's Son: MICHAEL BARTLETT.
  • Leopold Von Hohenbrunn: Charlie Amt.
  • Barmaid: Adele Rich.
  • Marquise de Campo: Marion Pierce.
  • Willi: Fred Sherman.
  • Baroness de Launey: ANN ANDERS.
  • Louis, a waiter at Maxim's: Wheeler Dryden.
  • Page Boy: William Newgord.
  • Gendarme: David Preston.
  • Dr. Cavaneau: George Baxter.

Act 3 — England:

  • Sackville, Film Director: George Baxter.
  • W. Wagstaff Wolf, of Hollywood: Louis Sorin.
  • Miss Waring, Script Girl: Adele Rich.
  • Cameraman: Alfred Kappeler.
  • Franzi Coroit Hiller, Grand-daughter of Marie Hiller: KITTY CARLISLE.
  • Trevor: Earl McDonald.
  • Freddie: Fred Sherman.
  • Karl Brenner: GLENN ANDERS.
  • Max, Count Von Hohenbrunn, Rudolph's Grandson: MICHAEL BARTLETT.
  • Musical Director: Wheeler Dryden
  • Lilli Castelli: Ruth MacDonald.
  • Counterman at the Commissary: Len Mence.
  • Leo, an Actor: Truman Gaige.

Musical Numbers:


  1. Opening - Herr Baltramini, Ballet Girls
  2. Springtime - Marie Hiller, 8 Men of Manhattan
  3. My Heart Controls My Head - Marie Hiller
  4. Sextette - Countess von Hohenbrunn, Egon, Herbert, Feliz, Leopold, Count Maximilian
  5. Springtime (Is in the Air) - Count Rudolph
  6. Finaletto - Countess von Hohenbrunn, Egon, Herbert, Feliz, Leopold, Count Maximilian
  7. Vienna Gossip - Ensemble
  8. My Heart Controls My Head (reprise) - Marie Hiller
  9. Do You Recall (duet) - Marie Hiller, Count Rudolph
  10. Finale/Springtime (reprise)- Count Rudolph


  1. Finale 'Duc de Rivoli' Operetta—"Champagne" - Charlotte Hiller, André Coroit, Ensemble
  2. To Live Is To Love - Charlotte Hiller
  3. The Only One - Count Otto
  4. Paree - Charlotte Hiller, Ensemble, Ballet Girls
  5. I'll Can-Can All Day - Steffi Castelli
  6. The Can-Can - The Can-Can Girls
  7. To Live Is To Love (reprise)(duet) - Charlotte Hiller, Count Otto
  8. Scandal - Marquise de Campo, Ralph Magelssen, Author, Ensemble
  9. Finale - Duc de Rivoli - Charlotte Hiller, André Coroit, Ensemble


  1. The History of Three Generations of Chorus Girls - Ladies Ensemble
  2. Opening: Ballet Rehearsal - Ballet Girls
  3. Radetzky March - Dancing Girls
  4. Our Last Waltz Together (duet) - Franzi Coroit Hiller, Count Max
  5. The Olden Days - Karl Brenner, 8 Men of Manhattan
  6. Finale — The Three Waltzes: The Waltz of Today, the Waltz of 1900, the Waltz of 1865 - Franzi Coroit Hiller, Count Max, Corps de Ballet, Ensemble

Scenes & Settings

Act 1

Scene 1: Rehearsal Room, Kaerntner Theatre, Vienna. 1865.
Scene 2: A Salon in the Countess Von Hohenbrunn's Palace.
Scene 3: Marie's Living Room

Act 2

Scene 1: Back Stage, Theatre Varieties, Paris. 1900.
Scene 2: Before the Curtain of the Theatre.
Scene 3: The Bar of the Theatre.
Scene 4: Cafe Maxime. Later that same night.
Scene 5: A Private Dining Room at Maxime's. The same night.
Scene 6: Charlotte's Dressing Room at the Theatre. Two weeks later.

Act 3

Scene 1: Denham-Buckinghamshire Films Ltd. Studio, England. 1937.
Scene 2: A Section of the Studio Cafeteria.
Scene 3: Finale—The Three Waltzes.