06 June 2024

The story behind Jerry’s Girls

First launched in 1985, Jerry’s Girls is a celebration of the music and lyrics that Jerry Herman wrote specifically for women. Created by Herman himself and Larry Alford, it’s now showing at the Menier Chocolate Factory and brings these dynamic, glamorous and optimistic melodies to a new audience. Let’s take a closer look at this renowned composer and the story behind Jerry’s Girls.

Who was Jerry Herman?

Born in Manhattan in 1931, Gerald Sheldon Herman was a giant of Broadway theatre. He began composing in his teens and attended the University of Miami, graduating in 1953 with a BA in drama. Soon afterwards he produced his first Off-Broadway revue, I Feel Wonderful, which opened in 1954 at the Theatre de Lys.

His Broadway debut came in 1960 with the revue From A to Z. It featured contributions from then-newcomers Woody Allen and Fred Ebb. A long and illustrious career followed, with hit shows including Hello, Dolly!, Mame, Dear World, Mack & Mabel, and La Cage aux Folles. Herman won multiple awards for his work, including Tony, Grammy, Olivier and Drama Desk Awards.

What is Jerry’s Girls about?

Jerry’s Girls first ran on Broadway from December 1985 to April 1986. Unlike the majority of Herman’s hit musicals, it doesn’t have a plot; instead it tells a story of soaring vocals and anthemic tunes, of star quality and musical genius.

The female roles of many Jerry Herman musicals were played by a host of Tony winners, from Ethel Merman and Angela Lansbury to Leslie Uggams and Chita Rivera. Jerry’s Girls celebrates these women in the parts they played, and toasts the music written for them.

Expect to be carried between the backstage world with its make-up tables and mirrors, and the world before the curtain where polished performances reign. Three generations of performers strut their stuff: Jessica Martin plays the older, wiser character, while Julie Yammanee is the ingenue, all innocence and guilelessness. Cassidy Janson is the third performer.

What songs will we hear?

Jerry Herman fans will love the song lineup, which includes “I Don’t Want to Know” and “Kiss Her Now” from Dear World, “Bosom Buddies” and “Gooch’s Song” from Mame, and “It Only Takes a Moment”, “Before the Parade Passes By” and “So Long Dearie” from Hello, Dolly! You’ll also hear “I Won’t Send Roses” and “Tap Your Troubles Away” from Mack & Mabel, and “I Am What I Am” and “The Best of Times” from La Cage Aux Folles

Book your tickets

An unmissable revue for musical aficionados, this Jerry Herman show is playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 29 June. Directed by Hannah Chissick and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Matt Cole, it’s sure to delight Jerry Herman devotees and general audiences alike. Book your tickets today with KX Tickets.