Wonderful Town
PREMIERE1/19/1953 — Shubert Theater
COMPOSERLeonard Bernstein   
LIBRETTISTOscar Hammerstein II   
Two small-town American girls, Ruth and Eileen, decide to move to the bohemian New York neighborhood of Greenwich Village to pursue their dreams. Ruth, an aspiring writer, is rather plain looking and has problems attracting men. Eileen, however, is a beautiful actress and dancer; men flock to her, clamoring for her attention.

They live in a tiny run-down apartment near a construction site, but the girls meet many interesting people in their neighborhood: their landlord, Appopolous; a former football player and neighbor, Wreck; his live-in fiancée, Helen; and Helen's mother, Mrs. Wade, who has come for a visit and strongly dislikes Wreck. As the girls venture out into the world to seek their fortune, Eileen is welcomed on account of her looks and charm while Ruth encounters difficulties at every step. At a dinner party, three men, all invited by Eileen, meet each other and the girls, causing social mayhem. Ruth is able to convince one of the men, Bob Baker, an editor of a local magazine, to interview her and read some of her work. He thinks her writing is terrible, tells her so, and is obliged to leave. Another one of the male guests, Chick Clark – a newspaper man – manages to get Ruth an assignment interviewing Admirals on a Brazilian training ship at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Admirals end up following Ruth home on account of Eileen's charm, and Eileen gets arrested for carrying on with them.

Bob Baker bails Eileen out of jail, and when she is free, she gets a job in a nightclub. Ruth, on the other hand, has to carry a sandwich board on her back in order to make ends meet. Chick Clark's editor likes Ruth's training ship story, and Bob winds up getting fired from his job for arguing with his boss over the merits of Ruth's writing. Eileen manages to make Bob see that he is in love with Ruth, while Helen, Wreck, and Appopolous manage to pull off an elaborate hoax that convinces Mrs. Wade that Wreck is not such a bad guy after all.
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This work ranks as the #281 most produced North American title since 2000.
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