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Steel Pier - Full Length Musical, Comedy

Steel Pier

Fred Ebb, Scott Ellis, Inc., John Kander, Susan Stroman, David Thompson, Inc.

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Full Length Musical, Comedy

15m, 13f

ISBN: 9780573623356

Book by David Thompson
Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson
"Beautiful songs skillfully interwoven with the plot." - N.Y. Daily News

"Spectacular." - N.Y. Post."Steeped in wistfulness." - N.Y. Times

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Full Length Musical


Period, Romantic Comedy

120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - 1930s

Settings Of Play - Atlantic City's Steel Pier. August, 1933.


Competition or audition material

Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Period Costumes


Adult, Senior, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Large Stage


Tony, From Broadway

NOMINEE! Tony Award for Best Musical
NOMINEE! Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
NOMINEE! Tony Award for Best Original Score
NOMINEE! Tony Award for best Orchestrations
NOMINEE! Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical
NOMINEE! Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music
NOMINEE! Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations
In the honky tonk world of marathon dancing in Atlantic City in 1933, a captivating assortment of depression era souls eager to dance their way into fame and prizes gather on the Steel Pier. The spectacle is presided over by an oily tongued emcee who is secretly married to Rita Racine, the champion dancer. Her usual partner doesn't show up, so she is paired with a handsome pilot on leave. As the hours of dancing whirl on, Rita becomes increasingly disillusioned with her sleazy, conniving husband and more and more infatuated with the handsome young aviator and a vision of life in a peaceful cottage. Songs by the creators of Chicago, Cabaret and other Broadway classics perfectly capture the rhythms of the 1930's dance era.

"Beautiful songs skillfully interwoven with the plot." - N.Y. Daily News

"Spectacular." - N.Y. Post.

"Steeped in wistfulness." - N.Y. Times

Steel Pier first premiered at the Richard Rogers Theatre on Broadway on April 24, 1997. It was directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The cast included Debra Monk and Kristin Chenoweth.


15m, 13f


Expandable casting, Flexible casting, Room for Extras, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)


Plus a chorus of 8 male and 5 female.



BILL KELLY - Late 30s. A dare-devil who has crashed his plane. Ever since he first saw Rita at an airshow, he has been in love with her. He is a hot-dog flyer. An American classic. Someone who still believes in the power of having a dream. Strong tenor with good high notes - Ab.
RITA RACINE - late 30s. Was "Lindy's Lovebird" - the first woman to kiss Lindbergh when he crossed the Atlantic. Was the darling of the press and the Vaudeville circuit. Over the last few years, however, she has been performing in stage shows...side shows...air shows. And now, as the Depression takes hold of the country - dance marathons. Rita is full of life. Wildly charismatic. And vulnerable. High belt with a good mix. 
SHELBY STEVENS -40s. She is one of the marathon's featured performers. Quick. Dry. Biting. "Everyone's Girl." Loves the life of the marathon dancer. Loves the marathons. She dances with Luke. Strong low belt with a good head voice.
MICK HAMILTON - 40s. The marathon's promoter. He serves as the marathon's master of ceremonies. Smooth. Stylish. Performs for the crowds. He has fought all his life for what he has been able to call his own. Beneath the polish, he's a street fighter - willing to do anything to get what he wants. Baritone with a strong F.
MR. WALKER - 55-60. The floor judge. He has been traveling with Michk to the different marathons. A kind man in a dirty business. He is Mick's henchman - the go-between. Must sing. High tenor.
BUDDY BECKER - 40-45. Vaudevillian. A non-stop talker. Always quick with a story. Even if no wants to hear it. Oblivious to those around him. Dances with his sister, Bette. Tenor.
BETTE BECKER - 35-40. Buddy's sister. Always tries to be optimistic. Tries to see the bright side of everything. Must sing.
JOHNNY ADEL - Early 30s. An athlete. Imposing. Someone who wrestled in the Olympics. Sees the marathon as just another sport. Disciplined. Someone who would probably win. Dances with Dora. Baritone.
DORA FOSTER - 45-50. An attractive woman who at one time in her life had money. Now she has nothing. Still tries to keep up the facade. Dances with Johnny Adel. Mezzo.
HAPPY MCGUIRE - Early 20s. Precious' husband. Raised on a farm. Strapping. Despite his and and inexperience, he is much smarter - and even more worldly - than he appears. Lyric baritone.
PRECIOUS MCGUIRE - 18-20. The young newlywed. Married to Happy. On the surface seems innocent. Wide-eyed. Fresh. She is however, drive, steely. Determined to get her show so that she never has to return home. Soprano with a lovely high C and an E above that, if possible.
LUKE ADAMS -30-35. Quiet. Keeps to himself. Plays instruments. Must pla at least one of the following instruments proficiently: harmonica, fiddle, guitar, ukulele, concertina, accordion. Dances with Shelby.
MICK'S PICKS - 3 women who sing back-up for Mick during the radio show. They must be oustanding singers with talent for blending and singing tight harmony. Two sopranos. One alto. Must also be able to dance.
CHORUS - the dancers in the marathon. Must be outstanding dancers who can sing. They must also span a wide range of types and ages. 5 women and 8 men. 

Rental Materials




Classic Broadway



20 Piano/Conductor’s Score

Keyboard I
Keyboard II
Trumpet I
Trumpet II
Trumpet III
Trombone I
Trombone II
Horn I
Horn II
Reed I (Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax, Recorder)
Reed II (Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax)
Reed III (English Horn, Oboe, Clarinet, Tenor Sax)
Reed IV (Clarinet, Alto Sax, Bari Sax, Bassoon)
Percussion (2 books)
Violins A
Violins B
Song Samples



Willing to Ride

Everybody Dance

Second Chance

A Powerful Thing

Dance With Me / The Last Girl

The Shag

Everybody's Girl



The Sprints

Leave the World Behind

Somebody Older

Running in Place

Two Little Words

First You Dream

Steel Pier

Steel Pier [Reprise]

Final Dance

  • 1997 Tony Awards

  • Steel Pier

Fred Ebb

Fred Ebb

Fred Ebb (1928 – 2004) won Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Awards for his work as a writer, director, and composer. His collaborations with John Kander, Bob Fosse, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Liza Minnelli made him a legend in the New York theatre community. Mr. Kander and Mr.Ebb wrote and made famous the city’s unofficial theme song “New York, New York.” ... view full profile

John Kander

John Kander

John Harold Kander was born on March 18, 1927 in Kansas City, Missouri to Harold and Berenice (Aaron) Kander. He was exposed to music at an early age. Kander believed that a bout of tuberculosis as a baby, which had kept him isolated from other people, had actually helped him develop his sense of sound. At age six he began taking piano lessons from a woman in the neighborhood. Kander spent many ... view full profile

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