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Logo The Unsinkable Molly Brown

A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 20 Scenes. Book by Richard Morris. Music and lyrics by Meredith Willson.

Winter Garden Theatre, Broadway - Opened 3 November, 1960: closed 10 February, 1962 (532 perfs)

The film version is NOT the same as the stage show as little of the original music is used except as background theme


Molly Brown rises from a rag-a-muffin tomboy in a tumbledown shanty to become an international heroine. Upon leaving her Irish father's side she storms the Colorado countryside in search of money and success. In her travels she meets, and later marries, Leadville Johnny Brown who soon discovers one of the largest silver mines in the United States. Now rich, Molly tries to besiege the Denver social register. Set back in her attempts, she decides that she and Johnny need the cultures of Europe. In Europe, Molly thrives on her cultural opportunities. However, Johnny feels out of place and dreams only of the pleasures of Colorado. Eventually even his undying love for his wife is not enough to keep him in Europe and he persuades Molly that they must return home. Molly accepts but invites several of her royal friends to come socialise with her in Denver. Her dreams of leadership of the Denver 400 soon fade as her royal coming-out party is turned into a free-for-all brawl by some of Johnny's friends. Ultimately defeated, Molly returns to Europe, leaving Johnny behind. After achieving social boredom in a lonely year with royal society, she sails for home on the ill-fated Titanic. When the ship is sunk at sea, Molly leads a lifeboat of survivors to safety - a superhuman feat inspired by her longing to return home to Johnny. Her heroism wins the admiration of the society that had spurned her.

Musical Numbers

  1. I Ain't Down Yet - Molly Tobin, Michael Tobin, Aloysius Tobin, Patrick Tobin
  2. Belly Up to the Bar, Boys - Molly Tobin, Christmas Morgan, Miners
  3. I've A'ready Started In - Johnny Brown, Christmas Morgan, Charlie, Burt, Gitter
  4. I'll Never Say No - Johnny Brown
  5. My Own Brass Bed - Molly Tobin
  6. The Denver Police - Police
  7. Beautiful People of Denver - Molly Tobin
  8. Are You Sure? - Molly Tobin, Guests
  9. I Ain't Down Yet (reprise) - Molly Tobin, Johnny Brown
  10. Happy Birthday, Mrs. J. J. Brown - Waiter, Prince DeLong, International Set
  11. Bon Jour (The Language Song) - Molly Tobin, Prince DeLong, International Set
  12. If I Knew - Johnny Brown
  13. Chick-a-Pen - Molly Tobin, Johnny Brown
  14. Keep-a-Hoppin' - Johnny Brown, His Leadville Friends
  15. Leadville Johnny Brown (Soliloquy) - Johnny Brown
  16. Up Where the People Are (dance) - Monte Carlo Guests
  17. Dolce Far Niente/(I May Never Fall in Love With You) - Prince DeLong, Molly Tobin
  18. I Ain't Down Yet (reprise) - Johnny Brown, Molly Tobin, Leadville Friends


Violin, cello, bass, clar (Eb clar double-lined for Bb), pic (flute, alto flute), clar, clar (bass clar), bari sax (clar), trumpet I-II, III, trombone I, II, horns I, II, III, percussion, piano/conductor.


38 parts, 6 principals, 3 featured male dancers.

Molly, carries show with tour de force performance, sings and dances.
Johnny, good baritone voice a must, minor dance.
Shamus Tobin and Christmas Morgan, hard-drinking character men who sing and dance.
Prince DeLong, charming actor, good voice helps.
Princess DeLong,
Grand Duchess,
other royalty,
Monsignor Ryan,
3 Tobin brothers, good-sized supporting roles with some song and dance.
Mrs. McGlone, straight heavy role.

Total cast, 40-60.

Scenes and Settings

2 acts, 20 scenes, 11 full stage sets, 3 scene drops.


Scene 1: Exterior of the Tobin Shack, Hannibal, Mo. Turn of Century.
Scene 2: Road by the Tobin Shack.
Scene 3: The Saddle Rock Saloon, Leadville, Colorado.
Scene 4: Street in Front of the Saddle Rock.
Scene 5: Johnny's Log Cabin.
Scene 6: The Same.
Scene 7: Pennsylvania Avenue, Denver, Col.
Scene 8: Terrace of Mrs. McGlone's Denver Mansion.
Scene 9: Pennsylvania Avenue.
Scene 10: Red Parlor of the Browns' Denver Mansion.


Scene 1: The Browns' Paris Salon.
Scene 2: Upper Hallway of the Browns' Denver Mansion.
Scene 3: The Red Parlor.
Scene 4: Same.
Scene 5: Street in Front of the Saddle Rock.
Scene 6: A Monte Carlo Club - 1912.
Scene 7: Outside the Club.
Scene 8: The Mid-Atlantic. Shortly After 2.30 a.m., April 15, 1912.
Scene 9: Upper Hallway, Brown Home.
Scene 10: The Rockies.

Period and Costumes

The turn of the century to 1912: backwoods rag dress, overalls, shirts, boots, miners' shirts and overalls, gaudy prostitute dresses, society day and evening dress (both US and European), formal wear, priests' cassocks, sheriff, butler, bartender, servant, page, maitre d', and sailor uniforms.


Bar-room hoe-down. Denver police (close-up, fast clog number), modern ballet, knockdown, drag-out brawl.

Lighting and Special Effects

Dramatic lighting required. Sinking of Titanic. Lifeboat tossing on the ocean waves.