City of Angels features music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by David Zippel. The book by Larry Gilbert weaves together two plots – a writer attempting to turn a novel into a screenplay and the world of the fictional film. The show harks back to the 1940s film noir genre that was popular in Hollywood, and provides an interesting look at the film making industry. The show was extremely popular on Broadway, winning a number of Tony Awards and running for an impressive 2 years. An LA production proved to be similarly successful, although the London version did not take off as hoped when it opened in 1993. The show has not yet had a professional Broadway revival, but is popular amongst amateur theatre groups in both the USA and UK.

City of Angels

Cy Coleman

David Zippel

Larry Gelbart

Nick Vanoff, Roger Berlind, Jujamcyn Theaters, Suntory International Corp. & The Shubert Organization

Michael Blakemore

Walter Painter


Original Broadway Production

Virginia Theatre - Opened 11 Dec 1989, closed 19 Jan 1992, 878 performances

Cast: Gregg Edelman, James Naughton, Rene Auberjonois, Dee Hoty, Kay McClelland, and Randy Graff.

Original London Production

Prince of Wales Theatre - Opened 1 Mar 1993, closed 13 Nov 1993

Cast: Susannah Fellows, Martin Smith, Roger Allam, Maurice Clarke, Haydn Gwynne, Fiona Hendley, Henry Goodman, and David Schofield

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


In 1940’s Hollywood, two plots are unfolding at once: a detective film noir and the writer putting that story together. Characters within the film are dressed in black-and-white while actors wearing colour indicate the real world.

Detective Stone is in his office when the beautiful Alaura Kingsley interrupts him. She hires him to find her stepdaughter, and he agrees, only to find himself beaten up by two mobsters and framed for murder. The plot continues to become overcomplicated, and it is revealed that the reason is the author, Stine, hasn’t finished writing it.

Stine is adapting his hit novel City of Angels as a screenplay, but is forced to fend off the meddling of the overbearing director Buddy Fidler, who demands constant rewrites. Things aren’t much better in Stine’s personal life as his wife Gabby discovers he is having an affair with Buddy’s secretary Donna. She promptly leaves him and heads to New York.

Meanwhile, after Buddy persuades Stine to make one change too many, Stine’s protagonist Stone begins to fight back, bemoaning his creator’s lack of integrity. Stine responds by writing another scene in which Stone is beaten up. Stine flies to New York to try to win Gabby back, but he is unsuccessful.

When he returns to LA, he is enraged to find Buddy has made drastic changes to the movie’s ending and given himself a co-writing credit. Moreover, he has hired a popular musical star who is completely unsuitable to play Stone. Stine quits the project and rips up the script, taking Stone with him. He gets into an altercation with security guards, before a role-reversal sees Stone write a scene where Stine escapes the guards and manages to get back together with his wife Gabby, living happily ever after.



  • Prologue (“City Of Angels” Theme)
  • Stone On Gurney (Instrumental)
  • Stone’s Office (Instrumental)
  • Alaura’s Theme No. 1
  • Double Talk – Stone
  • Double Talk – Alaura & Stone
  • Alaura’s Exit (Instrumental)
  • Double Talk – Buddy
  • Double Talk – Stine
  • What You Don’t Know About Women
  • Stay With Me (pre-recorded)
  • You Gotta Look Out For Yourself (pre-recorded)
  • You Gotta Look Out For Yourself
  • Look Out Stone
  • The Buddy System
  • After Buddy (Instrumental)
  • Flashback To Breath (Instrumental)
  • With Every Breath I Take
  • After With Ev’ry Breath (Instrumental)
  • Sucker’s Wobble (Instrumental)
  • Donna Á Basier (Instrumental)
  • Pay Phone (Instrumental)
  • Alaura’s Rubdown (Instrumental)
  • Multiple Doors (Instrumental)
  • The Tennis Song
  • Everybody’s Gotta Be Somewhere
  • Lost And Found
  • Lost And Found – Furniture (Instrumental)
  • Flash Pictures (Instrumental)
  • Stone Surrenders (Instrumental)
  • With Ev’ry Breath (Underscore)
  • Buddy’s Massage (Instrumental)
  • Morgue No. 2 (Instrumental)
  • All You Have To Do Is Wait
  • You’re Nothing Without Me


  • Entr’acte
  • Stay With Me No. 2
  • Stay With Me No. 3 (pre-recorded)
  • Jail Cell No. 1 (Instrumental)
  • You Can Always Count on Me
  • Nondescript Noodle (“You Can Always Count On Me” Underscore)
  • Double Talk – Brunch
  • More Nondescript (“All You Have To Do Is Wait” Underscore)
  • What You Don’t Know About Women (Underscore)
  • Jail Cell No. 2
  • Lost And Found (Underscore)
  • The Tennis Song (Underscore)
  • All Tied Up (Instrumental)
  • Stone’s Amazing Escape (Instrumental)
  • Stay With Me – Party (Underscore)
  • Stay With Me – Party
  • You Gotta Look Out For Yourself (Underscore)
  • Del Experiments (Underscore)
  • This Is Alaura’s Theme
  • The Kiss
  • Shoot First (Instrumental)
  • New York City (Instrumental)
  • It Needs Work
  • To Margie’s Place – Red Room (“L.A. Blues”) (Instrumental)
  • With Ev’ry Breath I Take
  • Oolie’s Last Telephone Call (Instrumental)
  • Alaura’s Heartbeat (Instrumental)
  • Three Gun Shots/Two Clients (Instrumental)
  • Funny
  • Stone’s Entrance (Instrumental)
  • Fight With The Cops (Instrumental)
  • I’m Nothing Without You
  • Bows
  • Exit Music

1990 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score, Best Leading Actor, Best Featured Actress, Best Scenic Design.

1994 Laurence Olivier Awards: Best Musical.


UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark