The Music of Marvin Hamlisch — Musical: Sweet Smell of Success (2002) — Get License for This Musical!

On March 14, 2002 “Sweet Smell of Success” opened at the Martin Beck Theatre (now the Al Hirschfeld Theatre), where it ran for 109 performances.

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Sweet Smell of Success

SEVERAL PRODUCTIONS OF THE MUSICAL “SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS” since 2002:  (Broadway, 2002 —  London, 2012 —  New York University, 2013 — Chicago, 2014 —  University of California — Irvine, 2016 —  St. Louis MO, 2017) 


Sweet Smell at NYU Sept 2013 Singer 8

Cast from NYU Steinhardt. (In 2013 The New York University performed the musical and inducted Marvin Hamlisch to their NYU Steinhardt’s Musical Theater Hall of Fame.)

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Sweet Smell of Success is a musical created by Marvin Hamlisch (music), Craig Carnelia (lyrics), and John Guare (book). The show is based on the 1957 movie of the same name, which tells the story of a powerful newspaper columnist named J. J. Hunsecker (based on famed New York columnist Walter Winchell) who uses his connections to ruin his sister’s relationship with a man he deems inappropriate.


The 56th Annual Tony Awards ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall on June 2, 2002 and broadcast by CBS. (John Lithgow won the  Tony Award for Best Actor (Broadway  Musical “Sweet Smell of Success” for his role as J. J. Hunsecker)


Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the musical opened on March 14, 2002 at the Martin Beck Theatre on Broadway. It closed on June 15, 2002, after 109 performances and 18 previews. The show starred John Lithgow as J.J. Hunsecker, and Brian d’Arcy James as Sidney Falcone. The creative team included choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, sets and costumes by Bob Crowely, and lighting by Natasha Katz. Sweet Smell garnered 7 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. John Lithgow received the show’s only Tony Award, winning Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.

Sweet Smell of Success (Broadway, 2002)

AUDIO: songs from “Sweet Smell of Success” (Broadway Musical, 2002)

Sweet Smell Musical Numbers

More songs: “Sweet Smell of Success” (2002) A Broadway Musical:


In 2014 The Theater Wit in Chicago, IL performed the musical Sweet Smell of Success (by Kokandy Productions)

In 2011 the musical had a production by New York University students  (NYU Steinhardt’s Program- 2011)

The Arts Educational School in London also had a production by third-year students during 2011:

LONDON, U.K. — “The Musical Sweet Smell of Success gets its British premiere in a production featuring third-year students of the Arts Educational school:  “I can only report that no musical this year has given me more pleasure: the story is gripping, the Marvin Hamlisch score dramatically powerful, and the dancing as good as you will find in any West End show. Source:  Michael Billington, Sunday 6 November 2011

Sweet Smell of Success

London — Sweet Smell of Success — by third year students.

Terre Blair Hamlisch in London during Acceptance of award for Marvin Hamlisch (2013)

Terre Blair Hamlisch in London during Acceptance of award for Marvin Hamlisch (2013)

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Source: Team Marvin Hamlisch / The Music of Marvin Hamlisch