Animal Crackers (Wishcamper Adaptation)

by  Bert Kalmar, George S. Kaufman, Harry Ruby, Morrie Ryskind, Henry Wishcamper

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  6m, 3f

Note on Digital Perusal: Samuel French's new digital perusal process grants easy, digital access to music perusals while protecting the intellectual property of our composers, book writers, and lyricists. Samuel French perusals are intended to be used for finding the perfect show to fit your theater, casting pool, and resources. Perusals should be used to get acquainted with the music and script. They cannot be used to hold auditions, produce the show without a license, or find sheet music for a separate performance.

Read more +
License Estimator

Use this tool for cost estimates based on your specific needs.

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period, Romantic Comedy
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

This hallmark of Marx Brothers lunacy was revived on stage by Chicago’s Goodman Theater and the Williamstown Theater Festival among others. Audiences flocked as critics applauded the antics of Captain Spalding and company at Mrs. Rittenhouse's ritzy weekend gathering.
Read more +

Reviews

“The sleight of hand on display in the Goodman’s revival of this 1928 Marx Brothers vehicle is staggering, and that’s not even counting Harpo’s card tricks. Wishcamper’s innovation is to whittle the cast down to a hardworking ensemble of nine, all of whom double or triple. The conceit turns the show into a high-stakes game of three-card monte, effectively intensifying the farce.”  – Time Out Chicago

“There are moments in 'Animal Crackers,' the gloriously daffy revival of the Marx Brothers’ Vaudeville-era musical that opens the Williamstown Theatre Festival season, when you feel you just might be coming unhinged from reality. The inspired lunacy on the stage, boosted by surreal patter from Joey Slotnick in the Groucho role, achieves the levity and perfect balance of great animation.” – Albany Times Union

“The great strength of capable young director Henry Wishcapmer’s enjoyable and confident new version of this show is that it celebrates its quirky original milieu, rather than add layers of modern, deconstructive comic tension.” - The Chicago Tribune
"If you treasure the Marx Brothers, you're gonna treasure Animal Crackers. Guided by director Henry Wishcamper, the Goodman Theatre re-creates the Marx Brothers as a showbiz act (or phenomenon, rather) and also a period musical comedy, nailing them both." - Windy City Times 

"...
Crackers is pure pleasure: Like Harpo, it’s always got another ace up its sleeve." - Time Out Chicago

"
Adapter/Director Henry Wishcamper has given Chicago a living, breathing, in-this-moment comedy on a grand scale. Animal Crackers at the Goodman Theatre is, simply put, the finest production of musical comedy that I have ever seen. 4 STARS." - Chicago Theatre Review

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1920s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The Long Island estate of Mrs. Rittenhouse. The summer before the crash of 1929.
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: Small

Casting

6m, 3f
HIVES, CHANDLER, ET AL.
MRS. RITTENHOUSE, ET AL.
M. DOUCET, WALLY WINSTON, ET AL.
ARABELLA RITTENHOUSE, MRS. WHITEHEAD, ET AL.
GRACE CARPENTER, MARY, ET AL.
JOHN PARKER, HORATIO JAMISON, ET AL.
CAPTAIN JEFFREY T. SPALDING, ET AL.
EMANUEL RAVELLI, ET AL.
THE PROFESSOR, ET AL.
See all +

Cast Attributes

  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

More

Authors

Bert Kalmar

Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby’s collaboration spanned from the 1920s to 1940s, and took them from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway and eventually to Hollywood. Born in New York in 1884, Kalmar performed as a magician in tent shows and in vaudeville before founding a music publishing company. Born in New York in 1895, Ruby ...

View full profile

George S. Kaufman

George S. Kaufman was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After a brief career as a ribbon salesman, he contributed to the satirical newspaper column of Franklin P. Adams (“F.P.A.”) in the New York Evening Mail; on Adams’ recommendation, he was given a column of his own in the Washington Times in 1912. While servi ...

View full profile

Harry Ruby

Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby’s collaboration spanned from the 1920s to 1940s, and took them from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway and eventually to Hollywood. Born in New York in 1884, Kalmar performed as a magician in tent shows and in vaudeville before founding a music publishing company. Born in New York in 1895, Ruby ...

View full profile

Morrie Ryskind

A leading playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and director, Morrie Ryskind collaborated on a number of the most celebrated Broadway shows and films of the 1920s and ’30s. With George S. Kaufman he co-wrote the librettos for the stage version of Animal Crackers (1928) then wrote the screenplays for four Marx Broth ...

View full profile
Henry Wishcamper

Henry Wishcamper

Henry Wishcamper's adaptation of Animal Crackers premiered at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in September, 2009. 

Now Playing

Community Experiences