Show History



Redhead features a book by Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields, Sidney Sheldon and David Shaw, along with music by Albert Hague (from the television special, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas") and lyrics by Dorothy Fields (Annie Get Your Gun, "The Way You Look Tonight").  The musical is set in 1900s London and centers around a serial killer that is based on the infamous Jack the Ripper.

In 1950, Herbert and Dorothy Fields started to work on the musical, originally titled The Works (after the wax works setting) and meant to star Beatrice Lillie.  When Herbert Fields passed away and Sidney Sheldon, the seventh best-selling fiction writer of all time, was brought in to cowrite the book, though, they decided to rewrite it for Gwen Verdon, fresh off of her successful performances in Damn Yankees and New Girl in Town.  Verdon accepted the lead role on the condition that Bob Fosse would direct, as well as choreograph.


Redhead premiered on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre on February 6, 1959.  The production starred Gwen Verdon and Richard Kelly, with direction and choreography by the legendary Bob Fosse.  The show closed on March 19, 1960.  In June of 1981, the Costa Mesa Playhouse in California opened a well-received production.  From September 2-20, 1998, the 42nd Street Moon Theatre in San Francisco, California, presented a staged concert of the musical.

Cultural Influence

  • The original Broadway production of Redhead marked the directing debut of Bob Fosse.  Fosse would go on to direct several stage shows, including Little Me, Pippin and Chicago.  He also directed the film versions of Sweet Charity, All That Jazz and Cabaret, earning an Academy Award for the latter.


  • The musical, Redhead, has a score by Albert Hague, best known as a Professor Shorofsky in the movie and TV series of Fame.
  • The musical, Redhead, was nominated for seven Tony Awards, and won five of them, including Best Musical.