Call Me Madam

Definition

Theater

  • A musical by Irving Berlin, first performed in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1950 with Ethel Merman in the lead; it subsequentlytransferred to Broadway, where it ran for over 640 performances. The story, by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, is suspiciously similar to that of Victor Herbert's 1904 musical It Happened in Nordland. It involves a Washingtonhostess, Sally Adams, who is appointed ambassador to the tiny country of Lichtenburg, where she falls in love with the foreign minister, Cosmo Constantine. Sally is recalled because of her outrageous behaviour at court, but Cosmo becomes prime minister and pledges his love to her.

    President Harry Truman was a featured character in the musical,and Berlin was prophetic in writing the song 'They Like Ike'; twoyears later, Dwight Eisenhower campaigned successfully for the USpresidency using the slogan 'I Like Ike'. Other songs included 'It'sa Lovely Day Today', 'You're Just in Love', and 'The Best Thing forYou'.

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