Redhead (musical)

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Music Albert Hague
Lyrics Dorothy Fields
Book Dorothy Fields
Herbert Fields
Sidney Sheldon
David Shaw
Productions 1959 Broadway
Awards Tony Award for Best Musical

Redhead is a musical with music composed by Albert Hague and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, who with her brother, Herbert, along with Sidney Sheldon and David Shaw wrote the book/libretto. Set in London in the 1880s, around the time of Jack the Ripper, the musical is a murder mystery in the setting of a wax museum.

Productions and background[edit]

Herbert and Dorothy Fields wrote the musical, then titled The Works for Beatrice Lillie. When Sidney Sheldon joined the writing team, it was rewritten for Gwen Verdon, who just had two smash hits on Broadway (Damn Yankees and New Girl in Town). Verdon took the lead on the condition that Bob Fosse would be the director as well as choreographer, making this his debut as a director.[1]

Redhead opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre (now the Richard Rodgers Theatre) on February 5, 1959, and closed on March 19, 1960, after 452 performances. Bob Fosse directed and choreographed. Production design was by Rouben Ter-Arutunian and lighting design was by Jean Rosenthal. The cast starred Verdon and Richard Kiley. The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

The Costa Mesa Playhouse in Costa Mesa, California known for mounting lesser-known, unique, and obscure musicals had a successful run of Redhead in June 1981.

The musical revival group 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco, presented a staged concert of Redhead from September 2 to 20, 1998.[2]

In late January and early February of 2015, "Theater West" in Hollywood, CA did a revival of "Redhead." Interesting side note – Lee Merriweather (Catwoman in the feature film "Batman" 1966 and "The Time Tunnel") was in the cast. [3]

Original Broadway Cast[edit]

  • Essie Whimple – Gwen Verdon
  • Tom Baxter – Richard Kiley
  • Ruth LaRue – Pat Ferrier
  • Howard Cavanaugh – William LeMassena
  • Maude Simpson – Cynthia Latham
  • Sarah Simpson – Doris Rich
  • George Poppett – Leonard Stone
  • Inspector White – Ralph Sumpter
  • May – Joy Nichols
  • Tilly – Pat Perrier
  • Alfy – Lee Krirger
  • Sir Charles Willingham – Patrick Horgan


Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1959 Tony Award Best Musical Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Richard Kiley Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Gwen Verdon Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Leonard Stone Nominated
Best Choreography Bob Fosse Won
Best Conductor and Musical Director Jay Blackton Nominated
Best Costume Design Rouben Ter-Arutunian Won


  1. ^ PBS article, retrieved January 22, 2010
  2. ^ Listing, retrieved January 22, 2010
  3. ^

External links[edit]