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  Belle of New York  
"The Belle of New York"
Already in the year 1897- 98 the musical "The Belle of New York" was written with the music by Gustave Kerker and words by Hugh Morton. It was the first American musical with international success.
Although it was more or less a flop in the USA, in London alone it was presented almost 700 times. The actress Edna May played the main role of the salvationist.
The basic story is that Ichabod Bronson is a millionaire and president of the Young Men's Rescue League and the Anti Cigarette Society. Sadly enough for Ichabod, his own son belongs to the group that Bronson tries to help. Together with the help of the salvationist Violet Gray, he is able to see Harry, the son, mend his ways and restart a responsible life, so much so as to see Harry take over the father's business. That Harry and Violet Gray fall in love also makes the joy of everyone complete.

  Edna May as salvationist in "The Belle of New York"
Edna May as "The Belle of New York"  
Music sheet in the Salvation Army Museum Basel  

Movie still in the private Salvation Army museum

The piece has been filmed a number of times, with scenes and music pieces being changed. When the film was redone in 1952 as a musical for Fred Astaire and Vera Ellen, the music and text was completely redone by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer.

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