Steel Pier

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

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

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    15m, 13f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period, Romantic Comedy
  • Accolades

    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.
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Accolades

  • 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

Reviews

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

"Spectacular." - N.Y. Post.

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

Videos

  • 1997 Tony Awards
  • Steel Pier
More videos +

Keywords

Friendship, Love, Money

Considerations

Performing Groups

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

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

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

Music

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

Song Samples

Overture
0:00
Prelude
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Willing to Ride
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Everybody Dance
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Second Chance
0:00
A Powerful Thing
0:00
Dance With Me / The Last Girl
0:00
The Shag
0:00
Everybody's Girl
0:00
Wet
0:00
Lovebird
0:00
The Sprints
0:00
Leave the World Behind
0:00
Somebody Older
0:00
Running in Place
0:00
Two Little Words
0:00
First You Dream
0:00
Steel Pier
0:00
Steel Pier [Reprise]
0:00
Final Dance
0:00

Casting

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.
CORKY 
DR. JOHNSON
SONNY
PREACHER
THE FLYING DUNLAPS - 5 actors
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. 

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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.

Resources

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)
Bass
Drums
Percussion (2 books)
Violins A
Violins B
Viola
Cello
Guitar

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Authors

David Thompson, Inc.

David Thompson, Inc.

Susan Stroman

Susan Stroman

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. ...

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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 ...

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Scott Ellis, Inc.

Scott Ellis, Inc.

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.

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