42nd Street

42nd Street features a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin and music by Harry Warren. Originally opening on Broadway with direction and choreography by award-winning Gower Champion, 42nd Street quickly became one of the most popular musicals and one of Broadway’s longest running shows. Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and the subsequent 1933 film adaptation, the musical follows famous director Julian Marsh as he attempts to produce a successful stage production during the height of the Great Depression in 1930’s New York. A popular musical for amateur and rep companies all over the world, 42nd is set to open once more at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London.


Harry Warren

Al Dubin

Mark Bramble, Michael Stewart

Bradford Rope's novel and Lloyd Bacon's 1933 film

Rian James, James Seymour, Whitney Bolton

David Merrick

Gower Champion

Gower Champion

42nd Street Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Winter Garden Theatre, Majestic Theatre - Opened 25 Aug 1980, closed 8 Jan 1989, 3486 performances

Cast: Jerry Orbach (Julian Marsh), Tammy Grimes (Dorothy Brock), Wanda Richert (Peggy Sawyer), Lee Roy Reams (Billy Lawlor) Replacements: Barry Nelson, Don Chastain, Jamie Ross (Julian Marsh) Elizabeth Allen, Dolores Gray, Millicent Martin (Dorothy Brock), Lisa Brown, Karen Ziemba (Peggy Sawyer)

42nd Street Original London

Original London Production

Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 8 Aug 1984, closed 7 Jan 1989

Cast: James Laurenson (Julian Marsh), Georgia Brown (Dorothy Brock), Clare Leach (Peggy Sawyer), Maurice Lane (Andy Lee), Art Day (Oscar), Brent Verdon (Mac), Carol Ball (Annie), Margaret Courtenay (Maggie Jones), Hugh Futcher (Bert Barry), Michael Howe (Billy Lawlor), Felicity Lee (Lorraine), Catherine Terry (Phyllis), Ralph Lawton (Abner Dillon), Bob Sessions (Pat Denning)

42nd Street Broadway Revival

Broadway Revival

Foxwoods Theatre - Opened 2 May 2001, closed 2 Jan 2005, 1524 performances

Cast: Michael Cumpsty (Julian Marsh), Christine Ebersole (Dorothy Brock), Kate Levering (Peggy Sawyer), David Elder (Billy Lawlor) Replacements: Meredith Patterson (Peggy Sawyer), Todd Lattimore (Billy Lawlor), Patrick Cassidy, Tom Wopat (Julian Marsh), Shirley Jones, Beth Leavel (Dorothy Brock)


UK Tour (2007)

UK Tour - Opened 26 Feb 2007, closed 24 Nov 2007

Cast: Paul Nicholas (Julian Marsh), Julia J. Nagle (Dorothy Brock), Jessica Punch (Peggy Sawyer), Ashley Nottingham (Billy Lawlor), Annie (Rebecca Marks), Maggie (Shirley Jameson), Graeme Anderson (Andy Lee), Graham Hoadly (Bert Barry), David Birch (Mac), Danielle Corlass (Lorraine)


UK Tour (2012)

UK Tour - Opened 1 Jun 2012, closed 1 Dec 2012

Cast: Dave Willetts (Julian Marsh), Marti Webb (Dorothy Brock), Jessica Punch (Peggy Sawyer), James O’Connell (Billy Lawlor), Bruce Montague (Abner Dillon), Carol Ball (Maggie Jones), Graeme Henderson (Andy Lee)


US Tour (2015)

US Tour - Opened 22 Sep 2015, closed 24 Jul 2016

Cast: Matthew J. Taylor (Julian Marsh), Kaitlin Lawrence (Dorothy Brock), Caitlin Ehlinger (Peggy Sawyer), Blake Stadnik (Billy Lawlor), Britte Steele (Maggie), Steven Bidwell (Bert Barry), Mark Fishbank (Abner Dillon), DJ Canaday (Pat Denning), Natalia Lepore Hagan (Annie), Lamont Brown (Andy Lee), Vanessa Mitchell (Lorraine), Mallory Nolting (Phyllis)

42nd Street

London Revival

Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 20 Mar 2017, closed 22 Jul 2017

Cast: Cast yet to be announced.

