Show History



Cry-Baby, with music and lyrics by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger and book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, is based on the 1990 cult classic of the same name written and directed by the iconic John Waters. Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan previously adapted John Waters' 1988 film, Hairspray, into the 2002 Tony Award-winning Broadway blockbuster.

The movie and musical follows the story of Allison, a Baltimore teenager in the 1950s, who crosses the tracks and meets the leader of a rebellious group of teens, Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker.


Before heading to Broadway, Cry-Baby had its premiere production on November 18, 2007, at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California. It ran through December 16, 2007, before heading to New York City.

The Broadway production of Cry-Baby officially opened on April 24, 2008, at the Marquis Theatre. The musical was helmed by director, Mark Brokaw, and choreographed by Rob Ashford, with a cast of Broadway talent including Harriet Harris, Elizabeth Stanley, James Snyder and Carly Jibson. The Broadway production closed on June 22, 2008, after 45 previews and 68 performances.

In March of 2012, New Line Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, worked with the original creative team and mounted a scaled-down, newly orchestrated version of the show.

In May of 2015, the scaled-down version was revised even further and produced at the Henegar Center, in Melbourne, Florida. Both the New Line Theatre and Henegar retooled productions have received fantastic critical and audience acclaim.

Cultural Influence

  • The Broadway cast of Cry-Baby performed on "The Today Show," and was introduced by John Waters himself at the 2008 Tony Award ceremony.
  • In August of 2015, it was announced that, seven years after its Broadway run, the show would receive a Cast Album. In anticipation of the Cast Album, original cast members, including Harriet Harris and Elizabeth Stanley, had a reunion concert at 54 Below in New York City on September 17, 2015.


  • The 2008 Broadway Production was nominated for four Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Choreography.
  • Cry-Baby's composer and lyricist, David Javerbaum, has also won thirteen Emmy Awards, most notably for comedy writing on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
  • Composer and lyricist, Adam Schlesinger, is also the bassist for the band, Fountain of Wayne.
  • In addition to Adam Schlesinger's Tony nominations for Cry-Baby, he has won both Emmy and Grammy Awards and has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award.