You are now entering the Jewish Currents archive.

December 28: Betty Comden’s “On the Town”

December 28, 2013
Tie+07On the Town, the first Broadway show written by Betty Comden and her lifelong collaborator, Adolph Green, premiered on Broadway on this date in 1944. Both Comden and Green appeared in the show, she as Claire de Loone, an anthropologist with sex on her mind. On the Town, which ran for 462 performances, was an expansion of “Fancy Free,” a Jerome Robbins dance set to music by Leonard Bernstein, about three sailors on leave in New York City. Songs from the show included “New York, New York” and “Some Other Time.” The musical became a hit movie in 1949, with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. Comden, born Basye Cohen in 1917 in Brooklyn, also provided the story, script and/or screenplay (with Green) for Singin’ in the Rain, Bells Are Ringing, The Barkleys of Broadway, Auntie Mame, Peter Pan, Hallelujah, Baby!, and numerous other films and Broadway shows. To see the film version of the theme song of On the Town, look below. “The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down, The people ride in a hole in the ground, New York, New York, It’s a helluva town.” —Betty Comden and Adolph Green