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


Twitter Synopsis:

A chorus girl from out of town steps in to save the day when the star breaks her leg, becoming an overnight Broadway sensation!

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

Set at the height of 1933’s Great Depression, auditions are underway for a brand new Broadway show. Fresh off the bus from Allentown, Peggy Sawyer has arrived in New York with the hopes of making it big in New York and is noticed immediately by Billy Lawlor, who hopes to charm her into going on a date with him. Although Peggy misses the audition, Billy tells her that he can help, despite the choreographer Andy Lee having no time for another chorus girl. Peggy is embarrassed and runs off, straight into the director Julian Marsh, followed by fading star Dorothy Brock, is disgusted at being made to audition for a role. A prima donna and ultimate diva, Dorothy brings with her a lot of drama, but Julian decides to cast her in order to secure significant financial backing from her wealthy partner Abner.

Taking pity on poor Peggy, the chorus girls decide to take her to lunch. When they ask her to show them a dance routine, Julian spots her and instantly falls for her, deciding that there simply must be room for another dancer in the chorus. Later at a party, Julian discovers that Dorothy is cheating on Abner with an old flame and is worried about the future of the show. He decides to break up their relationship, hiring some thugs to threaten Dorothy’s old boyfriend.

Soon, the entire cast head to Philadelphia for an out-of-town tryout, but on opening night Peggy falls into Dorothy and knocks her over, breaking her ankle. Peggy is fired on the spot and forced to leave. Julian’s show’s fate hangs in the balance as Dorothy is unable to perform the production. The chorus girls are more than convinced that Peggy would be able to fill the part and convince Julian to bring her back. Rushing to the train station to fetch her, Julian realises that Peggy wants to leave town and showbiz and just go home. Instead, Julian persuades her to stay with “Lullaby of Broadway”.

Peggy begins to learn the role quickly and Dorothy even starts to offer some advice, being friendly towards her. On opening night, Peggy transforms from lowly chorus girl to instant Broadway sensation, changing her life forever. Choosing to attend the Chorus girls’ party instead of staying with Julian, 42nd Street ends with a rousing rendition of the title number.


Act I

  • “Overture” – Orchestra
  • “Audition” – Dancers
  • “Young and Healthy” – Billy and Peggy
  • “Shadow Waltz” – Dorothy, Maggie and Girls
  • “Shadow Waltz (Reprise)” – Dorothy
  • “Go Into Your Dance” – Peggy, Maggie, Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, Gladys and Andy
  • “You’re Gettin’ to be a Habit with Me” – Dorothy
  • “Getting Out of Town” – Maggie, Bert, Pat and Chorus
  • “Dames” – Billy and Chorus
  • “Keep Young and Beautiful/Dames Reprise” – Maggie, Bert and Chorus
  • “I Only Have Eyes for You” – Dorothy and Billy
  • “I Know Now” – Dorothy, Billy and Chorus
  • “We’re in the Money” – Peggy, Billy, Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, Gladys and Chorus
  • “Act One Finale” – Dorothy

Act II

  • “Entr’acte” – Orchestra
  • “There’s a Sunny Side to Every Situation” – Annie and Chorus
  • “Lullaby of Broadway” – Julian and Chorus
  • “About a Quarter to Nine” – Dorothy and Peggy
  • “With Plenty of Money and You” – Boys
  • “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” – Maggie, Annie, Bert and Girls
  • “42nd Street” – Peggy and Chorus
  • “42nd Street (Reprise)” – Julian
  • “Finale Ultimo” – Company

1981 Tony Awards: Best Choreography (Gower Champion), Best Musical

1981 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Choreography (Gower Champion), Outstanding Costume Design (Theoni V. Aldredge)

1984 Olivier Awards: Best New Musical

1984 Evening Standard Awards: Best Musical

2001 Tony Awards: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Christine Ebersole)

2001 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Revival of a Musical


UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark



Leave a Reply