Music And Book: Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. Book by Morrie Ryskind, based on a story by B. G. De Sylva. Orchestral arrangements by Russell Bennett. Vocal arrangements by Hugh Martin.
Choreography: Ballets by George Balanchine. Modern dances by Carl Randall.
Production: Produced by B. G. De Sylva. Book staged by Edgar MacGregor. Scenery and costumes by Tom Lee. Scenery built by Vail Scenic Construction Company and painted by Triangle Scenic Studios; costumes executed by Helene Pons and Eaves Costume Company.
Premiere: May 28, 1940, Imperial Theatre, New York. Conductor: Robert Emmett Dolan. (Out-of-town preview: May 2, Shubert Theatre, New Haven.)
Marina Van Linden, Vera Zorina; Jim Taylor, William Gaxton; Madame Bordelaise, Irene Bordoni; Senator Oliver P. Loganberry, Victor Moore; and others. Premier Danseur, Charles Laskey; 19 Dancing Girls, 15 Dancing Boys.
TONIGHT AT THE MARDI GRAS (Act I): Queen of the Mardi Gras/Queen of the Creoles, Vera Zorina; Premier Danseur, Charles Laskey; ensemble.
OLD MAN'S DARLING---YOUNG MAN'S SLAVE? (Act II): Marina, Zorina; Spirit of Jim Taylor, Laskey; Spirit of Senator Loganberry, Harold Haskins.
Note: 444 performances, followed by national tour. The film version of Louisiana Purchase (1941), with which Balanchine was not personally involved, included the pas de deux from his MARDI GRAS ballet but did not credit the choreographer.
Video/DVD: 2002, Universal.