Show History



Set in a finishing school in France in the 1920s, The Boy Friend draws on both the music and the aesthetic of the roaring twenties. Written in 1954, during the Golden Age of the modern book musical, the show is a pastiche of 1930s musicals, such as those written by Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart (who wrote a musical called The Girl Friend in 1926.)


The Boy Friend initially opened at London's Players' Theatre Club on April 14, 1953. It then opened in the West End at Wyndham's Theatre on January 14, 1954. Proving to be very popular, the show ran for 2,078 performances – over five years. 

The show then opened on Broadway at the Royale Theatre on September 30, 1954. The show got raves, but closed on November 26, 1955, after 485 performances. The Boy Friend was revived in 1970, starring Sandy Duncan as Maisie. It opened at the Ambassador Theatre on April 14, 1970, and ran for 111 performances.

In 2003 a production of the The Boy Friend opened at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY. This production was later presented at the Goodspeed Opera House from July to September 2005. The production then toured North America from October 2005 through March 2006.
On its fortietth anniversary, The Boy Friend returned to The Players' Theatre in 1995. Directed by Maria Charles (the original Dulcie) with choreography by Geoffrey Webb (from the original company), the new production was intentionally a reproduction of the original.

 In 2006, The Boy Friend played the Open Air Theatre at Regent's Park, London. Proving to be highly acclaimed, the production was revived during the theatre's 2007 season.

Cultural Influence

  • In 1971, a film version of The Boy Friend was made, directed by Ken Russell and starring Twiggy. The National Board of Review voted Russell best director, and Twiggy won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Actress (Musical/Comedy). The film was remastered and released to DVD in 2011.
  • Because of The Boy Friend's success, Sandy Wilson wrote Divorce Me, Darling! A show that catches up with the same couples ten years later and is often presented as a companion piece.


  • The Boy Friend marked Julie Andrews' American Stage Debut.
  • Julie Andrews then made her directorial debut with a production of The Boy Friend at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY, in 2003.
  • The show was briefly the third-longest-running show on Broadway and the West End, after Chu Chin Chow and Oklahoma!. It was eventually surpassed by Salad Days.