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Destry Rides Again is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Harold Rome and a book by Leonard Gershe. It is based on the 1939 classic film of the same name.

Production history

The show opened on Broadwaymarker at the Imperial Theatremarker on February 23, 1959 and closed on June 18, 1960 after 472 performances. Michael Kidd was the director and choreograper. The cast starred Andy Griffith as Destry and Dolores Gray as Frenchy.

The plot was loosely based on a story by Max Brand. The song made famous by Marlene Dietrich in the film, "See What The Boys in the Back Room Will Have", was not used in the stage production.


Tom Destry becomes the deputy-sheriff of the town of Bottleneck, having been hired by the townsfolk to rid them of Kent and his gang. Frenchy, initially one of Kent's followers, saves Destry's life, and then becomes romantically involved with him. The show ends on a happy note with Frenchy and Destry together.

Characters and original cast


Act 1
  • Bottleneck - Patrons of the Last Chance Saloon
  • Ladies - Frenchy and Girls
  • Hoop-de-Dingle - Wash and Patrons of the Saloon
  • Tomorrow Morning - Destry
  • Ballad of the Gun - Destry and Wash
  • The Social - Townspeople, Gyp Watson, Bugs Watson and Rockwell
  • I Know Your Kind - Frenchy
  • I Hate Him - Frenchy
  • Paradise Alley - Cowboys and The Rose Lovely Girls
  • Anyone Would Love You - Destry and Frenchy
  • Once Knew a Fella - Destry, Wash and Friends
  • Every Once in a While - Gyp Watson, Bugs Watson, Rockwell, Cowboys and Saloon Girls
  • Fair Warning - Frenchy

Act 2
  • Are You Ready, Gyp Watson?- Friends of Gyp Watson
  • Not Guilty - The Jury
  • Only Time Will Tell - Destry
  • Respectability - Rose Lovejoy and Girls
  • That Ring on the Finger - Frenchy and Girls
  • Once Knew a Fella (Reprise) - Destry and Frenchy
  • I Say Hello - Frenchy

Awards and nominations

  • Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical - Andy Griffith (nominee)
  • Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical - Dolores Gray (nominee)
  • Tony Award Best Choreography - Michael Kidd (winner)
  • Tony Award Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)


  • Playbill for the Imperial Theatre, 30 July 1959
  • Guinness Who's Who of Stage Musicals - editor Colin Larkin ISBN 0-85112-756-8

External links

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