June Moon

June Moon is a play by George S. Kaufman and Ring Lardner. Based on the Lardner short story "Some Like Them Cold," about a love affair that loses steam before it ever gets started, it includes songs with words and music by Lardner but is not considered a musical per se.

June Moon
First edition 1930
Written byGeorge S. Kaufman
Ring Lardner
Date premieredOctober 9, 1929 (1929-10-09)
Place premieredBroadhurst Theatre
New York City
Original languageEnglish
SubjectA young man from upstate New York seeks fame as a Tin Pan Alley lyricist
SettingNew York City, 1929


At the center of June Moon is Fred Stevens, a young aspiring lyricist who journeys from Schenectady to New York City, where he hopes to make a name for himself in the world of song publishing and night clubs. On the train he meets dental assistant Edna Baker, and the two embark upon a friendship that evolves into love for her and fondness for him. While struggling to become a Tin Pan Alley notable, Fred takes a shine to his composer partner Paul's glamorous, gold-digging sister-in-law Eileen. The two men sell a song to a music publisher and it develops into a hit. Ultimately, revelations about Eileen's true character help return Fred to his senses and Edna, whom he realizes he truly loves.


The original Broadway production opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on October 9, 1929 and ran for 273 performances. It was directed by Kaufman, and the cast included Norman Foster as Fred, Linda Watkins as Edna, Frank Otto as Paul, and Lee Patrick as Eileen.

A preview production was presented at the Belasco Theatre in Washington, D.C., on September 23, 1929.


Milano Tilden and Carl Hunt directed a revival that opened at the Ambassador Theatre on May 15, 1933 and ran for 49 performances. The cast included Thomas Gillen as Fred, Emily Lowry as Edna, Fred Irving Lewis as Paul, and Lee Patrick reprising the role of Eileen.

Mark Nelson directed an off-Broadway revival performed by the Drama Dept. that had a short run at the Ohio Theater in Soho in January 1997. Writing in the New York Times, Ben Brantley observed, "There is indeed a discernible streak of anxiety in the comedy. It may have been written as fluff, but it's flavored with a subliminal sadness that belies its own happy ending." [1] The production won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play Actor Albert Macklin, who portrayed sardonic accompanyist Maxie received a Best Actor Obie Award. On January 15, 1998, it reopened at the Variety Arts Theatre and ran for 101 performances. The cast included Geoffrey Nauffts as Fred, Robert Joy as Paul, and Cynthia Nixon as Eileen. Albert Macklin reprised his Obie-winning role as Maxie.

A production was performed at UC San Diego February 24 – March 3, 2012, directed by Jonathan SIlverstein and featuring Jack Mikesell as Fred, Vi Flaten as Edna.

Jessica Stone directed a Williamstown Theatre Festival production from July 2–13, 2014.[2]



Vincent Lawrence, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and Keene Thompson adapted the play for a 1931 feature film directed by A. Edward Sutherland. The cast included Jack Oakie as Fred, Frances Dee as Edna, Ernest Wood as Paul, and June MacCloy as Eileen.

Paramount Pictures produced a 1937 version called Blonde Trouble.


June Moon was adapted for the CBS Radio series The Campbell Playhouse on March 24, 1940. The cast included Orson Welles (Candy Butcher), Jack Benny (Fred Stevens), Benny Rubin (Maxie Schwartz), Gus Schilling (Paul Sears), Bea Benaderet (Lucille Sears) and Virginia Gordon (Edna Baker). Lee Patrick reprised her Broadway role as Eileen.[3][4]

June Moon was presented on Philip Morris Playhouse October 3, 1941. Eddie Cantor starred in the 30-minute adaptation.[5]


On June 2, 1949, CBS Television broadcast an hour long adaptation of June Moon on the live anthology show Studio One. The live television production was directed by Walter Hart, adapted by Gerald Goode, and featured Jack Lemmon as Fred Stevens, Eva Marie Saint as Edna, Edward Andrews as Paul, and Jean Carson as Eileen.

Kirk Browning and Burt Shevelove staged the play for a PBS Great Performances broadcast that aired on January 30, 1974. The cast included Tom Fitzsimmons as Fred, Barbara Dana as Edna, Jack Cassidy as Paul, Beatrice Colen as Goldie and Susan Sarandon as Eileen, with Kevin McCarthy, Lee Meredith, Estelle Parsons, Austin Pendleton, and Stephen Sondheim in supporting roles. A DVD of this production was released by Kultur Video on April 16, 2002.


  1. New York Times, January 11, 1977
  2. Wiliamstown Theatre Festival Archive
  3. Welles, Orson; Bogdanovich, Peter; Rosenbaum, Jonathan (1992). This is Orson Welles. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 360. ISBN 0-06-016616-9.
  4. "The Campbell Playhouse: June Moon". Orson Welles on the Air, 1938–1946. Indiana University Bloomington. March 24, 1940. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  5. "Johnny Presents". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 3, 1941. p. 15. Retrieved July 21, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
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