Bullets over Broadway The Musical
The 1920s come roaring to life with showgirls, gangsters and more, in this musical adaptation of Woody Allen's madcap film.
Show Essentials
10
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG13
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

You're in prohibition-era New York City, just before the crash in 1929, a time of flappers, jazz, bathtub gin and pistol-packing gangsters. The curtain is a mural of dancing chorus girls and musicians playing trombones and saxophones. The orchestra plays the "Overture" and Cheech, a machine gun-toting hit man in the service of boss, Nick Valenti, casually walks out and fires at the curtain, spelling out "Bullets over Broadway." At Nick's club, a speakeasy in midtown Manhattan, akin to the real Three Deuces or "21 Club" on 52nd Street, the gorgeous Atta-Girls are in full swing with "Tiger Rag." Among them is Olive Neal, Nick's burlesque dancer girlfriend who yearns for the big part in a Broadway show that he has guaranteed her ("I promise I'll have your name in lights,") but not yet delivered. ("The only way you'll ever have my name in lights is if I change my name to Exit.") But, "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good toYou?"

David Shayne, a playwright and self-proclaimed "serious artist," sings the same lyrics to his long-suffering girlfriend of ten years, Ellen. His new play has been turned down by every producer in New York except for Julian Marx, who calls to say that he has a single backer – Valenti; all David has to do is find a part for Olive. Ellen asks that, if the play is not a success, they will move back to Pittsburgh, get married and have a "real life." "I hear you," David assures her, "but you have to realize that marriage is a very serious decision – like suicide." Ellen laments the "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me."

"'Tain't a Fit Night out for Man or Beast" as a pack of Valenti gangsters shoot it out with members of the rival Kustabecks. David and Julian go to Nick's house to meet about the play, and Olive demonstrates her singular ability in "The Hot Dog Song." Julian visits the aging diva, Helen Sinclair, to persuade her to take the lead. "You want me to play a frumpy housewife who gets dumped for a flapper?" she answers in disbelief. "I'm Helen Sinclair!" ("They Go Wild, Simply Wild, over Me").

Cheech, singing "Up a Lazy River" as he drives a mug to Gowanus Canal, shoots him on Valenti's orders. David enters the theatre for the first day of rehearsals, thrilled: "I'm Sitting on Top of The World." Olive's flawlessly untalented reading turns the song into a dirge. Cheech is a fount of suggestions for improving the script.

Olive catches the eye of male lead, Warner Purcell, who suggests "Let's Misbehave." David falls for Helen, who cagily uses his infatuation to improve her part. On his birthday, she gives him a silver cigarette case that she received from Cole Porter, inscribed "Let's Do It," and explains "There's a Broken Heart for Every Light on Broadway." David joins Ellen at Nick's club, where the Atta-Girls are singing "(We'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You" while "Here Comes the Hot Tamale Man" plays. During a break in rehearsal a few days later, David has misgivings about passing off Cheech's now voluminous changes as his own. "What are you worried about, I ain't going to tell anybody," he says. "'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do." Act 1 ends with the cast aboard the train for Boston Tryouts as the leggy Red Caps sing "Runnin' Wild."

Act Two

The cast is overjoyed ("There's a New Day Comin'!") by the daily improvement of what they don't know is Cheech's script. Cheech, assigned by Nick to be Olive's bodyguard, confronts Warner about his involvement with her and tells him "There'll Be Some Changes Made." Helen, impressed by "David's" rewrites, intimates that she's available but "I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle." David tells Ellen that he has fallen for Helen, and her answer is "I've Found a New Baby." Hours before opening night on Broadway, Olive's body is found in the Gowanus Canal, shot by Cheech for ruining "his" show. David is horrified. "The Panic Is On."

The show is a hit. David realizes that Cheech was the real artist and reconciles with Ellen in "She's Funny That Way," while the cast looks on the bright side: "Finale (Yes, We Have No Bananas)."

