42nd Street


The ultimate show-biz musical, 42ND STREET is a celebration of Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make the magic of musical theatre. Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star?

The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We’re In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.”

Music samples provided courtesy of Hallmark Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • In New York City in 1933, dance director Andy Lee is auditioning kids for the chorus of a new show called Pretty Lady (“Audition”). The show’s writers, Bert and Maggie, are pleased with what they see on stage, but they warn the dancers that at $4.40 per seat, the audience will demand some spectacular dancing. Young hopeful Peggy Sawyer just misses the audition, but Billy – the show’s romantic lead – helps her see the producer (“Young and Healthy”).

    The producer, Julian Marsh, has no patience for latecomers, and Peggy rushes off the stage. Julian tells Bert and Maggie he’s worried about some of the cast, especially Dorothy Brock, the leading lady. Her last hit was ten years earlier, but her sugar daddy, Abner Dillon, is backing the show. Just then Dorothy and Abner arrive, and Julian suggests that Dorothy audition. Abner defends Dorothy and reminds Julian that Dorothy does not have to try out for anyone (“Shadow Waltz”).

    Realizing she has forgotten her purse, Peggy returns to the stage. Maggie invites her to lunch with three of the girls, and the five women dance off stage. As they settle in at the Gypsy Tea Kettle, the girls are astonished by Peggy’s naïveté. They amusingly explain the Broadway facts of life, and dance back to the theater (“Go into Your Dance”). The number evolves into an audition for Peggy, who impresses Julian and lands a job in the chorus.

    Dorothy and Billy begin rehearsing their big love scene. Abner objects to their kissing and insists they shake hands instead (“You’re Getting to be a Habit With Me”). Peggy, weak and overcome by an exciting day, faints on stage. She is carried to Dorothy’s dressing room, where Pat Denning, Dorothy’s real boyfriend, is waiting. Dorothy walks in, and misreading what she sees, thinks that Pat is two-timing her. Julian suggests that Pat leave town.

    The company packs up for previews in Philadelphia (“Getting Out of Town”), and dress rehearsals begin (“Dames”). After rehearsal, Peggy invites Julian to join her at an impromptu cast party. Captivated by her charm, Julian decides to go. Dorothy, who misses Pat, drinks a bit too much, and tells Abner to take his money and leave. Abner is ready to close the show, but the kids talk him out of it. Pretty Lady opens spectacularly with “We’re In the Money.” But when Dorothy rushes onstage for the Act I finale, she is accidentally knocked down by Peggy and can’t get up. Julian, furious, fires Peggy and cancels the rest of the performance.

    Act II opens with a doctor telling Julian that Dorothy’s ankle is broken. Julian says he will close Pretty Lady for good, but the cast won’t give up (“Sunny Side to Every Situation”). The cast thinks that Peggy can save the day, and Julian finally agrees. Peggy has already left for the train station, so Julian rushes after her. Telling her to “think of musical comedy, the most glorious words in the English language,” Julian convinces Peggy to return (“Lullabye of Broadway”).

    Peggy has exactly 36 hours to learn 25 pages, 6 songs, and 10 dance numbers. As Julian says, by the next evening, he’ll have “either a live leading lady or a dead chorus girl!” At long last, the Broadway curtain opens on Pretty Lady (“Shuffle Off to Buffalo”). The show is a spectacular hit, and Peggy Sawyer is a sudden sensation. Julian leads the entire company in celebrating the glory of “42ND STREET.”

    Music by                  Lyrics by
    Book by
    Based on the Novel by BRADFORD ROPES
    Original Direction and Dances by
    Originally Produced on Broadway by
    The use of all songs is by arrangement with Warner Bros.,
    the owner of music publishers’ rights

    Such credits for all purposes shall be in type size no less than one half the size of the title of play, except for the credit for Bradford Ropes which shall be one half the size of the other credits.*

    The credit for the translator shall be no larger than any of the above credits, except that such credit for the translator may be larger than the credit for Bradford Ropes.

    The use of all songs is by arrangement with Warner Bros. and EMI Music Publishing Ltd, the owners of music publishers’ rights

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • Orchestration

    1 Reed I: Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed II: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed III: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed IV: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed V: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone

    1 Horn
    1 Trumpets I & II (1st Trumpet optional double on Flugelhorn)
    1 Trumpet III
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II (with Bass attachment)

    1 Bass
    1 Percussion:

    Timpani (2 Drums)
    Wood Block
    Bass Drum
    Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
    Tom Toms (Several Sizes)

    1 Piano (pit orchestra Piano, Celeste & Stage Piano)

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

    Optional Parts:

    1 Guitar / Banjo
    1 Harp

    A special Reed Substitute Keyboard Synthesizer part covering the music for the five Reeds is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration.

