42nd Street


The ultimate show-biz musical, 42ND STREET celebrates Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make the magic of musical theatre. Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star?

The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We’re In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.”

Music samples provided courtesy of Hallmark Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for 42ND STREET are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Musical Numbers
  • Upcoming
  • Act I

    In New York City in 1933, dance director Andy Lee auditions kids for the chorus of a new show called Pretty Lady (“Audition”). The show’s writers, Bert and Maggie, like what they see on stage, but they warn the dancers that at $4.40 per seat, the audience will demand some spectacular dancing. Young hopeful Peggy Sawyer arrives late, just missing the audition. Billy, the show’s romantic lead, helps her see the producer, Julian Marsh (“Young and Healthy”). Julian has no patience for latecomers, and Peggy rushes off the stage. Julian tells Bert and Maggie he’s 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. When Dorothy and Abner arrive, Julian suggests that Dorothy audition. Abner reminds Julian that Dorothy does not have to try out for anyone, but Dorothy sings anyway (“Shadow Waltz”).

    Realizing she has forgotten her purse, Peggy returns to the stage. Maggie invites her to lunch with three of the girls, and the five women dance off stage. As they settle in at the Gypsy Tea Kettle, the girls are astonished by Peggy’s naïveté. They amusingly explain the Broadway facts of life, and dance back to the theater (“Go into Your Dance”). The number evolves into an audition for Peggy, who impresses Julian and lands a job in the chorus.

    Dorothy and Billy begin rehearsing their big love scene. Abner objects to their kissing and insists they shake hands instead (“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.

    The company packs up for previews in Philadelphia (“Getting Out of Town”), and dress rehearsals begin (“Dames”). After rehearsal, Peggy invites Julian to join her at an impromptu cast party. Captivated by her charm, Julian decides to go. Dorothy, who misses Pat, drinks a bit too much, and tells Abner to take his money and leave. Abner is ready to close the show, but the kids talk him out of it. Pretty Lady opens spectacularly with “We’re In the Money.” But when Dorothy rushes onstage for the Act I finale, Peggy accidentally knocks her down, injuring her leg. Julian, furious, fires Peggy and cancels the rest of the performance.

    Act II

    The second act opens with a doctor telling Julian that Dorothy’s ankle is broken. 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, and Julian finally agrees. Peggy has already left for the train station, so Julian rushes after her. Telling her to “think of musical comedy, the most glorious words in the English language,” Julian convinces Peggy to return (“Lullaby 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 spectacular hit, and Peggy Sawyer is a sudden sensation. Julian leads the entire company in celebrating the glory of “42ND STREET.”

    Music by                  Lyrics by
    Book by
    Based on the Novel by BRADFORD ROPES
    Original Direction and Dances by
    Originally Produced on Broadway by
    The use of all songs is by arrangement with Warner Bros.,
    the owner of music publishers’ rights

    Such credits for all purposes shall be in type size no less than one half the size of the title of play, except for the credit for Bradford Ropes which shall be one half the size of the other credits.*

    The credit for the translator shall be no larger than any of the above credits, except that such credit for the translator may be larger than the credit for Bradford Ropes.

    The use of all songs is by arrangement with Warner Bros. and EMI Music Publishing Ltd, the owners of music publishers’ rights

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company

    Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to https://tamswitmark.com/ on all websites on which you promote the play.

  • NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for 42ND STREET are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.


    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
    2 Trumpet 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)

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

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

    Optional Parts:

    1 Guitar / Banjo
    1 Harp

    A special Reed Substitute Keyboard Synthesizer part covering the music for the five Reeds is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration.

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

    NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for 42ND STREET are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

  • Principals

    (4 female; 3 male)

    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 director/producer
    Billy Lawlor — juvenile lead of Pretty Lady
    Bert Barry — co-author of Pretty Lady

    Sub-Principals (from Chorus)

    (3 female; 3 male)

    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


    Diane Lorimer — chorus girl
    Ethel — chorus girl
    Oscar — rehearsal pianist
    Mac — stage manager
    Frankie — stagehand
    Young Man with Clipboard — 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


    Various Kids’ Voices
    Theatre Personnel
    Singers and Dancers of the Chorus

    The original Broadway production had a cast of 48 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.


  • 42ND STREET opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on August 25, 1980, starring Wanda Richert, Jerry Orbach, and Tammy Grimes. The production eventually moved to the Majestic and St. James Theatres, ultimately running for 3,486 performances.

    In 2001, the first Broadway revival of 42ND STREET ran for 1,524 performances at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, starring Kate Levering, Michael Cumpsty, and Christine Ebersole.

