42nd Street

The Song and Dance Fable of Broadway

Winter Garden Theatre, (8/25/1980 - 3/29/1981)
Majestic Theatre, (3/30/1981 - 4/05/1987)
St. James Theatre, (4/07/1987 - 1/08/1989)

First Preview: Aug 18, 1980
Opening Date: Aug 25, 1980
Closing Date: Jan 08, 1989
Total Previews: 6
Total Performances: 3486

Category: Musical, Comedy, Original, Broadway
Setting: 1933. New York City and Philadelphia.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Bernard B. Jacobs: President)

Produced by David Merrick

Originally produced at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Music by Harry Warren; Lyrics by Al Dubin; Lead Ins and Crossovers by Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble and Bradford Ropes; Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes; Musical Director: John Lesko; Vocal arrangements by John Lesko; Music orchestrated by Philip J. Lang; Dance arrangements by Donald Johnston; Additional lyrics by Johnny Mercer and Mort Dixon

Directed by Gower Champion; Choreographed by Gower Champion

Scenic Design by Robin Wagner; Costume Design by Theoni V. Aldredge; Lighting Design by Tharon Musser; Sound Design by Richard Fitzgerald; Hair Design by Ted Azar; Assistant Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz

General Manager: Helen L. Nickerson; Company Manager: Louise M. Bayer

Production Stage Manager: Steve Zweigbaum; Stage Manager: Arturo E. Porazzi

The use of all songs is by arrangement with Warner Brothers

Dance Assistant: Karin Baker and Randy Skinner; Casting: Feuer & Ritzer; General Press Representative: Fred Nathan, Josh Ellis, Milly Schoenbaum and Louise Weiner Ment; Advertising: Interart Marketing & Advertising; Press Assistant: Cindy Valk

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Opening Night Cast

Tammy GrimesDorothy Brock
Jerry OrbachJulian Marsh
Joseph BovaBert Barry
Danny CarrollAndy Lee
Don CrabtreeAbner Dillon
Karen PrunczikAnnie
Lee Roy ReamsBilly Lawlor
Wanda RichertPeggy Sawyer
Carole BanningerEnsemble
Steve BelinEnsemble
Robin BlackEnsemble
Joel BlumEnsemble
Mary CadoretteEnsemble
Robert ColstonOscar
James CongdonPat Denning
Carole CookMaggie Jones
Ronny DeVitoEnsemble
Denise DiRenzoEnsemble
Mark DoveyEnsemble
Rob DraperEnsemble
Brandt EdwardsEnsemble
Sharon FerrolEnsemble
Cathy GrecoEnsemble
Dawn HerbertEnsemble
Christine JacobsenEnsemble
Jeri KansasPhyllis
Ginny KingLorraine
Terri Ann KundratEnsemble
Shan MartinEnsemble
Beth McVeyEnsemble
Maureen MellonEnsemble
Sandra MenhartEnsemble
Bill NabelEnsemble
Stan PageMac
Tony PariseEnsemble
Don PercassiEnsemble
Jean PreeceEnsemble
Vicki ReganEnsemble
Lars RosagerEnsemble
Linda SabatelliEnsemble
Nikki SahagenEnsemble
Ron SchwinnThug
Yveline SemeriaEnsemble
Alison SherveEnsemble
Robin StephensEnsemble
David StoreyEnsemble
Karen TamburrelliEnsemble

Understudies: Joel Blum (Billy Lawlor), Mary Cadorette (Peggy Sawyer), James Congdon (Julian Marsh), Donald Johnston (Oscar), Leila Martin (Dorothy Brock, Maggie Jones), Bill Nabel (Bert Barry, Mac), Stan Page (Abner Dillon, Pat Denning), Don Percassi (Andy Lee), Lorraine Person (Ensemble), Rick Pessagno (Ensemble), Nancy Sinclair (Peggy Sawyer) and Karen Tamburrelli (Annie)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

winner 1981 Best Musical [winner] 

Produced by David Merrick

 1981 Best Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble

 1981 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Lee Roy Reams

 1981 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Wanda Richert

 1981 Best Costume Design [nominee] 

Theoni V. Aldredge

 1981 Best Lighting Design [nominee] 

Tharon Musser

winner 1981 Best Choreography [winner] 

Gower Champion

 1981 Best Direction of a Musical [nominee] 

Gower Champion

Drama Desk Award

 1981 Outstanding Musical [nominee] 

Produced by David Merrick

 1981 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Lee Roy Reams

winner 1981 Outstanding Choreography [winner] 

Gower Champion

winner 1981 Outstanding Costume Design [winner] 

Theoni V. Aldredge

Theatre World

winner 1981 Award [recipient] 

Wanda Richert


music by Harry Warren; lyrics by Al Dubin
(Unless otherwise noted)