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Aldo
A henchman of Nick Valenti.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 20
Atta-girls
Featured ensemble singers and dancers in Nick Valenti s club.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 20
Cheech
A gangster in Nick Valenti s mob. Assigned as Olive s bodyguard who has an unexpected talent for dramaturgy and storytelling.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 25
David Shayne
A struggling amateur playwright and true bohemian artist. He has a long standing engagement to the wholesome Ellen, but fears marriage will force him to give up his writing and bohemian way of life.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 20
Eden Brent
An ever-optimistic actress in David s play. Always has her dog Mr. Woofles in tow, and often speaks in Pig-Latin.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 25
Ellen
David s girlfriend of around ten years. She loves David and supports his art but is growing tired of the bohemian lifestyle, wishing for a more comfortable life back home in Pittsburgh.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 25
Ensemble
Flappers, gangsters, bohemians, Cotton Club Dancers, Hot Dog Man and the Four Franks, maids, assistants, and understudies.
Gender: any
Helen Sinclair
An aging diva with a huge ego and a recent string of flops. A talented dipsomaniac who dislikes the idea of being cast as more mature female characters.
Gender: female
Age: 35 to 35
Julian Marx
The sole producer on Broadway to still believe in David. Julian understands show business and finds a backer for David s play, with a few unsavory conditions.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 40
Kay
Another bohemian friend of David and Ellen.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 20
Mitchell Sabine
The stage manager of David s play.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 30
Nick Valenti
A lovable Mob Boss and Olive s boyfriend. He loves Olive and promises to make her a star by being the sole backer of a new Broadway bound play.
Gender: male
Age: 35 to 35
Olive Neal
Nick Valenti s flapper girlfriend. A brash, blonde bombshell who yearns to be a real star on Broadway, without the acting chops or work ethic to back it up.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 20
Rocco
Another member of Nick Valenti s gang.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 20
Sheldon Flender
A close friend of both David and Ellen. Passionate bohemian, who values art over life.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 20
Warner Purcell
The leading man in David s play. A talented actor who tends to stress eat compulsively. Becomes romantically inclined with Olive behind Nick s back.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 30
Full Song List
Bullets Over Broadway: Overture
Bullets Over Broadway: Tiger Rag
Bullets Over Broadway: Gee Baby, Ain t I Good to You
Bullets Over Broadway: Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me
Bullets Over Broadway:  Tain t a Fit Night Out for Man or Beast
Bullets Over Broadway: The Hot Dog Song
Bullets Over Broadway: They Go Wild, Simply Wild, Over Me
Bullets Over Broadway: Up a Lazy River
Bullets Over Broadway: I m Sitting on Top of the World
Bullets Over Broadway: Let s Misbehave
Bullets Over Broadway: There's a Broken Heart for Every Light on Broadway
Bullets Over Broadway: (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You
Bullets Over Broadway: Here Comes the Hot Tamale Man
Bullets Over Broadway: 'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do
Bullets Over Broadway: Runnin' Wild
Bullets Over Broadway: There's a New Day Comin'!
Bullets Over Broadway: There'll Be Some Changes Made
Bullets Over Broadway: I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle
Bullets Over Broadway: I've Found a New Baby
Bullets Over Broadway: The Panic is On
Bullets Over Broadway: She's Funny That Way
Bullets Over Broadway: Final (Yes, We Have No Bananas)

Show History

Inspiration

Bullets over Broadway is based on the 1994 Academy Award nominated film of the same name that was written by Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath. Right before the stock market crash of 1929, a young playwright named David Shayne is getting his play produced on Broadway, financed by a gangster.

The title hearkens back to a sketch segment on Sid Caesar's 1950s television show, "Caesars Hour," where Woody Allen began his career as a writer. Initially, Allen had no interest in turning his film into a musical, but was persuaded otherwise by his sister. When original music and lyrics did not seem to fit properly, public domain songs from The Great American Songbook of the 1920s were suggested, and the musical sprang to life.

Productions

Bullets over Broadway received an Equity staged reading in June 2013. Following the reading, a month-long autumn lab took place from October 19, to November 21, 2013.

The musical opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on April 10, 2014. The production was directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winning Susan Stroman and starred Zach Braff as David Shayne, Marin Mazzie as Helen Sinclair, Nick Cordero as Cheech and Betsy Wolfe as Ellen. It closed on August 24, 2014, after 22 previews and156 performances.

A non-Equity tour launched October 2015.

Cultural Influence

  • An Original Cast Recording was released by Masterworks Broadway.
  • Zach Braff and Betsy Wolfe performed "I Found a New Baby" on "The Today Show."
  • The cast of Bullets over Broadway performed on the 68th Tony Awards, where it was nominated for six Awards, including Best Book of a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations.

