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Bugle Boy

by Den Stevenson

Bugle Boy, Glenn Miller musical

"... a musical treat as we follow the story of legendary band leader Glenn Miller, and we aren't let down in our expectations. Applause begins even as the gentle strains of Moonlight Serenade rise to the occasion along with the opening curtain."

"Clever script writing keeps the story alive and moving."
Maureen Hylands,

"Den Stevenson’s book and concept
keeps our feet tapping all the way."

"There’s a fascinating few moments where Miller is rearranging the instrumentation to fix that sound he hears in his head and which eventually becomes the sound we all know so well."
Hugh Homan, The Stage


Bugle Boy, Glenn Miller musical

In ‘Bugle Boy’ Den Stevenson traces the life of legendary music icon Glenn Miller from leaving college to play in various bands, and then latterly in his own band, as he searches tirelessly for over twenty years for a unique band sound,

Bugle Boy was the nickname given to Glenn by Helen Burger, the girl who was to become his loyal and inspirational wife (even though his instrument was the trombone) who provided him with constant support and love during his formative years as a bandleader.

This musical is much more than just an orchestra on stage playing Glenn Miller tunes though... it's a love story, and one man’s search for a unique musical sound.

Bugle Boy, Glenn Miller musicalGlenn Miller eventually succeeds in his quest for 'that sound', but he and his family only get to enjoy the fruits of fame for three short years. When America joins the Second World War after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, he joins the Army, forms the subsequently famed AEF Band, and flies to Europe to play to the Armed Forces. In 1944 he went missing in mysterious circumstances.

On Friday, December 15, 1944, at 1:55 pm, the most popular musician in the world boarded an Army Air Force airplane at Twinwood airfield, Bedfordshire, England, on a flight bound for Villacoublay airfield, Versailles, France. The plane took off, but never arrived. Since that day, Glenn Miller’s disappearance has remained, for many, a mystery.

Bugle Boy, Glenn Miller musicalSadly, like ‘ Titantic’, you know that this musical is going to have an unhappy ending, but Glenn Miller’s unique musical legacy weaves its way through an emotional and inspiring story line, and there is some joyous music and fun along the way.

To obtain the distinctive ‘Glenn Miller Sound’ necessitates a band line-up balance of 5 Saxes, 4 Trombones, 4 Trumpets, Clarinet lead, Double Bass and Drums (and a piano is used as well). To obtain the equally vital harmony balance necessitates 3 male and one female singer only.


Principals (2m, 1f)
  Glenn Miller : ages from 18 to 40, trombone-playing band leader
  Helen Miller : ages from 17 to late 40’s, Glenn’s wife
  Larry Bronx : ages from mid 30’s to late 50’s, CBS Radio Presenter
Support (minimum 5m, 1f)
  Three College Friends (m)
  Ben Pollock – 40’s, American band leader
  Ray Noble – 40’s, British band leader
  Don Haynes – ages from 30-40, Glenn’s friend and band manager
  Tex Beneke – 30’s, band member (saxophone)
  Zeke Zarchy – 30’s, band member (trombone)
  Trigger Alpert – 30’s, band member (double bass)
  Jim Priddy – 30’s, band member (trumpet)
  Receptionist – a female employee of the Hotel Pennsylvania
  Colonel Kirby – 50’s, Glenn’s superior officer on joining the Army
  David Niven – 40’s, film star, wartime CO for AEF Concerts
  WAAC – a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp
  ‘Vera Lynn’ – famous wartime singer (singing role only, not specifically referred to)
  Vernon – 50’s, Interviewer for the BBC Home Service

  In the premiere productions the following doubling was used:

  • Ben Pollack / Don Haynes / Colonel Kirby / College Friend 1
  • Ray Noble / Tex Beneke / David Niven / Vernon / College Friend 2
  • Receptionist / WAAC / ‘Vera Lynn’


  • College Friend 3 should be doubled with the least conspicuous of the actors playing Zeke Zarchy, Trigger Alpert and Jim Priddy.
  • For Song #33: ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ the ensemble shown may be replaced with three female singers in WAAC uniforms to resemble the Andrews Sisters.


