Knickerbocker Holiday.

This is about the stage musical. For the film adaptation, see Knickerbocker Holiday (1944 film).

Knickerbocker Holiday is a musical based on Washington Irving's Father Knickerbocker's Holiday.



The action is narrated by 19th-century author Washington Irving, who announces his intent to write a history of the original Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam. The story opens in Manhattan in 1647, where the colony awaits the arrival of its new Governor from Holland, Peter Stuyvesant. Irving selects as his hero the young Brom Broeck, a brave but impulsive fellow who becomes enraged if anyone tries to give him orders. The narrator and his character reflect that this independent streak is characteristic of American citizens.

Brom is in love with Tina Tienhoven, whose father heads the corrupt town council. Brom knows that Tienhoven is selling brandy and firearms to the Indians—a criminal offense. Tienhoven, with the support of his cronies, arranges to have Brom convicted and hanged instead. Brom survives by putting the noose around his waist instead of his neck just as Stuyvesant arrives on the scene. Impressed by the young man’s ingenuity, the Governor pardons him.

Stuyvesant plans to marry Tina and to declare war as his first official act of governance. After many mishaps and recriminations, all ends happily when the narrator reminds Stuyvesant that history will not remember him kindly if he persists in his dictatorial actions. Brom and Tina are free to marry, and the musical ends as Stuyvesant reflects that perhaps he will make a good American, given his own independence and resistance to authority.

Musical numbersEdit

Act I
  • "Clackety-Clack" – Washington Irving and Girls
  • "It's a Law" – Tienhoven and Council
  • "There's Nowhere to Go But Up" – Brom Broeck, Tenpin and Ensemble
  • "It Never Was You" – Brom Broeck and Tina Tienhoven
  • "How Can You Tell an American?" – Brom Broeck and Washington Irving
  • "Will You Remember Me?" – Brom Broeck, Tina Tienhoven and Ensemble
  • "One Touch of Alchemy" – Pieter Stuyvesant and Ensemble
  • "The One Indispensable Man" – Pieter Stuyvesant and Tienhoven
  • "Young People Think About Love" – Tienhoven, Brom Broeck and Ensemble
  • "September Song" – Pieter Stuyvesant
Act II
  • "Ballad of the Robbers" – Washington Irving
  • "We Are Cut in Twain" – Brom Broeck and Tina Tienhoven
  • "There's Nowhere to Go But Up (Reprise)" – Washington Irving
  • "To War!" – Pieter Stuyvesant, Council and Male Ensemble
  • "Our Ancient Liberties" – Tienhoven, Anthony Corlear and Council
  • "Romance and Musketeer" – Ensemble
  • "The Scars" – Pieter Stuyvesant and Ensemble
  • "Dirge for a Soldier" – Ensemble
  • "Ve Vouldn't Gonto Do It" – Ensemble

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