Show History



By the Beautiful Sea is a musical with a book by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and music by Arthur Schwartz.

After a pre-Broadway engagement at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, starting February 15, 1954, and then follow-ups in Boston and Philadelphia, By the Beautiful Sea arrived at New York's Majestic Theatre on April 8, 1954. The original cast included Shirley Booth as Lottie and Wilbur Evans as Dennis. The musical ran for 270 performances, transferring to the Imperial Theatre on October 2, 1954, and then closing on November 27, 1954.

From June 16-27, 1999, a staged concert was presented by "Musicals Tonight" in New York City under the direction of Thomas Mills. The production starred K.T. Sullivan and Sam Freed.

Cultural Influence

  • A cast recording of the original Broadway production of By the Beautiful Sea was released by Capitol Records in 1954.


  • By the Beautiful Sea, which was to be composed by Burton Lane, was rumored to be handed to Frederick Loewe, and then ended up going to Arthur Schwartz, one of the greatest songwriters of the '30s, '40s and '50s.  Schwartz and Dorothy Fields had previously collaborated on the smash, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in 1951.
  • By the Beautiful Sea, like Schwartz's previous musical, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, also starred Shirley Booth and is set in Brooklyn, just after the start of the twentieth century (1907).
  • The 1954 Broadway run of By the Beautiful Sea was budgeted at an impressive $300,000 (more than $2.5 million by modern standards) and had an outstanding number of financial backers – among them, Rosalind Russell and Charlton Heston.