Critical Reaction

"...A whiz bang, retro, good time Broadway musical"
– ChicagoTribune

"Bullets captures the screwball spirit of the time period whole remaining entirely fresh and new."
– Entertainment Weekly

Drama Desk Award

2014 - Outstanding Choreography, Nominee (Susan Stroman)
2014 - Outstanding Costume Design, Winner (William Ivey Long)
2014 - Outstanding Director Of A Musical, Nominee (Susan Stroman)
2014 - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Muscial, Nominee (Nick Cordero)
2014 - Outstanding Set Design, Nominee (Santo Loquasto)
2014 - Outstanding Sound Design of a Musical, Nominee (Peter Hylenski)

Tony® Award

2014 - Book Of A Musical, Nominee (Woody Allen)
2014 - Choreography, Nominee (Susan Stroman)
2014 - Best Costume Design of a Musical, Nominee (William Ivey Long)
2014 - Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Nominee (Nick Cordero)
2014 - Orchestrations, Nominee (Doug Besterman)
2014 - Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Nominee (Santo Loquasto)

Outer Critics Circle Award

2014 - Outstanding Choreography, Nominee (Susan Stroman)
2014 - Outstanding Costume Design, Winner (William Ivey Long)
2014 - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Muscial, Winner (Nick Cordero)
2014 - Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Winner (Marin Mazzie)

Connect

Billing

Based on the screenplay for the film, Bullets over Broadway by Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath

Original Broadway Production Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY
THE MUSICAL
(100%)
 
Written by
WOODY ALLEN

(50%)

 
Based upon the Screenplay of the Film BULLETS OVER BROADWAY by
Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath
(25%)
 
Original Broadway Production Direction and Choreography by
SUSAN STROMAN
(50%)
 
The credit for the screenplay writers shall appear immediately under the Author’s credit and shall appear in a size of type no smaller than the credit to designers and not less than 50% of the size of the Author’s credit.
The credit for your director and choreographer shall be no larger than the credit for Woody Allen and Susan Stroman.
Additional Credits – Title page
In addition, MTI shall contractually require its licensees to provide the following credits as indicated:
A.  On the title page of programs, on the line crediting the music staff, and wherever else the designers or any members of the music staff appears, in the same size, style and prominence as  the designers of the Play:
Music Adaptation and Additional Lyrics by
 Glen Kelly
 
B.  On the title page of programs, houseboards and wherever the designers of the licensed production or members of the music staff are billed in advertising, in second position of members of the music department and in a size equal to the size of the billing for the designers:
Orchestrations by
Doug Besterman
 
C.  On the title page in all programs:
Originally produced on Broadway by
Letty Aronson   Julian Schlossberg
Edward Walson   Leroy Schecter  Roy Furman   Broadway Across America
Just for Laughs Theatricals/Jacki Barlia Florin   Harold Newman
and
Jujamcyn Theaters
 
Additional Credits - Program Credit:
MTI agrees to contractually require its licensees to provide program credits for the musical compositions as per the attached Appendix A.
Shortened billing:
In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less, and online and mobile ads where in each case only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided and in outdoor advertising, transit and taxi ads and marquees where no other person is billed, the following "shortened billing" is permissible:
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY
THE MUSICAL

 

Bios:
In addition to the foregoing credits, MTI agrees to contractually require its licensees to include the Owners’ approved biographies in all programs of the Play that include biographies of any other creative team members. You can find the bios here.
Copyright Notice:
Book © 2014, Woody Allen
 
See attachment for music credits.
APPENDIX A
MUSIC CREDITS
 “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me"
by  McCarron, Charles; Morgan,  Carey;  Swanstone, Arthur. 
Arrangement and additional lyrics by Glen Kelly.  I.D.K. Music LLC (ASCAP).
 
"Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You?"
by Razaf, Andy; Redman, Don.  Razaf Music (ASCAP),
administered by Primary Wave Music Publishing, LLC, administered by Wixen Music Publishing, Inc./Michael H. Goldsen, Inc. (ASCAP).
 
"Good Old New York"
by Carew, Roy J,; Morton, Ferdinand  "Jelly Roll."
Tempo-Music Publishing Co. (ASCAP)/Edwin H. Morris & Company, a division of  MPL Music Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP).
 
"Here Comes the Hot Tamale Man"
by Harrison, Charles; Rose, Fred.
EMI Feist Catalog Inc. (ASCAP).
 
“I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle"
by Bradford, Perry.
 
“I Want a Hot Dog for My Roll"
by Hammed, Tausha; Williams, Clarence.
Universal Music Corp. (ASCAP}.
 
