Mark A. Ridge
Music and Lyrics
Nora Bayes, Irving Berlin, N.J. Clesi, Walter Donaldson, Ray Eagan,
Fred Fisher, Lemuel Fowler, Joe Goodwin, James E. Hanley,
Clarence Jennings, Howard Johnson, Geo. Landis, Sam M. Lewis, J.P. Long,
Roy Marsh, Billy McCabe, Stanley Murphy, Jack Norworth,
Mitchell Parish, Paul Pelham, Maceo Pinkard, Tom Pitts, Mark A. Ridge
J. Russel Robinson, Howard Rogers, Fred Rose, Jimmy Selby,
Al Siegel, Andrew V. Souders, Harry D. Squires, Roy Turk, Harry Von Tilzer,
Paul Whiteman, Eleanor Young and Joe Young
Original Music & Lyrics are all in the public domain.
Music, Revised Lyrics and Orchestrations
© Mark A. Ridge
All Rights Reserved
(With doubling, 43rd Street Requires 13 Actors).
BETSY: A young, perky, ambitious but slightly naïve girl. *
KATHIE: A very pregnant, indentured singer with an amazing voice.
PENNY: Joan Crawford as her character from the film Torch Song.**
JEFFERSON: The world’s greatest director.
DICK: A young, handsome, multi-talented Broadway actor.
SKIP: The choreographer and assistant director.
PETER: A young, attractive chorus boy.
FANNY: A chorus girl who rarely says “No.”
GRANDMA: Betsy’s sweet grandmother. **
TEENIE: Penny’s maid who yearns for more
BANKS: A powerful banker and backer of Broadway shows.
FILMORE: A young, handsome, physical fitness entrepreneur.
HARRY: A young, attractive chorus boy.
A DIRECTOR IN INDIANA: A Midwestern Theatre Director
THE ACTOR: A theatre veteran.
GABE: A powerful businessman and womanizing Broadway Angel
MONA: A chorus girl who is far from the brightest bulb on Broadway.
DR. BROCKTON: Jefferson’s doctor.
It takes balls to be a leading lady on Broadway!
43rd Street is a musical parody that pays homage to many classic Broadway and Hollywood musicals, and pokes fun at the persona of screen legend Joan Crawford. Utilizing updated and re-worked songs from some of Tin Pan Alley’s greatest composers, it’s the ultimate backstage musical.
43rd Street draws a lot of energy from the staples of the traditional drag show: mockery of “traditional” values, camp humor, references to popular culture, and winks and nods at the audience. There is also an attitude of fringe in the script, but where many fringe shows seek to alienate older adults, it still reaches out to fans of classic cinema and early jazz music.
For the person with a keen knowledge of the genre, there are over seventy five different musicals referenced in the script, and a large portion of the dialogue is composed of show-tune lyrics.
43rd Street is a two act musical that requires a minimum of thirteen actors, has minimal set requirements, and has been described as “An odd cross between a John Waters film and the Carol Burnett show.”
SCENE ONE - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE TWO - Betsy's Bedroom
SCENE THREE - Jefferson's Office
SCENE FOUR - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE FIVE - Y.M.C.A. Sauna
SCENE SIX - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE SEVEN - Outside the Theatre
SCENE EIGHT - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE NINE - Outside the Theatre
SCENE TEN - Penny's Dressing Room
SCENE ELEVEN - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE ONE - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE TWO - Penny's Dressing Room
SCENE THREE - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE FOUR - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE FIVE - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE SIX - Penny's Dressing Room
SCENE SEVEN - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
SCENE EIGHT -Outside the Theatre
SCENE NINE - Penny's Dressing Room
SCENE TEN - Stage of a Broadway Theatre
* Can be played by a female or male actor in drag.
**Should be played a male actor in drag.
With the exception of Grandma and Tennie, the other roles do not have to be double cast. If desired, additional chorus members may be added.
43rd Street received a staged reading by Three Cat Productions in Chicago, IL. This reading was part of the 2015 Next Draft Reading Series.
"I love the anachronistic references to keep the audience on their toes. I like all the work done to keep the audience in the show by referring to them constantly and I appreciate the subtle working of showtune lyrics into the character dialogues and the constant references back to Joan Crawford movies."
"While the music shies away from well-known standards of the American songbook, there is a familiarity in the early jazz/ragtime music selected which makes the soundtrack quickly accessible."
"The showtunes and the movies become a game for the audience to play while it’s watching the play itself."
