Show History

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.