ACT 1 Sung By
AuditionAndy Lee and Ensemble
Young and HealthyBilly Lawlor and Peggy Sawyer
Shadow WaltzMaggie Jones, Dorothy Brock and Girls
Shadow Waltz (Reprise) Dorothy Brock
Go Into Your DanceMaggie Jones, Peggy Sawyer, Annie, Andy Lee, Lorraine and Phyllis
You're Getting to Be a Habit With MeDorothy Brock, Billy Lawlor, Peggy Sawyer and Ensemble
Getting Out of Town
(lyrics by Michael Stewart and Mort Dixon)
Pat Denning, Bert Barry, Maggie Jones, Annie, Dorothy Brock and Ensemble
DamesBilly Lawlor and Men
I Know NowDorothy Brock
I Know Now (Reprise) Billy Lawlor and Girls
We're in the MoneyAnnie, Peggy Sawyer, Lorraine, Phyllis, Billy Lawlor and Ensemble
Act One FinaleDorothy Brock, Peggy Sawyer and Company
ACT 2 Sung By
Sunny Side to Every Situation
(lyrics by Johnny Mercer)
Annie and Ensemble
Lullaby of BroadwayJulian Marsh and Full Company
About a Quarter to NineDorothy Brock and Peggy Sawyer
Pretty Lady OvertureOrchestra
Shuffle Off to BuffaloAnnie, Bert Barry, Maggie Jones and Girls
42nd StreetPeggy Sawyer, Billy Lawlor and Ensemble
42nd Street (Reprise) Julian Marsh


New York Daily News: "Champion's '42nd St.' makes Broadway glow"

How could it miss, really, with all those terrific Dubin-Warren songs and that breath-taking backstage story about the little nobody who becomes an overnight star!

The "42nd Street" that came to the Winter Garden Monday night is a miracle of Broadway energy. Thanks to the inspired dances and overall staging of Gower Champion, to a splendid cast and to an absolutely stunning scenic investiture, sitting before this "42nd Street" is a little like having the classic 1933 movie musical burst from the screen into glorious new stage life, and in color as well as three dimensions.

"42nd Street," in other words, is a dazzling Broadway eyeful.

It moves with scarcely a letup, and with more singers, dancers, brilliant costumes and striking scenery filling the stage than you've seen in 25 years or more.

This reconstruction is, of course, an exercise in nostalgia. The songs, culled from the "Golddiggers" films and other sources, as well as the picture "42nd Street" itself, tickle the memory, but they have been given fresh, bright orchestral arrangements by Philip J. Lang.

And, wonder of wonders, Champion has succeeded both in evoking memories of the original Busby Berkeley dance routines while improving upon them - as dances rather than the geometric exercises that exceeded the boundaries of any stage.

The driving force of the show is established as soon as the curtain rises and we watch the large ensemble executing an irresistible tap routine.

In between the clatter of feet, of course, there is the fond, foolish, indestructible story of Julian Marsh, played to perfection by Jerry Orbach, saddled with the experienced but over-the-hill leading lady, Dorothy Brock, performed with enjoyable flair by Tammy Grimes.

The miss from Allentown, Pa., Peggy Sawyer who, ambitious but sweetly lacking in the murderous instincts of an Eve Harrington, suddenly is the right girl in the right place when Dorothy comes up lame the day before the opening of "Pretty Lady." A winsome blonde, Wanda Richert, who can tap madly and gracefully, did indeed come out on the Winter Garden stage a nobody and go off a star.

Other winning performances are contributed by Lee Roy Reams, who sings and dances his way through the Dick Powell juvenile lead (who can forget the movie, familiar today to kids of 20?); by Carole Cook as a songwriter; by Danny Carroll, a fleet tap dancer who is in charge of chorus rehearsals; and Karen Prunczik who, in the Ginger Rogers part of Anytime Annie, makes an utterly delightful Broadway debut.

Robin Wagner has dreamed up some enchanting and very functional scenery (see how neatly and simply the "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" routine is carried off in a scene that is a tribute to the original yet has a trick finish).

Theoni V. Aldredge probably has depleted the entire stock of fall fabrics with her gorgeous costumes.

Perhaps the most striking number in an evening full of delights is "Dames," Champion's marvelous staging of the unfamiliar title song of the Warners musical whose hit song, not included here, was "I Only Have Eyes for You."

In this number, Champion's direction, Wagner's scenery and Aldredge's astonishing spectrum of costumes for the indeed lovely ladies of the ensemble achieve a perfect blend.

And those girls! Charmers and sex symbols, every one. Why, of course, they support ERA and are all taking their masters in philosophy and technology on the side. But it's this side we're interested in here, and a kiss must go out to every flouncing beauty and for the bending of every shapely leg as, in their nighties, they peep, naughty but nice, from their bunks on the Buffalo express.

There is one curious and unnecessary production number, with flowered hoops, in the reprise of a ballad, and at least one of the new songs (remember, movie musicals boast far fewer songs than Broadway ones), "Sunny Side to Every Situation," is extremely weak in itself. However, clever staging and its pointed reference to the story help make it acceptable.

