Revised Version of THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN Is Now Available to License

This version features an updated book and additional lyrics by Dick Scanlan.

By: Apr. 12, 2024
Revised Version of THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN Is Now Available to License
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Music Theatre International (MTI) announced that the new, revised version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown is available for licensing.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown is the rags-to-riches love story of Molly and James Joseph “J.J.” Brown, owners of one of the richest mines in the U.S. at the turn of the twentieth century. The show features music and lyrics by the incomparable Meredith Willson, and a book and additional lyrics by Tony-nominated author Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Everyday Rapture) based on the original book by Richard Henry Morris.

This revitalized version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown shows Molly as she really was: vibrant, progressive, and ready to fight for the underdog as a champion of women's rights, labor rights, and immigration reform.

"Dick Scanlan's work on updating this classic for new performers and audience members is outstanding," said John Prignano, MTI's Chief Operating Officer and Director of Development and Education. "Beloved numbers from the original, like 'I Ain't Down Yet' and 'I'll Never Say No' are featured, while 'He's My Friend' has been added from the film along with unknown gems from Meredith Willson's trunk, often with clever and inspired new lyrics. The result is a fantastic new show that resonates today while maintaining the heart and spirit of Willson's and Morris' golden-age masterpiece."

In this spirited tale of a legendary American original, we follow the exploits of Margaret “Molly” Tobin Brown, a miner’s wife in Leadville, Colorado who becomes an overnight millionaire with her equally feisty husband J.J. But high society is no match for Molly. As she turns the upper crust of Denver upside down, stands with the miners of Leadville, traverses Europe, and famously survives the Titanic, Molly proves her mettle wherever she goes. From rags to riches, Molly Brown tackled big issues and looked out for the little guy, using her personality, platform, and resources to “Share the Luck.”

“Rediscovering and revising The Unsinkable Molly Brown for the 21st century has been a thrill.  So many of the social causes that Margaret Tobin Brown championed are issues today, and I look forward to the many ways that theater-makers all over the country will share the story of a rags-to-riches heroine who fought for the underdog and had a ball doing it,” remarked Dick Scanlan. “Based on a true story, at its core, Molly Brown is a romance between two strong-minded people who learn that only love can make them stronger, set in a time when independent types from around the world worked together to create and define America.  I am particularly proud that the new Molly Brown gives audiences a chance to thrill to legendary composer Meredith Willson’s songs that you can’t stop humming, be they ballads that tug at the heartstrings or rousing production numbers.”

Funny, light, uplifting and uniquely American, The Unsinkable Molly Brown charmed Broadway and Hollywood with its irresistible, outrageous title role and won over new audiences with this revitalized, award-winning version when it premiered in 2020.

“We are pleased to have this revitalized version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown available for licensing through MTI,” said Tom Camp, President of The Music Man Foundation, which was founded to honor Meredith Willson’s musical legacy. “We look forward to new generations being introduced to Meredith’s music and to the model Molly provides of championing relevant social issues and promoting a ‘Share the Luck’ spirit.”

In anticipation of the new version being available for licensing, The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), The Music Man Foundation (TMMF) and MTI partnered to create  The Unsinkable Molly Brown Grant program. Any accredited high school based in the United States is eligible to apply for a chance to win $10,000 to produce this updated version; up to 10 schools will be selected. Applications will be accepted through Monday, April 15. Schools interested in the grant opportunity can apply here.

Licensing and additional information can be found here.  Currently available in the U.S. only.


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