Adaptations of Anna Cora Mowatt's "Fashion"


Musical Adaptations of Anna Cora Mowatt's "Fashion"

A Brief Summary of Production Details

"Fashion: A New Style Musical Comedy"

Theatre: McAlpin Rooftop Theatre

Opening Date: February 18, 1974

Book: Anthony: Stimak

Music: Don Pippin
Lyrics:Steve Brown

Fashion Musical 1959 Logo

H. Scot Lucas
Gene Kelton

Robert U. Taylor

Musical Direction: Susan Roman
Spencer Mosse

Cast of 1974 Fashion Musical

Time and Place: The action occurs during “Nippy Fall 1973” in a high fashion living room on Long Island, the home of Evelyn and Allen Rich. It is also the headquarters of the Long Island Masque and Wig Society, an organization devoted to the preservation of early American Drama.

Synopsis: Elegantly dressed, the Long Island matrons perform “Fashion,” a musical written especially for them.  The women play all of the roles (male and female) except the starring role of a phony Count, who is trying to win the love of Seraphina, daughter of the nouveau riche Pearl Tiffany.  The Count is performed by the “composer/director” of the play-within-the-play.

Marvelous farcical madness evolves from this set-up and lead to inevitable hilarity as the engaging melodies mix merrily with amiable lyrics telling the story of shay financial deals, proposals, seductions, and Pearl’s overspending combined with her desire to marry off her daughter and be fashionable at the same time. Of course, greed is punished at the end, and virtue triumphs, while the songs speak delightfully for themselves, making following the plot superfluous. (Synopsis from the insert of the 1994 cast album)Count Jolimaitre and Mrs. Tiffany

Evelyn (Mrs. Pearl Tiffany)
a Lady who imagines herself to be fashionable
Mary Jo Catlett
Edwina (Frankson) a servant
Susan Romann
Jean (Millinette)
a French Lady's maid
Sydney Blake
Rita (Seraphina Tiffany) a belle Sandra Thorton
Richard (Count Jolimaitre) a fashionable European Importation Ty McConnell
Nan (Adam Trueman)  a Farmer from Catteraugus Henrietta Valor
Pat (Anthony Tiffany) a New York merchant
Jan Buttram
Suzanne (Snobson)  
a rare species of confidential clerk
Rhoda Butler
Marion (Gertrude)
a Governess
Joanne Gibson
Kim (Colonel Howard)
an officer in the U.S. Army
Holland Taylor

Note:  The pianist plays Frankson.  If a man, he should be named Allen and be Evelyn's husband; if a woman, Edwina and a member of the Society.  The piano should, if possible, be part of the living room.

Musical Numbers1974's Fashion Musical


"The Rococo Rag"
Mrs. Tiffany and Company
"You're Out of Fashion"
Count, Mrs. Tiffany, and Seraphina
"The Good Old American Way
Rrueman, and Mr. Tiffany
"What Kind of Man is He?"
"It Was for Fashion's Sake"
Mr. and Mrs. Tiffany
"My Daughter the Countess"
Mrs. Tiffany
"Take Me"
Seraphina, Snobson, Count, Mr. and Mrs. Tiffany
"I Must Devise Some Plan"


"Meet Me Tonight"
"My Title Song"
Mrs. Tiffany and Company
"A Life Without Her"
Adam Trueman
"What Kind of Man is He?" (reprise)
Gertrude and Colonel Howard
"My Daughter the Countess" (reprise)
Mrs. Tiffany
"My Title Song"


Here is a link to the script of this musical.

"Fashion: A New Style Musical Comedy" can be licensed for production by the Samuel French company.


Further Reading

Return to Anna Cora Mowat index

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Cover for "The Lady Actress"

For more in-depth information and analysis
Mowatt's life and career, read
The Lady Actress:
Recovering the Lost Legacy of a Victorian American Superstar

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