But I'm not here to carp. "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me," "The Shadow Waltz," the magnificent use of the Dubin-Warren Oscar winner "Lullaby of Broadway" and the rhythmic tribute to one of the city's sorriest areas since its legit houses gave way to grind movies and worse almost a half-century ago have never been employed to finer advantage.

And, above all, with this show, unhappily his last, Champion lives up to his name as never before, not even in "Hello, Dolly!"

This "42nd Street" is, in a strange way, a Broadway throwback in which Broadway surges forward with renewed gaiety.

New York Daily News

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Winter Garden Theatre

(8/25/1980 - 3/29/1981)

Company Manager: Marcia Goldberg(Jul 1986 - Jan 8, 1989).

Assistant Stage Mgr: Barry Kearsley, Debra Pigliavento; Stage Manager: Barry Kearsley, Jack Timmers.

Assistant to Mr. Cohen: Marcia Goldberg(Oct 1981 - Aug 1983); Music Contractor: Morton Bullman.

Dance Captain: Debra Pigliavento, Jon Engstrom.


Doreen Alderman
Dennis Angulo
Dennis Batutis
Pam Cecil
Jon Engstrom
Kim Morgan Greene
Paula Joy Belis
Billye Keysey
Karen Klump
Jack Kracher
Kelli Ann McNally
Ken Mitchell
Bill Nabel
Stan Page
Abner Dillon
Gail Pennington
Karen Prunczik
Peggy Sawyer (Oct 20, 1980 - ?)
Michael Ricardo
Maryellen Scilla

Swing: Debra Pigliavento.

Understudy: Rob Draper (Billy Lawlor), Jon Engstrom (Ensemble), Ida Gilliams (Ensemble), Jeri Kansas (Annie), Christopher Lucas (Ensemble), Lizzie Moran (Ensemble), Lorraine Person (Lorraine, Phyllis), Debra Pigliavento (Ensemble, Lorraine, Phyllis), Nikki Sahagen (Peggy Sawyer), Ron Schwinn (Andy Lee).

Majestic Theatre

(3/30/1981 - 4/5/1987)

Musical Director: Philip Fradkin; Assistant Musical Dir.: Bernie Leighton.

Directed by Lucia Victor.

General Manager: Leo K. Cohen.


Elizabeth Allen
Dorothy Brock (Apr 26, 1983 - ?)
Stephen G. Arlen
Julian Marsh
Pat Denning
Gail Benedict
Ensemble (circa. Aug 1980 - circa. 1981)
Peggy Sawyer (circa. 1984 - ?)
James Brennan
Billy Lawlor (Dec 13, 1983 - ?)
Lisa Brown
Peggy Sawyer
Mary Cadorette
Peggy Sawyer
Peggy Cass
Maggie Jones
Don Chastain
Julian Marsh
James Dybas
Andy Lee (Jul 15, 1986 - Aug 31, 1986)
Steve Elmore
Julian Marsh
Pat Denning
Charlotte Fairchild
Dorothy Brock
Maggie Jones
Dolores Gray
Dorothy Brock (Jun 17, 1986 - ?)
Jered Holmes
Pat Denning
Jessica James
Maggie Jones
Billye Kersey
Clare Leach
Peggy Sawyer (Sep 16, 1986 - ?)
Neva Leigh
Marie Lillo
Maggie Jones
Gail Lohla
Bobby Longbottom
Ensemble (Jan 1987 - Jul 1987)
Denise Lor
Maggie Jones
Barbara Mandra
Millicent Martin
Dorothy Brock
Barry Nelson
Julian Marsh (Jul 22, 1986 - ?)
Ken Prescott
Billy Lawlor
Anne Rogers
Dorothy Brock
Jamie Ross
Julian Marsh (Oct 29, 1985 - ?)
Nancy Sinclair
Peggy Sawyer
Marla Singer
Sheila Smith
Dorothy Brock
Maggie Jones
Dorothy Stanley
Carol Swarbrick
Maggie Jones
Louise Troy
Dorothy Brock (Dec 17, 1985 - ?)
Mary Chris Wall
Ensemble (circa. 1986 - circa. 1988)
Jim Walton
Billy Lawlor (Jul 22, 1986 - ?)
Cathy Wydner
Peggy Sawyer (Jul 22, 1986 - ?)
Karen Ziemba
Peggy Sawyer (Nov 15, 1983 - ?)

Standby: Gail Benedict (Peggy Sawyer), Sheila Smith (Dorothy Brock, Maggie Jones).

Understudy: Steve Elmore (Julian Marsh), Billye Kersey (Annie), Bernie Leighton (Oscar).

St. James Theatre

(4/7/1987 - 1/8/1989)


Betsy Chang
Michael Dantuono
Pat Denning
Beth Leavel
Bobo Lewis
Maggie Jones (Jul 21, 1987 - ?)
Bobby Longbottom
Michael Vita
Mac (? - Jan 8, 1989)
Jim Walton
Billy Lawlor (Oct 20, 1987 - ?)

Understudy: Michael Dantuono (Julian Marsh), Michael Vita (Abner Dillon, Pat Denning).

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