Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was based on the successful MGM movie staring Howard Keel and Jane Powell. After the success of the film, is seemed a natural progression to bring the show to the Broadway stage, but the original production flopped – playing for only 5 regular performances. Despite the updated score and impressive choreography, audiences didn’t warm to it onstage. A more successful London production opened in 1985 at the Old Vic Theatre, along with a West End Revival in 2005/6 that has enjoyed numerous years on tour. The show continues to be a very popular choice for amateur groups and fringe companies due to the diverse casting opportunities. The original score by Johnny Mercer was expanded to include a number of new songs and dance arrangements, and has been captured on CD in the Original London Cast Recording.

Seven Brides

Gene de Paul

Johnny Mercer

Lawrence Kasha and David Landay

”The Sobbin’ Women” by Stephen Vincent Benet

Kaslan Productions, Inc.

Lawrence Kasha

Jerry Jackson

Seven Brides Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Alvin Theatre - Opened 8 Jul 1982, closed 11 Jul 1982, 5 performances

Cast: Debby Boone, David-James Carroll, Jeanne Bates, Jeff Calhoun, Laurel van der Linde, Lara Teeter, Stephanie Stromer, Clark Sterling, Marykatherine Somers

Seven Brides Original London

Original London Production

Old Vic Theatre - Opened 2 Jul 1985, closed 1 Jan 1970, 45 performances

Seven Brides London Revival

London Revival

Theatre Royal Haymarket - Opened 18 Aug 2006, closed 16 Nov 2006

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


The show begins in 1850s Oregon with a group of brothers who live disconnected away from the town. Eldest brother Adam travels into town to find him a wife, who he wants to take care of the family, wash, clean, cook and sew. He looks around town and comes across Milly working as a waitress in a restaurant. He decides she is suitable and makes her an offer. They rush into marriage and he takes her back up the mountains to their remote ranch. Milly is disgusted by the way they all live and Adam becomes boorish and mean towards her, encouraging his brothers to be the same. Milly tries to reform them and teaches them how to treat girls. She makes them wash, shave and gives them new clothes to go to a town barn raising. She teaches then how to court women and they each find a girl in town who is impressed with their new looks. Conflict arises between them and their girl’s town suitors and the barn raising ends in a huge fight. They return home and can’t stop thinking about the girls they have left behind. Adam tells them the tale of ‘The Rape of the Sabine Women’ in which the men just stole the women they wanted. He encourages them to go and kidnap the girls and bring them home.

As the boys steal the girls in the dead of night an avalance causes them to be trapped up the mountain. The suitors will have to wait until Spring to save them. Milly is shocked at their behaviour and makes all the men sleep outside in the barn. The girls are shocked and upset but Milly looks after them. Adam is furious with Milly and goes to live on his own in his hunting lodge. By the time Spring arrives the girls have fallen in love with the brothers and they seem happy. Milly has given birth to a baby girl and Adam returns, much softer now he is a father. As the suitors travel up the mountain they are shocked to see that their girls are now in love with the brothers. The show ends with many happy marriages.


Act 1

  • Bless Your Beautiful Hide – Adam
  • Wonderful, Wonderful Day – Milly and Brides
  • One Man – Milly
  • Goin’ Courtin’ – Milly and Brothers
  • Social Dance – Milly, Adam, Brides, Brothers, Suitors and Townspeople
  • Love Never Goes Away – Adam, Milly and Gideon
  • Sobbin’ Women – Adam and Brothers

Act 2

  • The Townsfolk’s Lament – Suitors and Townspeople
  • A Woman Ought To Know Her Place – Adam
  • We Gotta Make It Through The Winter – Brothers
  • We Gotta Make It Through The Winter (Reprise) – Milly and Brides
  • Spring Dance – Brides and Brothers
  • A Woman Ought To Know Her Place (Reprise) – Adam and Gideon
  • Glad That You Were Born – Milly, Brides, Brothers
  • Love Never Goes Away (Reprise) – Milly and Adam
  • Wonderful, Wonderful Day (Reprise) – Milly and Adam
  • Wedding Dance – Milly, Adam, Brides, Brothers and Townspeople

1983 Tony Awards: Nominated for Best Original Score


UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International