The Sweet Smell of Success

by  John Guare, Marvin Hamlisch, Craig Carnelia

Full Length Musical, Drama  /  13m, 9f

Based on the 1957 movie of the same name, The Sweet Smell of Successtells the story of a powerful newspaper columnist named J. J. Hunsecker who uses his connections to ruin his sister's relationship with a man he deems inappropriate.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    13m, 9f
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Tony, From Broadway

Additional Info

It’s New York, 1952. Welcome to Broadway, the glamour and power capital of the universe. J.J. Hunsecker rules it all with his daily gossip column in the New York Globe, syndicated to sixty million readers across America. J.J. has the goods on everyone, from the president to the latest starlet. And everyone feeds J.J. scandal, from J. Edgar Hoover and Senator Joe McCarthy down to a battalion of hungry press agents who attach their news to a client that J.J. might plug. When a young press agent, Sidney, tries to hitch his wagon to J.J. while keeping secrets about his client’s new relationship with J.J.’s sister, he learns that you can become no one if J.J. turns on you.

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Accolades

  • Nominee! 2002 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding Music, and Oustanding Lyrics
    Nominee! 2002 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score 

Reviews

REVIEWS:

"John Guare has bravely gone beyond slavish adaptation while retaining many of the Hunseckerisms that fans of the film love to quote." - Curtain Up

RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER

Getting the Dirt on Sweet Smell of Success 
by Scott Miller 
September 19, 2017

Videos

  • The Cast of Sweet Smell of Success performing Dirt at 56th Tony Awards
  • Brian d'Arcy James performs At the Fountain
  • Broadway.com covers concert reading of Sweet Smell of Success
More videos +

Keywords

Business, Love

Considerations

Performing Groups

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

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1950s
  • Setting: New York City

Music

  • Orchestra Size: Large

Song Samples

The Column
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I Could Get You in JJ
0:00
I Cannot Hear the City
0:00
Welcome to the Night
0:00
Laughin' All the Way to the Bank
0:00
At the Fountain
0:00
Don't Know Where You Leave Off
0:00
What If
0:00
For Susan
0:00
One Track Mind
0:00
Break It Up
0:00
Rita's Tune
0:00
Dirt
0:00
I Could Get You in JJ (Reprise)
0:00
I Cannot Hear the City (Reprise)
0:00
Don't Look Now
0:00
At the Fountain (Reprise)
0:00
Finale
0:00

Casting

13m, 9f

JJ HUNSECKER- A powerful gossip columnist
SIDNEY- A struggling press agent
SUSAN - JJ's sister, a classy beauty who falls in love with Dallas
DALLAS - A hot young jazz piano player, who falls in love with Susan
RITA - Sidney's waitress girlfriend
MADGE 
CONGRESSMAN
BLUE ANGEL PRESS AGENT
EMPIRE ROOM PRESS AGENT
ABIGAIL BARCLAY
TONY - The owner of a sleazy jazz joint, Club Voodoo
BILLY VAN CLEVE
PREGNANT WOMAN
PEPPER WHITE'S ESCORT
OTIS ELWELL - JJ's rival gossip column monger
LESTER
DEAD ACCTRESS
KELLO - Powerful and sinister police detective.
CLUB ZANZIBAR SINGER
CATHEDRAL SOLOIST
SENATOR
SENATOR'S GIRLFRIEND
TONY'S CAPRICE BARTENDER
TELETHON ANNOUNCER
BOBO
JJ's VAUDEVILLE PARTNER
PRESS AGENT

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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

In the original Broadway production the following roles were doubled:

Congressman / Otis Elwell
Blue Angel Press Agent / Senator
Empire Room Press Agent / Kello
Tony / Bobo
Club Zanzibar Singer / Tony's Caprice Bartender

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

21 Piano/Conductor Scores Keyboard I

Keyboard II
Percussion I
Percussion II
Trumpet I
Trumpet II
Horn
Cello
Reed I: Flute, Alto Saxophone, Piccolo, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone
Reed II: Alto Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
Reed III: Tenor Saxophone, English Horn, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn
Reed IV: Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet
Reed V: Baritone Saxophone, Bassoon, Bass Clarinet, Baritone, Flute
Trombone I
Trombone II
Trombone III
Drums
Bass
Xylophone

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Authors

John Guare

John Guare'splays include Lydie Breeze; Bosoms and Neglect; The House of Blue Leaves, which won an Obie and NY Drama Critics Circle Award for the Best American Play of 1970- 71 and four Tonys in its 1986 Lincoln Center revival; Six Degrees of Separation, which received the NY Drama Critics Circle Award in 1991 for its ...

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Marvin Hamlisch

As composer, Hamlisch won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globe awards. For Broadway he wrote the music for his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, which received the Pulitzer Prize as well as They’re Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl and Swee ...

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Craig Carnelia

Carnelia grew up in Floral Park, New York. He was exposed to Broadway at the age of fourteen when he was inspired by the Richard Rodgers musical No Strings. He played guitar, was in a folksinging group and taught himself to play the piano. While attending Hofstra University he won the role of The Boy in off-Broadway's ...

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Sweet Smell of Success was first presented on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre in March of 2002 under the direction of Nicholas Hytner. It starred John Lithgow. 

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