Show Credits: Book by David Shaw
Music by Albert Hague
Book by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Book by Sidney Sheldon


Redhead won 5 TONY Awards when it opened in 1959, including Best Musical. Featuring the legendary Gwen Verdon in the title role and marking the directing debut of none other than Bob Fosse, this Golden Age smash features great songs, high-spirited dancing, and a murder mystery, too!

When a young actress is murdered in 1900s London, the enterprising Simpson Sisters' Waxworks installs a tableau of the grisly deed. Muscle man Tom Baxter, the actress' friend, comes to complain, and there he meets Essie Whimple, a plain girl with a hyperactive imagination. Smitten with Tom, Essie pretends to have been attacked by the murderer, as well, and hijinks ensue - complete with cunning disguises, spine-tingling chases, and an ill-fated show at the Odeon Musical Hall!

With a large ensemble cast, Redhead has a variety of great roles for a strong chorus, in addition to a star turn for a "triple-threat" lead actress. The winning, Golden Age score featuring toe-tapping melodies by Albert Hague and witty, memorable lyrics by Dorothy Fields paired with the heavy dance component make this show a surefire crowd-pleaser.

Redhead won the Tonys for Best Musical, Authors of a musical, and Composer of a Musical pa

Insight from the experts Staging Tip: Sets: A theatre dressing room, outside and inside the Simpson Sisters' Waxworks museum, Essie's workshop, a street, the stage of the Odeon, backstage, Tom's apartment, the Green Dragon pub, a jail cell. Special Needs: Waxworks (can be done with people or mannequins), a dummy's head made to look like your Sir Charles, an optional black light effect. The sets don't have to be cumbersome or incredible. Use darkness to both create a mysterious effect and decrease the need for lavish sets. The newsboy need not be a child. You can use a woman from your ensemble. Your Waxworks can be either populated with mannequins or with real people playing mannequins and made up to look pasty. The perusal doesn't tell you what to do in the ballet, in which Essie dreams she's an incredible dancer. Use your imagination and have some fun with it. Here's an idea: the original production included a sequence where Essie became a strong-woman and lifted a man up with one hand (with the help of wires, of course).

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