Mr. Douglas Hill,
Neil Simon Festival
I'll put the Broad
back into Broadway."
After a less than stellar audition, plucky Betsy Barker decides to leave her Indiana home and move to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming a Broadway star. (1) THEY ALWAYS PICK ON ME
With a little emotional and financial assistance from her Grandma, (2) THERE'S A BROKEN HEART FOR EVERY LIGHT ON BROADWAY Betsy sets off to the big city.
When the world’s greatest director, Jefferson Bland holds auditions for his newest musical sensation, Betsy is offered a role in the chorus. As fate would have it, the juvenile male lead is suddenly unavailable to appear in the show. The chorus boys (Pete and Harry) recommend Dick, a talented member of their health club. (3) I CAN ALWAYS FIND A LITTLE SUNSHINE (4) REPRISE and he is immediately hired for the show.
At the first rehearsal, the cast is introduced to Penny Stuart, the Hollywood star and leading lady who happens to bear an uncanny (but masculine) resemblance to Joan Crawford. When Penny makes a hasty exit from the rehearsal, the chorus members (Harry, Peter, Fanny and Mona) express their feelings about the leading lady. (5) SHE'S A BIG STAR.
When Jefferson realizes that he is still an ingénue short, he quickly pairs up Betsy with Dick for a quick audition. (6) YOU'RE JUST THE TYPE FOR A BUNGALOW Convinced that she can handle the part, Jefferson promotes her from the chorus to a featured role.
With the cast in place, rehearsals finally begin. First up, Penny (With the assistance of Kathie, her very pregnant voice double) runs through one of her numbers. (7) I NEVER KNEW I COULD LOVE ANYBODY
While on a rehearsal break, Kathie and Betsy get acquainted. (8) THEY ALWAYS PICK ON ME REPRISE
Meanwhile, backstage, Teenie (Penny’s long suffering maid) takes a moment to vocalize her true feelings about her employer. (9) A LITTLE KIND TREATMENT
When an additional body is needed for one of the numbers, Teenie happily steps in and joins the cast. (10) MR. MOONMAN, TURN ON YOUR LIGHT.
As rehearsals continue, Kathie goes into labor. Amidst the commotion, Penny trips on stage and breaks her leg!
11) ALL BY MYSELF With these two major setbacks, the future of the show is in question and the curtain falls on act one.
With her leg now in a cast, Penny tries to rehearse. (12) MAMMA WHIP! MAMMA SPANK
Unable to dance, Penny retires to her dressing room, where she shares some quality time with Teenie. (13) I'LL MAKE YOU WANT ME
While rehearsing with Dick, Betsy’s true feelings for him become obvious. However, Dick has feelings of his own. (14) GEE, BUT I HATE TO GO HOME ALONE (15) REPRISE
Confused by Dick’s lack of interest, Betsy confides in Peter who attempts to set her straight. (16) YOU THINK HE'S YOUR MAN
With only days before opening, Jefferson realizes that the show is in trouble and that the leading lady must be re-cast. (17) MAMMA WHIP! MAMMA SPANK! REPRISE
Now that the leading role is hers, Betsy begins to feel the pressure of carrying an entire show (18) DON'T BRING ME PANSIES
Betsy starts to realize that there may be more important things in life than show business. While she is contemplating her future, Betsy meets Filmore and a romance begins to blossom. (19) SWEET INDIANA HOME
When Betsy decides to quit the show to marry Filmore, another leading lady must be found. With less than twenty four hours before opening, Teenie eagerly seizes the opportunity and steps into the star spot for opening night. (20) TAP THAT!
On opening night and with the show a hit, Kathie is finally able to take her place center stage, where she leads the company in the happy finale. (21) 43rd STREET (22) REPRISE
43rd Street should have the timeless feel of a late night movie musical. The scenes should shift seamlessly and merge into one another with an almost cinematic quality. Some of the locations can be actual sets, while others can merely be suggested..
43rd Street received a staged reading by the Shawnee Playhouse in Pennsylvania in 2017 as part of their new play competition and was a finalist in their 2017 Original Playwrighting Competition.
Demo Recording Company
Jodi Ewen, Will Wilhelm, Marty Grubbs, Bree Gordon,
Panagiota Valkanas, Chad Gearig-Howe, Stephanie Hansen,
Justin Harner, Donny Walker
SONG SAMPLES FROM ROUGH DEMO RECORDING