Smile (Ashman)

by  Howard Ashman, Marvin Hamlisch

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  6m, 10f, 2boy(s)

"A swift paced and thoroughly professional entertainment." - Time

This touching and satiric musical by the creators of Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line and They're Playing Our Song.

Note on Digital Perusal: Samuel French's new digital perusal process grants easy, digital access to music perusals while protecting the intellectual property of our composers, book writers, and lyricists. Samuel French perusals are intended to be used for finding the perfect show to fit your theater, casting pool, and resources. Perusals should be used to get acquainted with the music and script. They cannot be used to hold auditions, produce the show without a license, or find sheet music for a separate performance.

Read more +
License Estimator

Use this tool for cost estimates based on your specific needs.

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 10f, 2boy(s)
  • Accolades


    From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

This touching and satiric musical by the creators of Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line and They're Playing Our Song, follows the intrigue and exploits onstage and behind-the-scenes as Santa Rosa, California plays host to the Young American Miss Pageant.
Read more +



"A swift paced and thoroughly professional entertainment." - Time

"Wonderful Marvin Hamlisch melodies. Smart, clever move the story lyrics from Howard Ashman... This is the best Broadway score in years... Smile? I did. Your will." - ABC

"This good looking show has a lot to like... Sit back and enjoy the pageant." - Women's Wear Daily

"Impressively crafted lyrics." - The New York Times


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Setting: Santa Rose California's Young American Miss State Pageant


  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Large

Song Samples

Typical High School Senior
The Very Best Week Of Our Lives
Dear Mom / Bob's Song
Bob's Song (reprise)
Young And American
Until Tomorrow Night
Act Two Opening
Act Two Opening (Robin)
In Our Hands
There Goes The Girl


6m, 10f, 2boy(s)

The Grownups

BRENDA FREELANDER - A third runner up in the nationals, eighteen years ago, now she runs her local pageant. A study in surface perfection and just-below-the-surface neurosis, Brenda is an ex-prom queen who lost a contest once and will never stop trying to make up for it. Underneath her smiling and poised fluff, Brenda is made of steel. 
BIG BOB FREELANDER - Her husband and head judge of the pageant. The town's favorite son, he owns a local RV dealership and his every free moment is devoted to some form of community service. He's the Henry Fonda type: brave, clean, reverent and means it. A sincere and unashamed flag-waver whose flag is this pageant. 
DALE WILSON-SHEARS - National Chairman of the Young American Miss Foundation. A large, impressive, self-satisfied corporate leader with the suspicious charm of a television evangelist. He's in the charity business, but he's in the business, make no mistake. 
TED FARLEY - The pageant emcee. He ought to do game shows, or run for president. A big old silly, but a professional. 
TOMMMY FRENCH - The choreographer. He's a professional, but he's cynical, tough minded, and practical. 
CAROL - Doubles as MOTHER in Prologue 
WOMAN #1 - Robin's Mother, Louise, Woman Judge
TONY - Doubles as a parent in Prologue and a Judge
MAN #1 - Photographer, Ed, Daddy, Musical Director, Janitor, Judge

The Girls

ROBIN - Dark, sensitive, smart. She is attractive without trying to be, honest, down-to-earth, and questioning by nature. She senses that she doesn't quite belong here. 
DORIA - Blonde, Southern, and obsessed. She needs badly to win something...anything. Perhaps to make up for the things that are missing in her real life: friends, self-respect, family. 
SANDRA-KAY - Redhead. Pretty but not too pretty, smart but not too smart, talented but not too talented. The type that usually wins. 
MARIA - Mexican-American. She tries harder. She has to. 
SHAWN - A bit of a Valley Girl. Spoiled, gorgeous, competitive, and prejudiced. 
VALERIE - Shawn's confidant 
KATE - Doubles in Act II as JOANIE MARSHALL, last year's winner 

And nine other girls in the pageant of varying shapes and sizes

The Kids

LITTLE BOB - Son of Big Bob, 11 years old. He has all of his dad's charm and none of his integrity. 
FREDDY - Little Bob's nerdy sidekick. 

See all +

Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

Casting Notes

Plus an Ensemble


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

1 Piano/Conductors Score
28 Vocal Chorus Books

Reed I (Piccolo, Alto Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone)
Reed II (Piccolo, Alto Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet)
Reed III (Oboe, Tenor Saxophone, English Horn, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Flute)
Reed IV (Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Bb Clarinet)
Reed V (Flute, Baritone Saxophone, Bassoon, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet)
Trumpet I
Trumpet II
Horn I
Horn II
Horn III
Trombone I
Trombone II
Trombone III
Keyboard I
Keyboard II
Cello I
Celli II & III

Available Services



Howard Ashman

Howard Ashman

Marvin Hamlisch

June 2, 1944—August 6, 2012As composer, Marvin Hamlisch won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, three Golden Globe awards, and the Pulitzer Prize (won by A Chorus Line). Only Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers have won a “PEGOT” (P.E.G.O ...

View full profile

Smile opened on Broadway at the Luft-Fontane Theatre in November 1986. 

Now Playing

Community Experiences