Play the Songs
This is the story of hard work, being in the right place at the right time, talent and love. 42ND STREET is a celebration of Broadway and the people involved in shows. It focuses on aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer, and takes us along her journey. Musical hits include You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me, Dames, I Know Now, We’re In the Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle Off to Buffalo and Forty-Second Street. Every audience enjoys watching the underdog succeed!
*Music samples provided courtesy of Hallmark Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
42nd STREET is a big, bold musical set in 1933, that celebrates the stuff that dreams are made of. The curtain rises on Andy Lee, the dance director who is auditioning kids for the chorus of ‘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. While she has gathered up her courage for an hour at the stage door, young Peggy Sawyer has missed the audition. Billy, the romantic lead, tries to help her see the producer-Young and Healthy.
The producer, Julian Marsh, has no patience for latecomers and Peggy rushes off the stage. Meanwhile, Bert and Maggie try to encourage Julian about the show’s prospects of success. He is 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. Dorothy gushes to Julian that she has “dreamed of the day when I might work with the King of Broadway.” Nevertheless, the “king” will not be pushed around, 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 that she has forgotten her purse, Peggy returns to the stage. Maggie invites her to lunch with three of the girls. The five dance off stage. As they settle in at the Gypsy Tea Kettle, the girls are amused by Peggy’s naïvete. They follow with an amusing account of the Broadway facts of life, and dance back to the theater-Go into Your Dance. This number evolves into an audition for Peggy. When Julian walks in he is angry to see Peggy disrupting things again, but he is struck by her remarkable talent. He orders everyone back to work and tells Andy to hire Peggy for the chorus.
Dorothy and Billy begin their rehearsals. The love scene they are rushing through comes under the scrutiny of Abner. He objects to it and handshakes are substituted for kisses-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.
Word arrives that the Atlantic City run of the show has been cancelled and that Philadelphia has been substituted. The company packs up for the Arch Street Theatre-Getting Out of Town.
Dress rehearsals begin in Philadelphia-Dames. Julian congratulates the kids on a number well done and sends the cast off to relax.
The cast is throwing a party and Peggy asks Julian if he is coming. Captivated by her charm, Julian decides to go. Dorothy, who misses Pat, has drunk a bit too much, and tells Abner to take his money and leave. Abner is ready to close the show, but the kids are able to talk him out of it.
‘Pretty Lady’ opens spectacularly with We’re In the Money. Then Dorothy rushes onstage to lead the Act I finale. She is accidentally knocked down by Peggy and can’t get up. A furious Julian fires Peggy and cancels the rest of the performance.
Act II opens with a doctor telling Julian that Dorothy’s ankle is broken. Fear and panic spread through the cast. 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. Julian finally agrees that Peggy might be able to take over for Dorothy. Peggy has already left for the train station and Julian rushes after her. 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 fabulous hit and Peggy Sawyer is a sudden sensation. Julian reprises the glory of “42ND STREET.”
Music by HARRY WARREN
Lyrics by AL DUBIN
Book by MICHAEL STEWART & MARK BRAMBLE
Based on the Novel by BRADFORD ROPES
Original Direction and Dances by GOWER CHAMPION
Originally Produced on Broadway by DAVID MERRICK
The use of all songs is by arrangement with Warner Bros., the owner of music publishers’ rights
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 Trumpets 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
5 Prompt Books for Principal Characters
12 Dialogue Parts
32 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