Never Gonna Dance

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Never Gonna Dance
Music Jerome Kern
Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein
Ira Gershwin
P. G. Wodehouse
Bernard Dougall
Johnny Mercer
Jimmy McHugh
Otto Harbach
Dorothy Fields
Book Jeffrey Hatcher
Basis Film Swing Time
Productions 2003 Broadway

Never Gonna Dance is a Broadway musical featuring the music of Jerome Kern. The musical was based on the 1936 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film Swing Time. Lyricists include Oscar Hammerstein, Ira Gershwin, P. G. Wodehouse, Bernard Dougall, Johnny Mercer, Jimmy McHugh, Otto Harbach, and Dorothy Fields.

It opened on Broadway in 2003.


The musical opened on December 4, 2003 at the Broadhurst Theatre and closed on February 15, 2004 after 84 performances and 44 previews. It was directed by Michael Greif with choreography by Jerry Mitchell, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Paul Gallo, and sets by Robin Wagner. The cast featured Noah Racey (Lucky), Nancy Lemenager (Penny), Karen Ziemba (Mabel) and Peter Gerety (Alfred J. Morganthal).[1][2]


John "Lucky" Garnett is a dancer in vaudeville. His fiancee's father does not think Lucky can make a living without dancing. Lucky is determined to prove that he can earn a living without dancing, and so goes to New York on a bet with his lucky quarter to make $25,000. There he meets and falls in love with Penny Carroll, a dance teacher. They enter a dance contest. Meanwhile, Penny's friend Mabel finds romance with a down-on-his-luck stockbroker, Alfred.



Reviews were mixed. For example, Ben Brantley in The New York Times deemed it a "pleasant" but "spiceless" production.[3] A review by Michael Feingold in The Village Voice was more positive, citing a convoluted plot and some miscast actors, but praising the musical numbers as "reassuringly good".[4]

John Kenrick reviewed the musical for Musicals101, praising the choreography, costumes, lighting and scenic design: "Jerry Mitchell has turned out some effective dances, and the physical production boast period-perfect costumes by William Ivey Long, stunning lighting by Paul Gallo, and some striking New York sets by the great Robin Wagner." However, he noting miscasting, and "The second act spins out of control."[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award ceremony Category Nominee Result
2004 Tony Award Best Choreography Jerry Mitchell Nominated
Best Featured Actress in a Musical Karen Ziemba Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Choreography Jerry Mitchell Nominated
Outstanding Orchestrations Harold Wheeler Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Choreography Jerry Mitchell Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Karen Ziemba Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Production of a Musical Nominated


  1. ^ " Never Gonna Dance Overview", accessed May 24, 2016
  2. ^ " Never Gonna Dance Broadway" Playbill, accessed May 24, 2016
  3. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review: Tapping Towards Love in Celebrated Slippers" The New York Times, December 5, 2003. Retrieved May 24, 2016
  4. ^ Feingold, Michael. "Goods and disservices" The Village Voice, December 10, 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2006
  5. ^ Kenrick, John. "Review. Never Gonna Dance ", accessed May 24, 2016

External links[edit]