PE0202. To-Night’s the Night. (Paul Rubens & Jerome Kern), w.George Grossmith, Henri Leoni, Leslie Henson, Julia James, Haidee de Rance, etc., from Original 1915 Cast recording. (England) Palaeophonics 103. Excellent transfers from these 1915 recordings, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 20pp. Brochure replete w.photos from the London production.
“TO-NIGHT'S THE NIGHT is a musical comedy composed by Paul Rubens, with lyrics by Percy Greenbank and Rubens, and a book adapted by Fred Thompson. Two songs were composed by Jerome Kern. The story is based on the farce LES DOMINOS ROSES (Pink Dominoes). The musical was produced by George Grossmith, Jr. and Edward Laurillard. It opened at the Shubert Theatre in New York on 24 December, 1914. It then was produced at the Gaiety Theatre in London, opening on 18 April, 1915 and running for a very successful 460 performances. Grossmith starred in the piece with Leslie Henson. Grossmith told The New York Times that the musical was the first Gaiety Theatre Company production presented in New York before opening in London.”
“Paul Alfred Rubens was an English songwriter and librettist who wrote some of the most popular Edwardian musical comedies of the early twentieth century. He co-wrote a burlesque, GREAT CAESAR (1899, with George Grossmith, Jr.), which was produced on the West End. In 1899, he wrote songs for L'AMOUR MOUILLÉ and the international hit, FLORODORA (1899) which brought him wider fame. Edwardes quickly hired Rubens as an ‘additional material’ writer, and Rubens supplied some of the most successful numbers in THE MESSENGER BOY in 1900.
During this period, Rubens also wrote incidental music for the 1901 production of TWELFTH NIGHT at His Majesty's Theatre. He also wrote songs for THE MEDAL AND THE MAID (1902) and THE SCHOOL GIRL (1903). Edwardes gave Rubens the opportunity to write the book, lyrics and some of the music for THREE LITTLE MAIDS (1902), which had London and international success; LADY MADCAP (1904); and MR. POPPLE OF IPPLETON (1905), a more sophisticated piece than many of Rubens' earlier musical comedies, which was later produced in America as NOBODY HOME, with songs by Jerome Kern.
Frank Curzon then hired Rubens to write both the words and songs for musicals starring his wife, Isabel Jay (who had already starred in two of Rubens' shows), at the Prince of Wales Theatre, with exotic sets, elaborate costumes and a host of beautiful chorus girls. The first was MISS HOOK OF HOLLAND in 1907, which turned out to be Rubens' most enduring success. Because of the progression of the consumptive illness from which he suffered most of his life, he needed the assistance of the director, Austen Hurgon, to finish the libretto. Rubens and Hurgon next wrote the disappointing MY MIMOSA MAID (1908) and the somewhat more successful DEAR LITTLE DENMARK (1909).
After writing songs that made their way into several Broadway shows, Rubens supplied songs for a number of mostly successful later shows, beginning with Curzon's THE BALKAN PRINCESS in 1910. He then returned to Edwardes' theatres, where the departure of Ivan Caryll gave him the chance to write the songs for THE SUNSHINE GIRL in 1912, THE GIRL FROM UTAH in 1913, AFTER THE GIRL in 1914, TINA AND BETTY, both in 1915, and THE HAPPY DAY in 1916. His best and most popular work from these years, however, is heard in his melodies and lyrics for TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT (1914). After the outbreak of the First World War, Rubens wrote a successful recruiting song called ‘Your King and Country Need You’. Vesta Tilley often performed the song. Rubens' songs continued to be used at least into the 1920s. ‘The Gondola and the Girl’ was part of the score of Irene Bordoni's 1924 production, LITTLE MISS BLUEBEARD.
Rubens met actress Phyllis Dare when she was cast in THE SUNSHINE GIRL, and he wrote a number of songs for her. They began a relationship and ultimately became engaged, but Rubens who had suffered severe ill-health through virtually his whole career, became too sick to marry, and so the couple separated.”