42nd Street is the second longest running American musical in Broadway history -- the longest running American show is the legendary A Chorus Line. Both shows have backstage stories, both shows won The Tony Award for Best Musical, and both have the same designers; Robin Wagner (scenic design), Theoni V. Aldredge (costumes) and Tharon Musser (lighting design).
But here the similarities end. A Chorus Line, which opened in 1975, has a cast of 27 and is played on a simple set in basic costumes. In 1980, 42nd Street ushered in the new age of theatrical spectacle with a cast of 54, 750 costumes and dozens of stage effects. The making of 42nd Street, and its unforgettable opening at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway on August 25, 1980, created one of the most memorable theatrical events of the Twentieth Century.
From the opening of the pre-Broadway engagement at the Kennedy Center Opera House, in July of 1980, there has hardly been a week when 42nd Street hasn't been playing somewhere in the world.
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