"(I’ll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You"
by Theard, Sam. EMI Mills Music, Inc. (ASCAP).
 
"I'm Sitting on Top of the World"
by Henderson, Ray; Lewis, Sam M.; Young, Joe.
Ray Henderson Music Co., Inc. (ASCAP)/EMI Feist Catalog Inc. (ASCAP)/Warock  Corp. (ASCAP).
 
"I've Found a New Baby"
by Palmer, Jack; Williams, Spencer.
Universal Music Corp. ASCAP).
 
"Let's Misbehave"
by Porter, Cole.
The Cole Porter Musical and Literary Property Trust (ASCAP) WB Music Corp. (ASCAP).
 
“Runnin' Wild"
by Gibbs, A.; Harrington; Grey, Joe; Wood, Leo.  
Arrangement and additional lyrics by Glen Kelly.  I.D.K. Music LLC (ASCAP).
 
“She's Funny That Way"
by Moret, Neil;  Whiting, Richard. Chappell & Co. Inc. 
(ASCAP)/EMI April Music Inc. (ASCAP).
 
"'Tain't a Fit Night Out for Man or Beast"
by Cohn, Sammy; Chaplin, Saul. Cahn Music Co., 
administered by Imagem Sounds (ASCAP)/La Salle Music Publishers, Inc. (ASCAP).
 
"'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do"
by Grainger, Porter; Robbins, Everett. 
Arrangement and additional lyrics by Glen Kelly, I.D.K.  Music LLC (ASCAP).
 
"The Panic Is On"
by Clarke, Burt; Clarke, George; Tharp, Winston Bourne Co. (ASCAP).
 
"There'll Be Some Changes Made"
by Higgins, Billy; Overstreet, Benton. 
Arrangement and additional lyrics by Glen Kelly.  I.D.K. Music LLC (ASCAP).
 
"There's a Broken Heart for Every Light on Broadway"
by Fisher, Fred Johnson, Howard, Arrangement and additional lyrics by Glen Kelly. 
I.D.K. Music LLC (ASCAP).
 
“There's a New Day Comin"
by Ager, Milton; Young, Joe, WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)/Warock Corp. (ASCAP).
 
"They Go Wild, Simply Wild, Over Me"
by Fisher, Fred; McCarthy, Joseph. 
Arrangement and additional lyrics by Glen Kelly.  I.D.K. Music LLC (ASCAP).
 
"Tiger Rag"
by De Costa, Harry, Edwards, Edwin; LaRocca, James D.;
Ragas, W.H.; Sbarbara, Anthony; Shields, Larry.  EMI Feist Catalog Inc. (ASCAP).
 
 "(Up a) Lazy River"
by Arodin, Sidney; Carmichael, Hoagy. Peermusic III, Ltd. (BMI).
 
"Yes! We Have No Bananas"
by Cohn, Irving; Silver, Frank.
Arrangement and additional lyrics by Glen Kelly.  I.D.K. Music LLC (ASCAP).
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
KEYBOARD-CONDUCTOR ACT 12
KEYBOARD-CONDUCTOR ACT 22
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK30

Production Resources

Resource
FULL SCORE VOL. 1 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 2 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 3 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 4 OF 4
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
STAGE MANAGER SCRIPT
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIDEO LICENSE

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASSACOUSTIC BASS
DRUMSCOWBELL , DRUM KIT , ICE BELL , SIREN , TEMPLE BLOCKS , TRIANGLE , WOOD BLOCK
GUITARARCHTOP , BANJO , STEEL STRING GUITAR , UKULELE
HORN
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
PERCUSSIONBELL TREE , CHIMES , GLOCKENSPIEL , MARK TREE , SILLY SOUNDS , SLAPSTICK , SUSPENDED CYMBAL , TIMPANI , VIBES , XYLOPHONE
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , FLUTE , PICCOLO , SOPRANO SAXOPHONE
REED 2CLARINET , FLUTE , SOPRANO SAXOPHONE , TENOR SAXOPHONE
REED 3CLARINET , OBOE , SOPRANO SAXOPHONE , TENOR SAXOPHONE
REED 4BARITONE SAXOPHONE , BASS CLARINET , BASSOON , CLARINET
TROMBONE
TROMBONE 2
TROMBONE 3BASS TROMBONE , TUBA
TRUMPET
TRUMPET 2
TRUMPET 3
VIOLIN