Of Thee I Sing

First edition 1932

Musical with a score by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind.

- Of Thee I Sing
First edition 1932

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Obverse and reverse sides of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service gold medal, designed by Daniel Chester French in 1917

Pulitzer Prize for Drama

One of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music.

One of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music.

Obverse and reverse sides of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service gold medal, designed by Daniel Chester French in 1917

They are: George and Ira Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing (1932), Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific (1950), Bock & Harnick's Fiorello! (1960), Frank Loesser's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1962), Marvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban, James Kirkwood, Jr., and Nicholas Dante's A Chorus Line (1976), Stephen Sondheim's and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George (1985), Jonathan Larson's Rent (1996), Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt's Next to Normal (2010), Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton (2016), and Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop (2020).

Ira Gershwin

American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs in the English language of the 20th century.

American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs in the English language of the 20th century.

Along with George S Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, he was a recipient of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Of Thee I Sing.

Bottom, left to right: George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, (top) Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin.

Morrie Ryskind

American dramatist, lyricist and writer of theatrical productions and motion pictures, who became a conservative political activist later in life.

American dramatist, lyricist and writer of theatrical productions and motion pictures, who became a conservative political activist later in life.

Bottom, left to right: George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, (top) Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin.

In 1933, he earned the Pulitzer Prize (receiving the prize from the same Nicholas Murray Butler who had suspended him from Columbia University) for Drama for the Broadway production Of Thee I Sing, a musical written in collaboration with composer George Gershwin.

Gershwin in 1937 by Carl Van Vechten

George Gershwin

American pianist and composer, whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres.

American pianist and composer, whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres.

Gershwin in 1937 by Carl Van Vechten
George Gershwin, c. 1935.
Gershwin's mausoleum in Westchester Hills Cemetery
Birthday party honoring Maurice Ravel in New York City, March 8, 1928. From left: Oskar Fried; Éva Gauthier; Ravel at piano; Manoah Leide-Tedesco; and George Gershwin.
1973 U.S. commemorative stamp honoring Gershwin
George Gershwin and one of his oil paintings, 1931

1931's Of Thee I Sing became the first musical comedy to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama; the winners were George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, and Ira Gershwin.

Moore in 1918

Victor Moore

American actor of stage and screen, a major Broadway star from the late 1920s through the 1930s.

American actor of stage and screen, a major Broadway star from the late 1920s through the 1930s.

Moore in 1918
The Clown (1916)
Nutty Knitters (1917)
Moore in trailer for Louisiana Purchase (1941)

He went on to star in shows such as Oh, Kay! (1926) as Shorty McGee, Hold Everything! (1928) as Nosey Bartlett, Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing (1931) as Vice-president Alexander Throttlebottom, Let 'Em Eat Cake (1933), Cole Porter's Anything Goes (1934) as Moonface Martin, and Irving Berlin's Louisiana Purchase (1940) as Oliver P. Loganberry.

George S. Kaufman in 1928

George S. Kaufman

American playwright, theater director and producer, humorist, and drama critic.

American playwright, theater director and producer, humorist, and drama critic.

George S. Kaufman in 1928
George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart in 1937
The Front Page (1928)
Of Mice and Men (1937), with Wallace Ford and Broderick Crawford
Beatrice Kaufman in 1934

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the musical Of Thee I Sing (with Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin) in 1932, and won again in 1937 for the play You Can't Take It with You (with Moss Hart).

The Black Crook was a hit musical in 1866.

Musical theatre

Form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance.

Form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance.

The Black Crook was a hit musical in 1866.
A Gaiety Girl (1893) was one of the first hit musicals
George Gershwin
Chinese opera performers
A view of Rhodes by John Webb, to be painted on a backshutter for the first performance of The Siege of Rhodes (1656)
Poster, c. 1879
Cover of the Vocal Score of Sidney Jones' The Geisha
Victor Herbert
Sheet music from Sally, 1920
Rodgers and Hart
Rodgers and Hammerstein (left and right) and Irving Berlin (center) at the St. James Theatre in 1948
Mary Martin starred in several Broadway hits of this era
Julie Andrews with Richard Burton in Camelot (1960)
Leonard Bernstein, 1971
Bernadette Peters (shown in 2008) has starred in five Sondheim musicals
A Chorus Line was one of 55 productions that Joseph Papp's Public Theatre has brought to Broadway
Cameron Mackintosh
Audra McDonald
The cast of Hamilton meets President Obama in 2015
Zac Efron and Zendaya (pictured), along with Hugh Jackman, brought star power to The Greatest Showman
Dove Cameron has starred in such TV musicals as Descendants, Hairspray Live! and Schmigadoon!
Marquee of the In the Heart of the Beast Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the COVID-19 pandemic
Japan's all-female Takarazuka Revue in a 1930 performance of "Parisette"
Naples Players' teen Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2009
The Lion King on Broadway

The Princess Theatre musicals (1915–1918) were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat (1927), Of Thee I Sing (1931) and Oklahoma! (1943).

Jo Mielziner

American theatrical scenic, and lighting designer born in Paris, France.

American theatrical scenic, and lighting designer born in Paris, France.

His other Broadway credits include the original productions of Sweet and Low, Of Thee I Sing, Another Part of the Forest, Winterset, Oh, Captain!, Dodsworth, Strange Interlude, Carousel, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gypsy, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as the film Picnic and the ballet Who Cares?.

Moran portrait by Carl Van Vechten, 1932

Lois Moran

American film and stage actress.

American film and stage actress.

Moran portrait by Carl Van Vechten, 1932
Moran in the 1920s.

Her Broadway credits include Of Thee I Sing (1931) and This Is New York (1930).

Gershwin in 1937 by Carl Van Vechten

Who Cares? (Gershwin song)

Gershwin in 1937 by Carl Van Vechten

"Who Cares?" is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, written for their 1931 musical Of Thee I Sing.