Hit the Deck (musical)

Hit the Deck is a musical with music by Vincent Youmans, lyrics by Clifford Grey and Leo Robin and book by Herbert Fields.[1] It was based on the 1922 play Shore Leave by Hubert Osborne.[citation needed] The title refers to a nautical slang term that means to prepare for action (general) or to drop to a prone position on the ground (as a defensive response to hostile fire).

The original production was staged at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway, opening on April 25, 1927, and running for 352 performances.[1] Charles King played Bilge and Louise Groody played Loulou. The show's co-producers were Youmans and Lew Fields, and Lew Fields co-directed with Alexander Leftwich. The production ran for 352 performances.[2]

The first London production opened at the Hippodrome on July 3, 1927 and ran for 277 performances. It starred Stanley Holloway.[3][4] In The Manchester Guardian, Ivor Brown praised Holloway for a singing style "which coaxes the ear rather than clubbing the head."[5]


Act I
  • Join the Navy – Loulou, Gobs and Girls
  • What's a Kiss Among Friends? – Toddy, Charlotte, Alan and Girls
  • Harbor of My Heart – Loulou and Bilge
  • Shore Leave – Chorus
  • Lucky Bird – Lavinia
  • Looloo – Loulou and Boys
  • Why, Oh Why? – Charlotte and Chorus
  • Sometimes I'm Happy (Sometimes I'm Blue) – Loulou and Bilge
Act II
  • Hallelujah! – Lavinia and Chorus
  • Hallelujah! (Reprise) –Lavinia
  • Looloo (Reprise) –Loulou and Boys
  • Utopia – Loulou and Bunny

Film adaptationsEdit

1955 film, "Hit The Deck"

Two films based on the musical were made. The first was in 1930 and starred Jack Oakie.[6] It was remade in 1955 with a slightly different screenplay and differently named characters. It starred Jane Powell and Tony Martin.[7]


  1. ^ a b Soul, Keeping (5 December 2010). "Malcolm Lowry @ The 19th Hole: Hit The Deck 1927". Malcolmlowryatthe19thhole.blogspot.com. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  2. ^ Hit the Deck, IBDB database, accessed 16 March 2012
  3. ^ "Stanley Holloway The English Entertainer In Hit The Deck". Gettyimages.co.uk. 1927-07-03. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  4. ^ "Hit the Deck", The Times, 4 November 1927, p. 7
  5. ^ Brown, Ivor. "Hit the Deck", The Manchester Guardian, 4 November 1927, p. 15
  6. ^ Hall, Mordaunt (2011). "New York Times: Hit the Deck". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  7. ^ Hal Erickson (2008). "New York Times: Hit the Deck". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2008-08-18.

External linkEdit