Blue Monday - 135th Street Blues


  • George Gershwin
opera in one act
Music by George Gershwin. Libretto and Lyrics D.G De Sylva. Vocal score and adaptation by George Bassman
1st Reed – (fl/cl/bcl/asax); 2nd Reed – (fl/cl/bcl/asax/picc); 3rd Reed – (tsax/cl/bcl/fl/ob); 4th Reed – (tsax/bcl/fl/ca); 5th Reed – (bsax/cl/fl/bsn) - 2.3.2.btrbn.0 - timp - perc(1) - 2 pno - banjo - strings
First Performance
28.8.1922, Globe Theatre, Broadway, New York, NY, USA
Published by Warner/Chappell.  Administered for hire and stage rights worldwide (excluding North America) by Faber Music Ltd 
For more information on Blue Monday, and to see our full catalogue of stage musicals for hire, visit
The Story
(A basement café near 135th Street and Lennox Avenue)
Vi is due to meet Joe, with whom she is madly in love, at the café and has arrived a little early.  While she is waiting, Tom declares his love for her and tries to persuade her to forget Joe.  When she refuses, he tries to kiss her, they struggle and Vi threatens him with a gun.  When Joe arrives he is in good humour having had a recent win in a dice game.  He tells Mike what he is going to use the money to visit his mother whom he has not seen for a long time; he is just waiting for a reply to the telegram he has sent. However, he does not want Vi to know about his trip as she is a very jealous woman and would not let him go for any reason.  Unfortunately, Tom has overheard their conversation, and at the first opportunity he tells Vi that Joe is expecting a telegram from a woman.  When it arrives she demands to see it but Joe refuses saying that it has nothing to do with her.  In her anger, she pulls out her gun and shoots him.  As Joe sinks to the floor, dropping the telegram, Vi picks it up and is horrified to see that it is from him sister informing Joe that there is no point in him coming to visit as his mother has been dead for three years. Realising that she has made a terrible mistake she begs Joe to forgive her which he does knowing that he will soon be seeing his mother after all.  
Principal Characters (plus Chorus)
Joe (a gambler)
Vi (his sweetheart) 
Tom (Café Entertainer)
Mike (Café Proprietor)
Sam (Boy-of-all-Work)
Sweetpea (Café Pianist)
This one-act opera, lasting approximately 30 minutes, first appeared in George White’s Scandals of 1922. It was retitled 135th Street and revived in 1970. 


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