The Gay Life is a musical with a book by Fay and Michael Kanin, lyrics by Howard Dietz, and music by Arthur Schwartz.
Based on a cycle of seven short plays by Arthur Schnitzler, published in 1893 and first staged in 1910, The Gay Life focuses on womanizing playboy Anatol Von Huber. The score is a mixture of traditional Broadway show tunes and operetta.
The Gay Life started pre-Broadway try-outs at the Fisher Theater in Detroit and the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto. The production opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on November 18, 1961 and closed on February 24, 1962 after 113 performances and three previews. Directed by Gerald Freedman and choreographed by Herbert Ross, the cast included Walter Chiari as Anatol, Barbara Cook as Liesl, and Jules Munshin as Max, with Elizabeth Allen as Magda.
Because of the new meaning which the term "gay" had acquired since the show's original staging, its title was changed to The High Life when it was presented in concert by the off-Broadway Musicals Tonight! in October 2005.
In Vienna in 1904, Anatol Von Huber is to marry Liesl, but his former mistress is discovered with him on his wedding day. In flashback Anatol remembers how he arrived at