Steel Pier

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

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  15m, 13f

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

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

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

    15m, 13f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


    Period, Romantic Comedy
  • Accolades


    Tony, From Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

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.
Read more +


  • 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


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

"Spectacular." - N.Y. Post.

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


  • 1997 Tony Awards
  • Steel Pier
More videos +


Performing Groups

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


  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Atlantic City's Steel Pier. August, 1933.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Medium
  • Chorus Size: Medium

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


15m, 13f

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. 

See all +

Cast Attributes

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

Casting Notes

Plus a chorus of 8 male and 5 female.


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

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



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. ...

View full profile
Scott Ellis, Inc.

Scott Ellis, Inc.

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 b ...

View full profile
Susan Stroman

Susan Stroman

David Thompson

David Thompson

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.

Now Playing

Community Experiences