The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

by  James Thurber, Earl Shuman, Joe Manchester, Leon Carr

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  5m, 6f, 1girl(s)

"A thoroughly pleasant musical evening." - Time

On his fortieth birthday Walter Mitty reflects on his drab, ordinary life. Defeated in his quest for wealth and glory by family responsibilities, a mortgage, and a routine job, he creates elaborate fantasies in which he is the hero. His secret world …

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 6f, 1girl(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Stage & Screen)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

On his fortieth birthday Walter Mitty reflects on his drab, ordinary life. Defeated in his quest for wealth and glory by family responsibilities, a mortgage, and a routine job, he creates elaborate fantasies in which he is the hero. His secret world is so enticing that he often loses sight of the boundary between dream and reality and comically slips into his imagination. An attractive would be chanteuse aptly named Willa de Wisp encourages Walter to leave his wife, shed the burdens of suburban living and really live the secret life. Unfortunately it is as unattainable as it is appealing. At the end of the play Walter discovers that he is happily committed to the real world, complete with its mortgages and responsibilities.

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Reviews

"A thoroughly pleasant musical evening." - Time

Considerations

Performing Groups

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

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The Present; Waterbury, Connecticut; Autumn
    Takes place in the everday and the secret life of Walter Mitty
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Medium
  • Chorus Size: Large

Song Samples

Prologue (Ensemble)
0:00
Aggie (Mitty)
0:00
Don't Forget (Aggie, Mitty)
0:00
Hello, I Love You, Goodbye (Gorman, Harry, Mitty)
0:00
Two Little Pussycats (Ruthie, Hazel)
0:00
You're Not (Mitty, Agness, Ensemble)
0:00
Epilogue (Ensemble)
0:00

Casting

5m, 6f, 1girl(s)
WALTER MITTY - Male, 40. A whimsical, henpecked, dreamer supreme. Instantly likeable.
AGNES - Female, 30-40. Mitty’s wife. Reasonably attractive, nagging, practical, but underneath her strong veneer, she is sensitive, understanding and smart.
PENINNAH - Female, 10-11. Mitty and Agnes’ daughter. Unspoiled and sweet.
HARRY - Male, 40’s. Pleasant, friendly bartender type.
WILLA - Female, Late 20’s. Sexy and kookie nightclub singer.
IRVING - Male, 30. Slightly dense. Her is a stern believer in health foods and spas, and looks it.
RUTHIE - Female, Mid 20’s. Volatile and a little on the crude side. Pretty in a cheep sort of way.
GORMAN - Male, 40. A successful salesman type with a gift of gab and great charm.
HAZEL - Female, Mid 20’s. Speaks with a lisp, dumb as they come.
SYLVIA - Female, Mid 20’s. Definitely not the finishing school type.
MACMILLAN - Male, 50. A large, pompous, gruff man.
CHORUS (SATB) - Firing Squad, Peasants, Mission Control Operator, Surgical Patient, Dr. Renshaw, Dr. Benbow, Nurses, Professor Remington, Dr. Pritchard-Mitford, Crêpe Suzette, Tortoni, Apple Turnover, Townspeople, Blind Date, Folies Customers, Male Dancers, Group Therapy Patients

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Cast Attributes

  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

A total of 15 actors were used in the original New York production, each one playing several roles. However, as many more actors as desired may be used.

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

Large Orchestration:

1 Piano/Conductor Score
Flute/Piccolo
Clarinet/Alto Saxophone 1
Clarinet/Alto Saxophone 2
Trumpet 1
Trumpet 2
Trombone
Percussion (Trumpet, Bells, Drums)
Violins I & 2 (2 books)
Viola
Cello
Bass
Harp

13 Vocal Chorus Books 

Small Orchestration: 

1 Piano Conductor Score 

Percussion

Bass

Reed

13 Vocal Chorus Books 

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Authors

James Thurber

James Thurber

Earl Shuman

Earl Shuman

Joe Manchester

Joe Manchester

Leon Carr

Leon Carr

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was first presented at the Players Theatre, New York City on October 26, 1964.

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