alphabetical author index

42nd Street

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!

  • Full Length Musical
  • Drama

  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Target Audience: Teen (Age 14 - 18), Adult, Appropriate for all audiences
  • Set Requirements: Unit Set/Multiple Settings

  • Performance Group:
  • Community Theatre, College Theatre / Student, High School/Secondary, Professional Theatre

  • Accolades:
  • Winner! 2 Tony Awards for Musical and Choreography (1981)
    Winner! 2 Drama Desk Awards for Choreography and Costume Design (1981)
    Winner! The Theatre World Award (Wanda Richert) (1981)
    Winner! 2 Tony Awards for Revival and Supporting or Featured Actress (2001)
    Winner! The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival (2001)
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.

‘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.”

Premiere Production: 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.
  • Casting: 21M, 11F
  • Casting Attributes: Ensemble cast, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Casting Notes: The original Broadway production had a cast of 48 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.
  • Chorus Size: Large

  • Principals
    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)
    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"

  • Supporting
    DIANE LORIMER - chorus girl
    ETHEL - chorus girl
    OSCAR - rehearsal pianist
    MAC - stage manager
    FRANKIE - 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

  • Ensemble
  • Name Price
    Perusal Material Shipped immediately. This is optional. Order Now

    1 x Prompt Book / Vocal Parts

    Rehearsal Material Shipped a minimum of 3 months before the last performance. This must be hired as a condition of the License to produce this show.

    20 x Prompt Book & Chorus-Vocal Parts
    2 x Piano-Conductor's Score

    $550.00 +$135.00/pm
    Orchestral Material Shipped a minimum of 1 month before the last performance. This is optional.

    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)
    Cymbals: Suspended, Hi-Hat, Splash, Crash, Ride

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

    (Piano-Conductor's Score sent with rehearsal materials)

    Optional Parts
    1 Guitar / Banjo
    1 Harp

    $350.00 +$135.00/pm