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Panama Hattie

From 10 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Fluffy, Entertaining, Delightful, Funny

About the show

In Cole Porter's 1940 comedy, a brassy nightclub owner must bid for the approval of her fiancé’s family. Part of The York's "The Musicals in Mufti" series of minimally staged, script-in-hand productions. More…

From the show:

Cole Porter and Ethel Merman teamed up for their fourth hit with 1940's PANAMA HATTIE, in which a brassy nightclub owner must bid for the approval of her fiancé’s family – a task only made more complicated when she discovers a plan to blow up the Panama Canal. With a raucous book about sailors and singers in the Panama Canal Zone and a snappy Porter score that includes “Let’s Be Buddies,” “I've Still Got My Health” and “Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please,” PANAMA HATTIE was a smash in its day, but is now mostly known for its distinctly unfaithful film adaptation. In response to the original production, Brooks Atkinson in The New York Times stated, “if the Navy ever hears about Panama Hattie, it will be hard to keep the fleet in the Pacific. As far as that goes, it is going to be hard to keep New Yorkers at home in the evenings this Winter.”

Member Reviews (10)


Great singing, Fluffy, Entertaining, Delightful, Funny

Great singing, Slow, Cliched, Dated, Corny

See it if Brightly performed Cole Porter songs with clever lyrics. Charismatic child actress. Catchy tune, "Let's Be Buddies".

Don't see it if I saw all 3 CP shows in the York series, and liked this one the least. It was more dated, and had less humor, musical interest & charm.

Cole porter!, Silly, fun!, Fluffy

See it if If you are a Cole Porter fan. This show isn't done often mostly because of it's silly plot. But if you are in for good music & fun, go!

Don't see it if You are looking for a drama, or a cohesive plot. Don't like Porter's music. Also be aware that Mufti prod. are minimal sets, & rehearsal.

Also Despite the books in hand, this was a fun evening. The lead had an ama... Read more Read less

Sweet, Fluffy, Great singing, Entertaining, De-lovely!

See it if you like musicals from this era, Cole Porter or Ethel Merman. This plot is as thin as tissue paper, but who cares? It will make you happy!

Don't see it if You have high expectations for captivating plots in a musical, or if you don't care for old musicals in general.

Also One doesn't go to a musical like this expecting the kind of transforma... Read more Read less

Fluffy, Fun, Terrific cast, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you're a Cole Porter fan. A terrific cast on book in a story that's surprisingly touching at times. An entertaining evening.

Don't see it if the Mufti concept (no sets, small cast on book, two-piece "orchestra") is not for you.

Also I never got to see Ethel in person, but Klea Blackhurst is just terrif... Read more Read less

Okay cole porter, Lightweight, Silly, Entertaining

See it if You really are desperate for a Cole Porter fix. You want to see what passed for entertainment in 1940.

Don't see it if Bare-bones old musical on short rehearsal with scripts in hand, piano and bass, no sets no costumes.

Also I'm all in favor of reviving old musicals as an historical exercise. B... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Hilarious, Great singing, Delightful

See it if You enjoy Cole Porter’s songs in a sweet story. Great talent in a small venue. Marvelous!

Don't see it if You want a big show or don’t like to old standards.

Winning & lovable cast make this silly & bawdy musical breezy and fun, and a mufti must-see

See it if you want to have fun. The actors are great-- especially gratifying to see such supporting players as Jay Aubrey Jones & Casey Shuler shine.

Don't see it if you want to miss seldom heard tuneful & clever Cole Porter compositions. Several songs make no sense plot-wise but are a delight here.

Fun, but..., Banal, Fluffy

See it if Klea Blackhurst was born to play Merman musical comedy heroines, and she does the Merm's memory justice here, as well as others in the cast.

Don't see it if The show's hardly worth a visit, much less a revival. The book is tired and the score isn't close to Porter's best.

Well-sung, Silly, Funny

See it if You're a Cole Porter fan; you like old musicals; you like unmiked voices; you're a Klea Blackhurst fan; you're a completist.

Don't see it if If you don't like silly musicals, staged readings, or small bands. (For full review, go to

During previews
Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if you like old Cole Porter musicals

Don't see it if you want a little more relevance in yur musicals

Also A musical from the 40's. Fun, tuneful Cole Porter songs.... Read more Read less

November 1st, 2019
"Boffo Belter Klea Blackhurst Is In The Zone As Cole Porter's 'PANAMA HATTIE'"
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October 30th, 2019
"For whatever reason, book writers Herbert Fields and B.G. DeSylva decided it would be fun to have Merman running around in the tropics, doing what she usually did …. 'Panama Hattie' would have been more fun if it didn't have so much book, but Porter's score has some nifty items."
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October 28th, 2019
"Michael Montel directs efficiently, and the two-man orchestra, Deniz Cordell on piano and David White on bass, sounds swell. Panama Hattie is no lost treasure, but as a Merman vehicle it's solid, you'll probably never get to see it again, and in Klea Blackhurst we have perhaps the most capable M...
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October 29th, 2019
3/5 Stars "The revival does entertain, but it simultaneously presents hard-and-fast proof why this 1940 musical isn’t a hot candidate for reviving—now or, perhaps, ever."
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Cast & Creatives (5)