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Criss Cross is a musical comedy in two acts and prologue, with book and lyrics by Otto Harbach and Anne Caldwell and music by Jerome Kern. The plot concerns a successful aviator, Christopher Cross (Fred Stone) who manages to help Captain Carleton save Dolly Day from the designing schemes of IIphrahim Benani to rob her of her birthright and a considerable fortune.[1]

Criss Cross
Criss Cross (musical) sheet music cover.jpg
Sheet Music Cover
MusicJerome Kern
LyricsOtto Harbach and Anne Caldwell
BookOtto Harbach and Anne Caldwell

The show was produced by Charles Dillingham at the Globe Theatre, and opened October 12, 1926.[2] The cast headlined Fred Stone (Christopher Cross) and Dorothy Stone (Dolly Day) and included Roy Hoyer (Captain Carleton) and Oscar Ragland (IIphrahim Benani).[3] The musical director was Victor Baravalle and the music was orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett and Maurice DePackh. The show was staged by R. H. Burnside and choreographed by Dave Bennett. Scenic design and costume design by James Reynolds. It ran for 210 performances, closing on April 9, 1927.[3]

As well stated by Gerald Bordman, "From the start Criss Cross was rarely perceived as a Kern show. [Fred] Stone dominated any of his vehicles with his homey clowning and live acrobatics. ... Kern and his associates hardly ever received more than a perfunctory mention."[4]

On October 23, 1927, Criss Cross toured to Philadelphia where it was the inaugural show at the new Erlanger Theatre.[4]



  1. ^ Mantle, Burns, Editor, "The Best Plays of 1926–1927", Dodd, Mead & Company, pp. 401
  2. ^ Mantle, Burns, Editor, "The Best Plays of 1926–1927", Dodd, Mead & Company, p. 400.
  3. ^ a b Criss Cross at the Internet Broadway databas
  4. ^ a b Bordman, Gerald, Jerome Kern: His Life and Music, Oxford University Press, New York, 1980, p. 271