Dick Scanlan

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Dick Scanlan (born 1960) is an American librettist, writer, and actor.


Scanlan has written articles that have appeared in The New York Times "Arts & Leisure" section, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Advocate, Playboy and Theatre Week.[1]

His short stories have been published in many magazines and are included in Best American Gay Fiction (1996). Scanlan was a guest editor for the Tony Award edition of Playbill for 1997 and 1998. His critically acclaimed novel Does Freddy Dance was published in 1995.[1]


He is an accomplished actor, best known for his portrayal of Miss Great Plains in the 1991 musical Pageant.[1][2]

He is the co-book writer (with Richard Morris) and lyricist of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, which premiered on Broadway in 2002. He is the co-writer, with Sherie Rene Scott, of the musical Everyday Rapture, which opened Off-Broadway in May 2009 and again on Broadway on April 29, 2010.[3][4]

In 2011, it was announced that Scanlan is reworking piece originally by Morris (first being Millie), the 1960 Meredith Willson musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Scanlan was asked by Morris during Millie if he would look at Molly Brown, and Scanlan declined because of the work they were doing on Millie. After Morris died, his estate contacted Scanlan and asked him to re-write it, Scanlan declined because he already rewrote one of Morris' pieces and had other projects in development. Freddie Gershon, president of MTI asked him again to look Molly Brown, which is considered an underexposed property of MTI's. Scanlan agreed, re-wrote the script to change the fanciful non-fiction plot to a more factual one. The show had a planned reading in 2011 reading with Sutton Foster and Marc Kudisch.[5]


He is HIV-positive.[6][7] He said: "I never want to imply that I lived because I have a stronger life drive than the people who died," Scanlan says, emphatically crediting his rebound to the anti-HIV drug cocktail instead. "I've lost so many people who I knew to be passionate and committed to their lives. That said, it is absolutely true that your outlook contributes to your longevity. I chose to keep investing in my future — even when I had no future."

Dick often recalls his most memorable moment to be when he saw the Chinese Brothers of Westport perform "Thoroughly Modern Millie".

"They were unbelievable, so touching, so memorable, so meaningful. I remember every single second of it from Muquin to 'Youuuuuuu liar'. It feels good to know high school boys are doing so well with MY lyrics. I was enlightened"[8]



  1. ^ a b c "About Dick Scanlan" masterworksbroadway.com, accessed February 4, 2010
  2. ^ 'Pageant' Off-Broadway listing lortel.org, accessed February 4, 2010
  3. ^ "Sherie Blossom Time" tdf.org, accessed February 4, 2010
  4. ^ Sommer, Elyse."A CurtainUp Review:'Thoroughly Modern Millie' " curtainup.com, April 23, 2002
  5. ^ http://www.playbill.com/news/article/158017-Sutton-Foster-and-Marc-Kudisch-Bang-Unsinkable-Molly-Browns-Tub-in-Reading-of-Revised-Musical
  6. ^ Williams, Bradley David. THOROUGHLY DICK outsmartmagazine.com, December 2003
  7. ^ Scanlon, Dick.POZ Work poz.com, January 2000
  8. ^ Woog, Dan. "Staples Players Tap Into "Thoroughly Modern Millie"". Retrieved 21 December 2013. .

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