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The Rose of Algeria

Synopsis
Zoradie, Sultana of the Barakeesh, has been greatly affected by the poems and songs of a mysterious person known as “El Mokrani” to such an extent that she has vowed to marry none other but he.

 As this mysterious poets has been leaving his writings around in convenient places, nobody knows who he really is, and so we find Zoradie, disguised as a Bayadere, accompanied by her Chief of Police, Ali Kohja in the guise of an Arab story-teller, in search of the elusive “El-Mokrani.”  Death by the bow-string is to be Ali’s reward for failure.  The identity of the mysterious poet is known to only two people – General Petitpons and his nephew, Capt. De Lome, who is “El Mokrani” himself.  Formerly of the Paris Latin Quarter, but urged into the Army by his uncle, he is still a poet at heart, and has adopted this curious method of venting his poetical feelings.  He meets the disguised Zoradie and falls in love with her but she assures him that her love is already given to the mysterious “El Mokrani” whom she is yet to meet.

Affairs are still further complicated, for we find that the French are anxious to conclude a treaty with Zoradie’s people but she will not sign until “El Mokrani" is found and becomes her husband.

Three American members of the Foreign Legion now appear on the scene.  On account of their escapades they had been imprisoned in the guard-house, but they have escaped.  They find native clothes to disguise themselves in, but after a very funny snake-charming scene they are detected.  The general, being anxious to produce “El-Mokrani” for the Sultana, hits on the idea of having one of the three prisoners pose as him, and has a poetry contest to decide the most suitable of the three.  Van’s efforts are so poor that he is flung into jail.

By a ruse the other two obtain a book of poems lying around and copy verses out.  The General and De Lome unable to decide which is the better of the two, decide to take them both along and let Zoradie decide.  Ali, being afraid of his own life, helps Van to break prison and takes him along also to present to Zoradie as “El-Mokrani”

In the Second Act we are removed to Algeirs.  Zoradie is in her palace and her fits of temper are giving her attendants concern.  The doctor reports that there is no hope of improvement until “El-Mokrani” is found.  The Governor and De Lome with their two candidates and Ali with Van Courtland Parke now appear prepared to meet the Sultana and have her decide which is the much-wanted poet.

After much wrangling they appear before the Sultana and present their preposterous claims, but Zoradie is not impressed with any of them.  The General sternly tells her that she must decide on one of the three imposters, and then De Lome cannot restrain himself and reveals that he is “El Mokrani” which enables Zoradie to fulfill her pledge without any unhappy consequences.


CAST

ZORADIE, Sultana of the Barakeesh, the ruler of a powerful desert tribe. Seen in Act I as Miriam, 

Mistress of the Bayaderes.................................................................   BRITTANY J. CARY

GENERAL PETITPONS, Governor General of Algeria, and uncle of Captain De Lome...........  

                       ................................................................THOMAS BAUMGARDNER 

MILLICENT MADISON, M.D., an American girl who is practicing medicine in the east............    

                            .............................................................CATHERINE CHICOINE

CAPTAIN DE LOME, in command of the Oasis Sidi Ahmoud.........................PAUL CLARKE

(The following three characters are American soldiers of fortune who have enlisted in 

and deserted the Foreign Legion of Algiers)

CARROLL SWEET, a popular song writer in hard luck.......................................JOE LaROCCA

      DE LONG GREENE, a suburban real estate promoter in reduced circumstances.......................                     ..............................................................................................................ROMULUS MIHALTEANU

VAN CORTLAND PARKE, an ex-cotillion leader on his uppers.............................JAY SPENCER

MRS. BILLINGS F. COOINGS.....................................................................CAROLYN PELLEY

MR. BILLINGS F. COOINGS......................................................................BRIAN KORNBLUM

(A recently married couple from Paterson upon their honeymoon, and bound for nowhere in particular)

ALI KOHJA, chief of police to the Sultana of the Barakeesh. Seen in Act I as an Arab story teller........

                    .....................................................................................................STAN KRAWSON

     MIRZAH...............................      .................MELISSA FRUTSCHY

ZAPHIRE.............................       ...........................CHARITY KING

LIEUT. BERTRAND, aide to Capt. De Lome...........................................................RICK MILLER


Chorus of Bayaderes, Nurses, Flower and Fruit Vendors, Rug and Jewel Merchants, Soldiers, Etc. 

Misses Ginny Brazier, Maura Hanlon, Melissa Frutschy, Charity King, Jackie Luthy, 

Sarah Brazier, Kerry Bush, Julie Carlson, . 

Messrs. Paul C. Johansen, Joseph R. Carbone, Sr., Rick Miller, Moises Carrasco, Larry Kornblum.


ORCHESTRA

Violins - Georgene Recchio, Kay Lorson, Michael Humphreys, Evan Rebillot, Taylor Forbes, 

Stephen Beckwith, Cheryl Terhune, Vicki Ammond, Vince Burwell, Rebecca Kovalak. 

Violas - Tshana Jefferson, Raylena Bevington, Betsy Pratt, Katlyn Brown. 

Cellos - Josh Williams, Crystal Sabik, Alex Tate. Basses - Tom Tully, Gabrielle Jordan, James Curl. 

Flutes - Katherine Jackson, Tami Hendrix. Oboe - Amy Cull. Clarinets - Willow DiGiacomo, Ken Stern. Bassoon - Gwendolyn Ohlemacher. Horns - Jane Ulmer, Josiah Bullach. Cornets - Daniel Guth, 

Shannon Thouvenin. Trombone - John Ulmer. Percussion - Keith Wilson, Kelley Flinn.


HISTORY

    The Rose of Algeria started life as Algeria, opening on Broadway on August 31, 1908.  The cast included Ida Brooks Hunt as Sultana Zoradie, George Leon Moore as Captain De Lome and William Pruette as the Governor.  Victor Herbert’s score was praised, but the critics were not as kind to 

MacDonough’s libretto.  Herbert’s score was so good that the critics pleaded for a revision of the piece.  Producer Frank McKee closed the piece after six weeks and sold the rights to producer Lew Fields (of the comedy team of Weber and Fields).  The next season a revised version of the show was brought back to Broadway titled The Rose of Algeria.   This version opened on September 20, 1909 and ran for 40 

performances.  The new cast included Lillian Herlein as the Sultana, Frank Pollock as Captain DeLome and Eugene Cowles as the Governor. The libretto again came under attack as it seems that MacDonough did not revise it thoroughly enough.  Herbert’s score, with the substitution of a few minor songs, remained virtually the same in both versions of the show.  The short run of the revised version can also be attributed to the unfortunate fact that The Rose of Algeria opened within a week of The Chocolate Soldier by Oscar Straus and The Dollar Princess by Leo Fall.  These two Viennese operettas were smash hits, each running almost 300 performances and undoubtedly made it difficult for the Herbert piece to maintain an audience.  The Rose of Algeria still remained popular with stock and amateur theatres and continued to receive a few productions into the 1950s.  

    Herbert is reported to have held his score for The Rose of Algeria as one of his personal favorites. This is particularly impressive as Herbert could count among his success such masterpieces as Naughty Marietta (1910), The Red Mill (1906) and Sweethearts (1913).  Director Joseph N. Rubin has 

restored the original orchestrations for this production working from Herbert’s full scores and a set of 

original orchestra parts.  The libretto has been cut in length by Rebekkah Rubin, but not re-written, to better lend itself to a concert production.