This is about the stage musical. For the original film, see 42nd Street (1933 film).
42nd Street is a stage musical based on the novel and film adaptation.
- Tammy Grimes - Dorothy Brock
- Jerry Orbach - Julian Marsh
- Wanda Richert - Peggy Sawyer
- Lee Roy Reams - Billy Lawlor
- Joseph Bova - Bert Barry
- Carole Cook - Maggie Jones
- Danny Carroll - Andy Lee
- James Congdon - Pat Denning
- Karen Prunczik - "Anytime" Annie Reilly
- Jeri Kansas - Phyllis
- Ginny King - Lorraine
Auditions for 1933's newest show, Pretty Lady, are nearly over when Peggy Sawyer, fresh off the bus from Allentown, Pennsylvania, arrives in New York City with valise in hand. Billy Lawlor, already cast as one of the juvenile leads, notices her and hopes to charm her into accepting a date with him. He informs her she has missed the audition but he can help her bypass that process, but choreographer Andy Lee has no time for Billy's latest conquest and tells her, "Amscray, toots." Embarrassed and flustered, she rushes off, only to slam right into director Julian Marsh himself.
One-time star Dorothy Brock, indignant at being asked to audition for a role, is reassured by Bert that he merely wants to make sure the songs are in her key. Despite his feeling she is a prima donna past her prime, he agrees to cast her in order to get financial backing from her wealthy beau, Abner Dillon. Outside the theatre, writer Maggie and chorus girls Anytime Annie, Phyllis, and Lorraine take pity on Peggy and invite her to join them for lunch and some advice. They encourage her to show them a dance routine that is witnessed by Julian, who decides there might be room for one more chorus girl after all.
Julian learns that Dorothy is seeing her old boyfriend, Pat Denning, behind Abner's back. Knowing this could destroy the show's future, he decides to put an end to the affair. A phone call to an unsavory acquaintance and Pat is visited by a couple of thugs who convince him to break it off with her. Soon after the show's cast heads to Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia for the out-of-town tryout. On opening night, someone bumps Peggy who trips and crashes into Dorothy, knocking her to the stage. Julian fires Peggy on the spot.
Dorothy's ankle is broken, and the show may close. The chorus kids, certain Peggy could fill the lead role, find Julian and tell him that she's a fresh young face who can sing and dance circles around Dorothy. He decides it is worth a shot and rushes off to the train station to catch her before she departs.
At Philadelphia's Broad Street Station, Julian apologizes to Peggy and asks her to stay and star in the show, but she responds that she has had enough of show business and wants to go home to Allentown. Dumbfounded, he tries to coax her with the words "Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway..." After the cast joins him in the serenade, she decides to accept his offer.
Forced to learn the part in two days, Peggy is on the verge of a nervous breakdown when she has an unexpected visit from Dorothy, who has been watching the rehearsals and realizes beneath her nervous exterior, Peggy is good, "maybe even better than I would have been." She even offers a little friendly advice on how to perform the last song, "About a Quarter to Nine."
The opening night curtain is about to rise when Julian, who is completely in love with Peggy at this point, stops by for a last minute lip-lock and pep talk in which he utters the now iconic line, "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" The show is a huge success sure to catapult her into stardom. In addition, even though she is invited to and expected to attend the official opening night party, she decides to go to the chorus one instead. Julian is left alone on stage with only a single ghost light casting his huge shadow on the back wall. He quietly begins to sing, "Come and meet those dancing feet on the avenue I'm taking you to...42nd Street."
- “Young and Healthy” – Billy and Peggy
- “Shadow Waltz” – Maggie, Dorothy, and Girls
- “Shadow Waltz (Reprise)” – Dorothy
- “Go into Your Dance” – Maggie, Peggy, Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, 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" - Bert, Maggie and Ensemble
- "I Only Have Eyes for You" - Dorothy and Billy
- “I Know Now” – Dorothy, Chorus and Billy
- “We’re in the Money” – Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, Peggy, Billy, and Chorus
- “Act One Finale” – Dorothy
- “There’s a Sunny Side to Every Situation” – Annie and Chorus
- “Lullaby of Broadway” – Julian and Company
- “About a Quarter to Nine” – Dorothy and Peggy
- "With Plenty of Money and You" - Male Ensemble
- “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” – Maggie, Bert, Annie, and Girls
- “Forty-Second Street” – Peggy with Dancing Company
- “Forty-Second Street (Reprise)” – Julian
- “Finale Ultimo” – Full Company