Broadway production (1925)
Dearest Enemy is a musical with a book by Herbert Fields, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, and music by Richard Rodgers. This was the first of eight book musicals written by the songwriting team of Rodgers and Hart and writer Herbert Fields.
Based on a true American Revolutionary War incident, its heroine is Mary Lindley Murray who, under orders from General Washington, detained British troops by serving them cake and wine in her Kips Bay, Manhattan home long enough for some 4,000 American soldiers to reassemble in Washington Heights in September 1776. Reality gives way to fanciful fictionalization with the addition of a pair of love stories, one involving Mary's daughter Jane and British General Tyron's son Harry, the other focusing on the on-again, off-again relationship between Mary's Irish niece Betsy Burke and British Capt. Sir John Copeland. Also playing a role in the plot is a houseful of beautiful young ladies eager to engage the enemy in more than just conversation, and a group of handsome young men happy to forget their patriotic duty for refreshments, music, and flirtations at the Murray mansion.