New Girl in Town

New Girl In Town

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New Girl in Town

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New Girl in Town is a musical with a book by George Abbott and music and lyrics by Bob Merrill based on Eugene O'Neill's 1921 gloomy play Anna Christie, about a prostitute who tries to live down her past. New Girl, unlike O'Neill's play, focuses on the jealousy of the character Marthy and on love’s ability to conquer all. The musical ends far more hopefully than the earlier play.

The Broadway production opened on May 14, 1957 at the 46th Street Theatre, where it ran for 431 performances. The show was written as a star vehicle for Gwen Verdon, who had just had a hit with Damn Yankees and won raves for her portrayal of Anna, a role that showed off her acting, singing and dancing abilities to maximum effect. Composer Bob Merrill was at the beginning of a string of 1960s successes. New Girl in Town was well received by both critics and audiences. Verdon and co-star Thelma Ritter shared the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and the show received three other Tony nominations, including the Best Musical and best choreography for Bob Fosse.


Anna, a former streetwalker recovering from tuberculosis, returns home to live with her aging father, ex-sailor Chris Christopherson, in turn-of-the-20th century New York City, after plying her trade in St. Paul, Minnesota for fifteen years. Unaware of her sordid past, and remembering Anna as an innocent young girl, Chris joyfully welcomes his daughter home. Anna is...
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