    Awards (1981)

    2 Tony Awards: Best Musical and Best Choreography
    2 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Choreography and Costume Design
    The Theatre World Award (Wanda Richert)

    Awards (2001)

    2 Tony Awards: Best Revival and Best Actress (Christine Ebersole)
    The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical

  • Act I

    1. Overture & Opening Act One – Orchestra & Dancers
    2. “Young And Healthy” – Peggy & Billy
    3. In Four: “Shadow Waltz” – Maggie
    3a. In Three: “Shadow Waltz” – Dorothy
    3b. Production: “Shadow Waltz” – Dorothy & Girls
    3c. Reprise: “Shadow Waltz” – Dorothy
    4. Scene Change: Go Into Your Dance – Orchestra
    5. “Go Into Your Dance” – Maggie, Peggy, Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, & Andy
    5a. Tag: Go Into Your Dance – Orchestra
    6. “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me” – Dorothy
    6a. Scene Change: You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me – Orchestra
    6b. Incidental: You’re Getting to Be A Habit With Me – Orchestra
    7. “Getting Out Of Town” – Maggie, Bert, Pat & Chorus
    8. “Dames” – Billy & Chorus
    9. Scene Change/Underscore: You’re Getting to be a Habit with Me & Young and Healthy – Orchestra
    10. “I Know Now” – Dorothy, Billy, & Chorus
    11. Intro/Underscore: We’re In the Money – Orchestra
    11a. “We’re In The Money” – Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, Peggy, Billy, & Chorus
    11b. Playoff: We’re In The Money – Orchestra
    12. Act One Finale: Forty-Second Street – Orchestra
    12a. Act One Finale Continued: “Forty-Second Street” – Dorothy

    Act II

    13. Entr’acte – Orchestra
    14. “There’s A Sunny Side To Ev’ry Situation” – Annie & Chorus
    14a. Incidental/Scene Change: There’s A Sunny Side To Ev’ry Situation – Orchestra
    14b. Underscore: There’s A Sunny Side To Every Situation – Orchestra
    14c. Scene Change: There’s A Sunny Side To Every Situation – Orchestra
    15. “Lullaby Of Broadway” – Julian, Billy, Andy, Bert, Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, Gladys, Maggie, Abner, & Chorus
    15a. Playoff: Lullaby of Broadway – Orchestra
    16. Montage – Orchestra
    17. Playoff: Dames – Orchestra
    18. Scene Change: About A Quarter To Nine – Orchestra
    19. “About A Quarter To Nine” – Dorothy & Peggy
    19a. Playoff: About A Quarter To Nine – Orchestra
    20. Pretty lady – Scene Change: Dames – Orchestra
    21. “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” – Bert, Maggie, Annie, & Girls
    22. “Forty-Second Street” – Peggy & Dancers
    23. Finale Act Two: “Forty Second Street” – Julian
    24. Bows – Full Company
    25. Exit Music – Orchestra

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

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    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Layton High School Layton, UT 12/06/2019 12/14/2019
    Jefferson Performing Arts Society Metairie, LA 01/24/2020 02/02/2020
    York County School of the Arts Williamsburg, VA 02/06/2020 02/15/2020
    Vestal High School Vestal, NY 02/27/2020 03/01/2020
    Eden Junior/Senior High School Eden, NY 03/05/2020 03/08/2020
    Henderson High School West Chester, PA 03/05/2020 03/08/2020
    Laurel Highlands High School Uniontown, PA 03/06/2020 03/08/2020
    Sidney Dance Company Sidney, OH 03/06/2020 03/08/2020
    Freeport Area High School Sarver, PA 03/12/2020 03/15/2020
    Decatur High School Decatur, GA 03/12/2020 03/22/2020
    Windsor Locks High School Windsor Locks, CT 03/26/2020 03/28/2020
    East Bridgewater High School East Bridgewater, MA 03/27/2020 03/28/2020
    Donovan Catholic High School Toms River, NJ 04/02/2020 04/05/2020
    North Fort Myers High School North Fort Myers, FL 04/17/2020 04/20/2020
    Sarasota Academy of the Arts Sarasota, FL 04/17/2020 04/17/2020
    St. Matthew Lutheran Church Columbia Heights, MN 04/23/2020 05/03/2020
    Sam Barlow High School Gresham, OR 05/07/2020 05/10/2020
    Lyric Opera of Chicago Chicago, IL 05/29/2020 06/21/2020
    The Brecksville Theatre Brecksville, OH 09/18/2020 10/04/2020
    Axelrod Performing Arts Center Deal, NJ 11/06/2020 11/22/2020