The Command to Love

A comedy in three acts by Rudolph Lothar and Fritz Gottwald. Adapted by Herman Berstein and Brian Marlow. Opened at the Longacre Theatre, New York City, September 20, 1927. After 247 performances the play went on national tour for one year, with most of the New York cast. Produced by William A. Brady, Jr. and Dwight Deere Wiman, in association with John Tuerk. Staged by Lester Lonergan.

Cast of characters

Don Pedro Munaterra Thomas Louden
The French Ambassador to Spain Henry Stephenson
Marie-Anne Violet Kemble Cooper
A Lackey Walter Colligan
Gaston, Marquis du Saint-Lac Basil Rathbone
Emile Ardillot Anthony Kemble Cooper
Don Tomas Martinex Percy Hemus
Manuela Mary Nash
The Spanish War Minister Ferdinand Gottschalk
The French Foreign Minister David Glassford
Act I A Room in the French Embassy, Madrid

Act II The Attach's Rooms

Act III A Room in the French Embassy

comlov.jpg (68300 bytes)
Poster from the Geary Theatre in San Francisco

"Gaston, with a reputation as the most successful of the modern Don Juans, is drafted as an attach of the French embassy at the court of Spain. His unofficial duties include such social contacts with the influential ladies of the court as will help his country. Gaston, however, being true to his ambassador's wife, refuses to flirt until the ambassador practically orders him to do so. Then he reluctantly but successfully acknowledges the advances of Manuela, wife of the Spanish war minister, and thus helps along the signing of a treaty the war minister previously had opposed."
[from The Best Plays of 1927-28, ed. by Burns Mantle (Dodd, Mead and Co., 1928), page 410.]

Above: Two photos from "The Command to Love"


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All original content is Marcia Jessen, 2007