  1) Moonlight Serenade Instrumental
  2) Wabash Blues (Part) Underscore
  3) Elmer's Tune Glenn & 3 College Friends
  4) At Last Glenn & Helen
  5) Take The A-Train (Part) Instrumental
  6) Take The A-Train (Part) Instrumental
  7) Wabash Blues (Part) Instrumental
  8) Embraceable You (Part) Instrumental
  9) I Got Rhythym (Part) Instrumental
10) I Got Rhythym (Part) // String Of Pearls (Part) Instrumental
11) Wabash Blues (Part) Underscore
12) Tail End Charlie Instrumental
13) Now I Lay Me Down To Weep (Part) Instrumental
14) Tail End Charlie (Reprise 1) Instrumental
15) Tail End Charlie (Reprise 2) Instrumental
16) Pennsylvania 6-5000 Underscore
17) Elmer’s Tune (Part) Underscore
18) Now I Lay Me Down To Weep (3 x Parts) Instrumental & Tex
19) Moonlight Serenade (Part) Instrumental
20) Chattanooga Choo Choo Glenn & Singers
21) It’s Great To Be An American (Part) Glenn & Singers
22 I Got A Gal In Kalamazoo Glenn & Singers
23) Little Brown Jug // Anvil Chorus Instrumental
24) Moonlight Serenade (Part) Instrumental & Glenn
~~ Interval ~~  
25) It’s Great To Be An American (Part) // St Louis Blues (Part) Instrumental
26) St Louis Blues Instrumental
27) St Louis Blues (Motif) Instrumental
28) I’ve Got A Heart Filled With Love Helen (with Glenn)
29) What Do You Do In The Infantry // Over There Ensemble
30) The White Cliffs Of Dover 'Vera Lynn'
31) All I Do Is Dream Of You Helen & Glenn
32) American Patrol Instrumental
33) Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Ensemble (or Female Trio)
34) Bugle Call Rag Instrumental
35) Moonlight Serenade (Part) // I Know Why Underscore // Helen
36) Now I Lay Me Down To Weep Helen
37) At Last Instrumental
38) Finale: In The Mood // I Got A Gal In Kalamazoo Company
39) Playout: In The Mood Instrumental


Information for Production Administrators

Here's a list of all the supporting material available and some other information you might need. Pricing for the production materials is supplied automatically with a Perusal Set. Royalty pricing can only be provided as a formal quotation.

Available now (see below) ...
Preview Script/Libretto
You can download straightaway a shortened copy of the script/libretto to read and get a relatively good picture of whether you would like to proceed to the next step. The Preview E-Script is made available to you as a pdf file sized for A4 paper and contains just over half of the script.libretto.
Perusal Set
These are available for customers in European Union countries only to borrow free of charge (but you have to pay the postage to return the set to us). The set contains ...
  • Printed Libretto
  • Printed Piano/Vocal Score
  • Cast Recording Audio CD (from premiere production)
Available after Perusal ...
Libretti/Vocal Scores

Available to purchase in this form ...

  • Rehearsal Master Set on a Data CD (Cast). This contains the script and piano vocal score for your cast and crew provided as A4 pdf files. No problem about possible loss of deposit on rented paper scripts, as they are yours to print out and mark up as required. The price includes a multiple copying licence allowing you to copy the Data CD itself (enabling you to give or sell copies to your cast for them to make up their own rehearsal books) or to make multiple prints of the pdf's on the Data CD for your production company to organise and provide to your cast or crew.

To order this, create an account with us, then go to the 'Order Rehearsal Material' page

Please note that we do not sell individual printed copies of libretti, nor do we hire sets of printed rehearsal libretti or scores.

Available after Rights Obtained ...
Backing Tracks
Not available.
These are available for a 16 piece orchestra as below, for hire to production companies only, who hold a valid, unexpired, licence to perform.
  • Saxophone x 5
  • Trumpets x 4
  • Trombones x 4
  • Keyboard / Piano
  • Drums
  • Bass
Royalty Type
Royalties for this title are 'variable fee, post paid', and will be calculated on a percentage of your box office income once your production has finished. See our pricing policy for details. We work on a quotation system for royalties, based on information you supply to us. Complete a printed application form or create account with us, and use the online version.
Video Licence
We have secured the rights to video productions of this title from the Authors, and we manage them on their behalf. Once a 'Licence To Perform' has been granted, and then on payment of a fee, we will be able to issue a 'Licence To Record'. There are some strings attached to this, but these are far outweighed by the benefits.
  • Record one or more live performances and mix down to a single video
  • Give or sell copies to your cast and crew
  • Sell copies to your audiences (take advance bookings on the night)

Order your free preview script or perusal material now ...

  • Preview E-Script (Bugle Boy)
    £0.00 Preview E-Script (Bugle Boy)
    A free preview script containing a significant part of the full script and provided as a pdf file sized for A4 paper.
  • Royalty Quotation Form (FL)
    Royalty Quotation Form (FL)
    The rights to perform and record for all the titles in our catalogue are managed by Stagescripts Ltd. You should not assume that a licence to perform will always be granted. Please request a quotation at the earliest...