1927 West End

JimThe Desert Song

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1927 West End

Book by Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II and Frank Mandel | Music by Sigmund Romberg | Lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II

Directed by Laurence Schwab and choreographed by Bobby Connolly, the first London production of The Desert Song opened at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on April 7, 1927. Edith Day and Harry Welchman starred, with featured performances by Gene Genard, Dennis Hoey, Sidney Pointer and Harry Welchman. The London Times called it a “delightful evening,” and Horace Horsnell of the London Observer called the music “a melodic tide that swept everything before it and swamped even the entr’acte gossip in the corridors.” S.T.H. of Theatre World was rapturous, lauding The Desert Song as a “magnificent spectacular entertainment which calls more for the warmest wholehearted praise than for criticism.” The production played 432 performances, running until April 14, 1928.


Though the original Broadway production of The Desert Song was never recorded, EMI did release eight tracks from the original 1927 London cast in a box set of four 78rpm records. Starring Edith Day and Harry Welchman, the album was conducted by Herman Finck. Unfortunately, the recording is not currently available for digital streaming.