One Touch of Venus

Musical comedy in two acts.
Book by S.J. Perelman and Ogden Nash after F.J. Anstey's The Tinted Venus
Lyrics by Ogden Nash.

Mary Martin as Venus singing "That's Him" in the Broadway production.


Art expert Whitelaw Savory at last finds the statue of Venus which he has been seeking for years. His barber, Rodney, comes over to shave him and idly places his fiancée's ring on the statue's finger. Venus comes to life and falls in love with the man who resurrected her. At first, the terrified Rodney is unwilling. Undaunted, Venus pursues him, temporarily immobilizing his fiancée, and finally convinces him to be her lover. Then she realizes that she will have to live a suburban existence in Ozone Heights, and reconsiders. She is taken back to Olympus, but leaves behind a facsimile of herself so Rodney will never be alone again, as she had promised.

Song list

Performance Information Cast: Singing roles -- Whitelaw Savory (baritone), Molly Grant (mezzo-soprano), Rodney Hatch (tenor), Venus (mezzo-soprano), Taxi Black (tenor buffo), Stanley (baritone), Gloria Kramer (mezzo-soprano), Mrs. Kramer (mezzo-soprano), bus starter, ensemble.
Speaking roles -- Mrs. Moats, two Anatolians, Rose, Zuvetli, Dr. Rook, Sam, store manager, police lieutenant, dancers.
Orchestra: Reed 1 (cl, alto sax), Reed 2 (cl, bass cl, alto sax), Reed 3 (cl, ten. sax, fl, picc,) Reed 4 (cl, alto sax, ten. sax, fl, picc); 3 tpt, tbn; piano, timp & perc; strings.
Duration: full evening, 65 minutes music
Authorized Translation: Swedish -- Lars Rudolfsson

Principal productions


Imperial Theatre, October 7, 1943 (567 perf.)
Director: Elia Kazan
Choreographer: Agnes de Mille
Musical Director: Maurice Abravanel
Whitelaw Savory- John Boles- Baritone
Molly Grant- Paula Laurence- Alto
Rodney Hatch- Kenny Baker- Baritone
Venus- Mary Martin- Mezzo
Mrs. Kramer- Helen Raymond- VTI
Gloria Kramer- Ruth Bond- VTI
Stanley- Harry Clark- Tenor
Taxi Black- Teddy Hart- Tenor
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 12F/12M, at least half of which dance well


Eileen Wilson dubs Ava Gardner
Decca 361 (5x78rpm)
LP Decca DL 79122
LP Time-Life STL-AM10 (1982)
CD AEI 1136
CD MCA 11354
CD Pearl GEMM CDS 9189
CD Stage Door Records (2009)

1943 Original Cast [excerpts]
Chorus / Orchestra with Mary Martin, Kenny Baker
Maurice Abravanel
I'm A Stranger Here Myself
Ballet: Forty Minutes For Lunch
Foolish Heart
The Trouble With Women
Speak Low
That's Him
Wooden Wedding
Ballet: Venus In Ozone Heights
Finaletto: Speak Low
CD Jay 21362 (2013) Chorus
National Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by John Owen Edwards and Jim Holmes

Venus: Melissa Errico
Whitelaw Savory: Ron Raines
Molly Grant: Victoria Clark
Rodney Hatch: Brent Barrett
Mrs. Kramer: Judy Kaye
Gloria Kramer: Lauren Worsham
Taxi Black: Jacob Smith
Stanley: Michael “Tuba” McKinsey
Mrs. Moats: Karen Ziemba
Attendant: Matt Bogart

First Complete Recording + Bonus
Orchestrations by Kurt Weill
CD Pearl GEMM CDS 9294   Very, Very, Very
Wooden Wedding
That's Him
Speak Low
Jersey Plunk
The Trouble With Women
LP Heritage H0051
CD DRG 904
Kurt Weill (vocals, piano) West Wind
Very Very Very / Wooden Wedding
Speak Low
The Jersey Pluck / The Trouble With Women
That's Him
LP Ariel KWH-10 Film Soundtrack 1948
Kurt Weill in Hollywood
Dick Haymes, Olga San Juan, Eve Arden
Eileen Wilson, Robert Walker
DVD VAI 4568 (2015) Janet Blair
Russell Nype
George Gaynes
Laurel Shelby
Mildred Trares
Iggie Wolfington