Play the Songs
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.
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
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
HARRY WARREN AL DUBIN
MICHAEL STEWART & MARK BRAMBLE
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.*
*FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE PERFORMANCES, PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
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.
*ONLY FOR LICENSES IN THE U.K., THE LAST LINES IN CREDITS SHOULD READ:
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
TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022
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
2 Trumpet I & II (1st Trumpet optional double on Flugelhorn)
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II (with Bass attachment)
Timpani (2 Drums)
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Tom Toms (Several Sizes)
1 Piano (pit orchestra Piano, Celeste & Stage Piano)
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.
1 Guitar / Banjo
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 for Director
17 Prompt Books for Cast
30 Chorus-Vocal Parts
(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
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.
2 Tony Awards for Musical and Choreography
2 Drama Desk Awards for Choreography and Costume Design
The Theatre World Award (Wanda Richert)
2 Tony Awards for Revival and Supporting or Featured Actress
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Middleton Players Theater MIDDLETON, WI 06/29/2017 07/02/2017 M & M Stage Productions, LLC MERCERVILLE, NJ 07/14/2017 07/23/2017 Holly Theatre Company DAHLONEGA, GA 07/14/2017 07/30/2017 Sterling Playmakers STERLING, VA 07/28/2017 08/13/2017 Reagle Music Theatre WALTHAM, MA 08/03/2017 08/13/2017 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 Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre PLEASANTON, CA 11/04/2017 11/19/2017 Mill Valley High School SHAWNEE, KS 11/04/2017 11/12/2017 Ursuline Academy CINCINNATI, OH 11/09/2017 11/12/2017 Bay Area Musicals SAN FRANCISCO, CA 11/09/2017 12/09/2017 Vergennes Union High School VERGENNES, VT 11/16/2017 11/18/2017 La Guardia High School NEW YORK, NY 12/07/2017 12/17/2017 Music Mountain Theatre LAMBERTVILLE, NJ 01/05/2018 01/21/2018 Point Park University PITTSBURGH, PA 03/15/2018 03/25/2018 Wadsworth High School WADSWORTH, OH 03/22/2018 03/24/2018 Fireside Playhouse FT. ATKINSON, WI 04/12/2018 05/27/2018 Lyric Music Theatre SOUTH PORTLAND, ME 04/12/2018 04/29/2018 Palos Verdes Performing Arts ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, CA 04/27/2018 05/13/2018 Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Inc. JUPITER, FL 05/18/2018 05/19/2018 The Palace Theatre MANCHESTER, NH 06/01/2018 06/23/2018 Theatre Memphis MEMPHIS, TN 06/08/2018 07/01/2018 Grosse Pointe Theatre GROSSE POINTE, MI 06/17/2018 06/30/2018