Wonderful Town opened at the Winter Garden Theatre February 25, 1953. The musical, with music by Bernstein, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and a book by Jerome Chodorov and Joseph A. Fields, played 559 performances before closing July 3, 1954. The musical would go on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Starring Rosalind Russell and Edie Adams, Wonderful Town tells the story of Ruth, an aspiring writer, and Eileen, her aspiring-actor younger sister, who arrive in New York from Ohio in the 1930s and find frustration, career hopes, and romance in the city of their dreams. Carol Channing would go on to assume the role of Ruth following Russell’s run in the production.
Look Back at the Original Broadway Production of Wonderful Town
Directed by George Abbott with dance and musical staging by Donald Saddler, the production featured scenic and costume design by Raoul Péne Du Bois, Russell’s costume design by Mainbocher, and lighting design by Peggy Clark.
The musical returned in 2003 in a Kathleen Marshall-helmed revival starring Donna Murphy and Jennifer Westfeldt.