Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford


Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford
(1910)
   The first of song-and-dance man George M. Cohan's successful nonMusicAL works, Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford is based on George Randolph Chester's Saturday Evening Post short stories. This lighthearted comedy ran for 424 performances at the Gaiety Theatre in a Cohan and Sam H. Harris production beginning 19 September 1910. Cohan directed, but did not appear in this amusing glimpse of all-American confidence man J. Rufus Wallingford, who moves from one town to the next, setting up fake businesses to bilk the local "rube" populace. In Battleburg, however, he falls for Fanny Jasper, a local girl whose belief in him propels Wallingford to succeed with a company that makes carpet tacks to match any carpet. As the curtain falls, to his great surprise, Wallingford becomes an accidental millionaire, legitimate, and engaged to Fanny. Critics approved of the typically American character types and values, finding the show colorful and fast-paced in the Cohan tradition. It was revived on Broadway in 1917 and spawned three screen versions (1916, 1921, 1931).

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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