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book
    5       Prompt Books for Principal Characters
    12     Dialogue Parts
    32     Chorus-Vocal Parts

  • Principals

    (4 female; 3 male)

    Dorothy Brock — an established Broadway star
    Peggy Sawyer — young, talented and hopeful
    Maggie Jones — co-author of “Pretty Lady”
    Ann Reilly (Anytime Annie) — chorus girl, sub-principal of “Pretty Lady”
    Julian Marsh — Broadway show director
    Billy Lawlor — juvenile lead of “Pretty Lady”
    Bert Barry — co-author of “Pretty Lady”

    Sub-Principals (from Chorus)

    (3 female; 3 male)

    Phyllis Dale — chorus girl
    Lorraine Flemming — chorus girl
    Gladys — chorus girl; singer, non-speaking
    Andy Lee — dance director
    Pat Denning — former vaudeville partner of Dorothy’s
    Abner Dillon — “angel” for “Pretty Lady”


    Diane Lorimer — chorus girl
    Ethel — chorus girl
    Oscar — rehearsal pianist
    Mac — stage manager
    Frankie — stagehand
    Young Man with Clipboard — stagehand
    2 Thugs — employees of gangster Nick Murphy; one of them non-speaking
    Doctor — Philadelphia theatre physician
    Waiter — Gypsy Tea Kettle employee
    Millie — dancer; non-speaking
    Willard — theatre electrician; non-speaking
    Robin — dancer; non-speaking
    2 Policemen — dancers; non-speaking
    Pickpocket/Thief — dancer; non-speaking
    Young Soldier — dancer; non-speaking
    Gangster — dancer; non-speaking
    Conductor — the music director of the theatre pit orchestra; non-speaking


    Various Kids’ Voices
    Theatre Personnel
    Singers and Dancers of the Chorus

    The original Broadway production had a cast of 48 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.


  • 42ND STREET played for 3,486 performances on Broadway at the Winter Garden, Majestic and St. James Theatres starring Tammy Grimes and Jerry Orbach. It was revived on Broadway in 2001 and played for 1524 performances at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts starring Michael Cumpsty and Christine Ebersole.

    Awards (1981)

    2 Tony Awards for Musical and Choreography
    2 Drama Desk Awards for Choreography and Costume Design
    The Theatre World Award (Wanda Richert)

    Awards (2001)

    2 Tony Awards for Revival and Supporting or Featured Actress
    The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

    Search for performances near you
    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Coppell High School COPPELL, TX 10/29/2016 11/06/2016
    Musical Theatre Academy At Theatre 3 DALLAS, TX 11/03/2016 11/06/2016
    Heights Players BROOKLYN, NY 11/04/2016 11/20/2016
    Grants Pass High School GRANTS PASS, OR 11/11/2016 11/19/2016
    Sacred Heart School for the Arts LOUISVILLE, KY 11/11/2016 11/19/2016
    Chelsea High School CHELSEA, MI 11/11/2016 11/12/2016
    Oldham County Schools Arts Center CRESTWOOD, KY 12/01/2016 12/03/2016
    Davis Musical Theatre Company DAVIS, CA 12/31/2016 01/29/2017
    Langara College VANCOUVER, BC 02/02/2017 02/26/2017
    Simsbury High School SIMSBURY, CT 02/03/2017 02/12/2017
    Ben Bollinger's Candlelight Pavilion CLAREMONT, CA 02/10/2017 03/26/2017
    Manchester Academy YAZOO CITY, MS 02/23/2017 02/25/2017
    Mount St. Dominic Academy CALDWELL, NJ 03/02/2017 03/05/2017
    Mercy High School FARMINGTON HILLS, MI 03/09/2017 03/12/2017
    Haddonfield Memorial High School HADDONFIELD, NJ 03/10/2017 03/18/2017
    Candlelight Dinner Playhouse JOHNSTOWN, CO 03/23/2017 06/04/2017
    William Tennent High School WARMINSTER, PA 03/31/2017 04/01/2017
    Valley Central High School MONTGOMERY, NY 03/31/2017 04/02/2017
    Annville-Cleona High School ANNVILLE, PA 04/06/2017 04/08/2017
    Wheeling Jesuit University WHEELING, WV 04/06/2017 04/09/2017
    Rochester Association of Performing Arts ROCHESTER, NY 04/22/2017 04/30/2017
    Hackettstown High School HACKETTSTOWN, NJ 04/27/2017 04/30/2017
    Gainesville High School GAINESVILLE, GA 05/03/2017 05/05/2017
    Crete Monee High School CRETE, IL 05/10/2017 05/14/2017
    Spotlight Studios for the Perf. Arts FAIRPORT, NY 05/19/2017 05/20/2017
    St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild of Cranbrook BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI 06/02/2017 06/17/2017
    The Norwood Theatre NORWOOD, MA 06/03/2017 06/11/2017
    Reagle Music Theatre WALTHAM, MA 06/08/2017 06/18/2017
    Entertainment Live Events LLC BEVERLY, MA 10/31/2017 11/19/2017
    Drury Lane Productions, Inc. OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL 11/02/2017 01/07/2018