Barnum is a stage musical based on the life of showman Phineas Taylor Barnum.


Original Broadway CastEdit

Video cast (1986)Edit


In the middle of the 19th century, Phineas Taylor (PT) Barnum introduces his circus acts as he stands in front of a tent, proclaiming "There Is a Sucker Born Ev'ry Minute". He loves spectacle and excitement, using hype and "humbug" to promote his exhibits. His wife Charity disagrees with his use of "humbug" but loves him and aims to keep him grounded. Barnum then introduces the oldest woman alive, Joice Heth. His wife Charity urges him to get a job in a factory, but Barnum refuses. He enlists clowns to help in building a museum to house his attractions. His star attraction, Tom Thumb, appears to advise that "Bigger Isn't Better". Barnum then becomes manager of the famous Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind. Barnum becomes enamoured of her and sees the attraction of going on tour with her. He accompanies Jenny on tour, leaving Charity behind, as a marching band greets them.

Although all seems to be going well for Barnum, he finds that without Charity in his life he is miserable, and he decides to break ties with Jenny and return home to the woman he loves. Upon his return to Charity, he promises to live the more sedate life she desires for him, in "Black and White." When his political campaign looks doomed to fail due to lack of interest, Charity realises how important his talents and passion are in his life, and allows him to inject colour and life into his campaign. The two of them recognise the value in each other's approach to life and how they complement one another. But his beloved Charity dies suddenly, leaving Barnum bereft and alone. When Barnum finds himself humbugged by his political party, he laments his position and wishes to "shine a light in a dark world". James Anthony Bailey arrives and offers him the chance to join the circus. Initially resisting he relents and joins Bailey, and they form the famous circus Barnum and Bailey.

Musical numbersEdit

Act I

  • "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute" - Barnum
  • "Thank God I'm Old" - Joice and Tambourine Players
  • "The Colors of My Life" - Barnum and Chairy
  • "One Brick at a Time" - Chairy, Barnum and Bricklayers
  • "Museum Song" - Barnum
  • "I Like Your Style" - Barnum and Chairy
  • 'Bigger Isn't Better" - Tom Thumb
  • 'Love Makes Such Fools of Us All" - Jenny Lind
  • 'Out There" - Barnum

Act II

  • "Come Follow the Band" - Potomac Marching Band and Washingtonians
  • 'Black and White" - Chairy, Choir, Blues Singer, Barnum and Citizens of Bridgeprot
  • "The Colors of My Life (Reprise)" Barnum and Chairy
  • "The Prince of Humbug" - Barnum
  • "Join the Circus" - Bailey, Circus Performers and Barnum

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.