Photos from the 2014 production of I'll Say She Is. Photos by Don Spiro and Jim R. Moore.
I'll Say She Is opened in Philadelphia in the spring of 1923, and on Broadway at the Casino Theatre a year later. It was, as Joe Adamson has written, "the beginning of the Marx Brothers Proper." The show was a plotted revue about an heiress looking for thrills. It had a book and lyrics by Will B. Johnstone (later to co-write Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and A Day at the Races) and music by Tom Johnstone. It had the beautiful Lotta Miles. And it had seven golden comedy scenes, which established the Marx Brothers as the preeminent jesters of the Jazz Age and the darlings of the New York smart set.
Drawn from multiple sources, Noah Diamond's adaptation of I'll Say She Is reconstructs, refines, embellishes, and otherwise grapples with this enigmatic entry in the Marx Brothers canon. It premiered in the form of two staged readings at Marxfest, followed by a sold-out, historic workshop run in the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival, produced and directed by Trav S.D.
In the spring of 2016, I'll Say She Is returns to the New York stage, in a spectacular new production at the Connelly Theater.