"Once In Love With Amy": From Coffee to Muppets

"Once In Love With Amy": From Coffee to Muppets

Before MRS. DOUBTFIRE, TOOTSIE, and SOME LIKE IT HOT, there was WHERE'S CHARLEY?, Frank Loesser and George Abbot's musical cross-dressing farce.  Oxford University students Charley and Jack invite the young and winsome Kitty and Amy to lunch under the chaperoning eye of Donna Lucia, Charley's wealthy aunt (it is, after all, 1892). But when Donna Lucia doesn't show, a desperate Charley disguises himself as his aunt so the young ladies can visit, unaware they’ve brought a chaperon of their own: Amy's stuffy uncle, who promptly falls for Charley’s aunt-like charms! Then the real aunt shows up, and it's all downhill from there: quick changes, fast talking, marriage proposals, compromising situations and rowdy hilarity.

But Charley's biggest concern isn't that the real Donna Lucia will blow his cover, or that Amy's uncle will grow suspicious over how Charley and "Donna Lucia" are never in the same room at the same time.  Instead, Charley's worried that his mysterious absences will make Amy think he doesn't love her.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  In his song, "Once In Love With Amy," Charley shares his unequivocal love for her with the audience.   "Once you're kissed by Amy/Tear up your list - it's Amy," he admits.

The song was originally written six years before WHERE'S CHARLEY?, when Loesser, Peter Lind Hayes, and Hayes' wife Mary Healy worked for the Army's Radio Productions Unit.  Healy would regularly bring Loesser coffee as he worked at the piano at six every morning, and Loesser was so grateful he wrote "Once In Love With Mary."

"Once In Love With Amy" later became immensely popular, and was recorded by Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow. Even the Muppets have put their own spin on the song, as seen in this clip from an episode of THE MUPPET SHOW:

To license WHERE'S CHARLEY?, visit its MTI show page. Discuss this article on WHERE'S CHARLEY?'s MTI ShowSpace page. Join the Frank Loesser Centennial Celebration ShowSpace Group to learn more about MTI's celebration of Loesser's 100th birthday this June.