b. 12 November 1870, Stamford, Connecticut, USA, d. 30 March 1924, Stamford, Connecticut, USA. A noted songwriter and librettist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, MacDonough’s first works written for the stage were plays, which included Sister Mary (1899), Chris And The Wonderful Lamp (1900) and The Belle Of Bridgeport (1900). He then wrote lyrics for a production of Vienna Life (1901) and followed this with the book for the musical comedy The New Yorkers (1901). After another play, Among Those Present (1902), came the work by which MacDonough remains best remembered today. This was Babes In Toyland (1903), for which he wrote the book lyrics, the music being composed by Victor Herbert. Although the show had only a short run of 192 performances it captured imaginations and was revived on several occasions between 1905 and 1930. In 1934 it became a film starring Laurel And Hardy, was reprised as an episode of television’s Musical Comedy Time (1950) and Disneyland (1954), the latter subsequently shown many times under different titles, and also in 1961 and 1986. Among the Herbert and MacDonough songs from the show are ‘Floretta’, ‘I Can’t Do The Sum’, ‘Slumber Deep’, ‘Our Castle In Spain’, ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’, ‘My Rag Doll Girl’, ‘An Old-Fashioned Rose’, ‘Before And After’ and ‘Maybe The Moon Will Help You Out’.
After another play, Bird Center (1904), MacDonough returned to musicals writing book and lyrics for It Happened In Nordland (1904), the book for Wonderland (1905) and The Midnight Sons, book and lyrics for The Rose Of Algeria (both 1909), the book for The Jolly Bachelors and The Summer Widowers (both 1910), The Hen-Pecks and The Never Homes (both 1911), The Count Of Luxembourg and Eva (both 1912), book and lyrics for The Queen Of The Movies (1914), the book for Fads And Fancies (1915), and book and lyrics for the revue Hitchy-Koo (1917) and the musical The Kiss Burglar (1918). His last Broadway work was the play Within Four Walls (1923). A frequent collaborator of MacDonough’s was lyricist Anne Caldwell with whom he wrote dozens of songs and musical sketches, including ‘Moon Of Love’, ‘By The Sea’, ‘Canjoharie’, ‘Raggedy Ann’ and ‘Bring ’Em Back’. In 1980 the Broadway revue Tintypes featured some of MacDonough’s songs. He was one of the founders of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).