Bright Lights, Big City
Bright Lights, Big City
Book, Music and Lyrics By Paul Scott Goodman
Based on the novel of the same name, this show follows Jamie, an aspiring writer stuck in fact-checking, as he hides from pain and loss by partying in the drug-infested clubs of Manhattan during the 1980s. The rock-n-roll score provides a robust sound that echoes Jamie's inner torment as he wanders aimlessly through the city's seedy party scene. After losing his wife and job, Jamie spirals out of control. Fortunately for him, the bonds of family and the promise of love are strong enough to intervene and provide a way out. BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY carries the message of hope for the future, no matter what is at present.
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About The Show

Production Info

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News for Bright Lights, Big City

Trivia for Bright Lights, Big City

In 1999, the rock musical BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY by Paul Scott Goodman opened at New York Theatre Workshop.
The birthday of Paul Scott Goodman, composer and lyricist of the musical BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY.

 Press for Bright Lights, Big City

  • Quotes
“Goodman's music is exhilarating; it convincingly evokes the sound of 1980s rock without resorting to parody, but does not sound dated. The arrangements shine." — Tim Dunleavy,
“Goodman's music is exhilarating; it convincingly evokes the sound of 1980s rock without resorting to parody, but does not sound dated. The arrangements shine." — Tim Dunleavy,
"The show’s rock-music score is a tribute to what can be accomplished when one blends rock music and musical theatre, and is both fun and meaningful to listen to... for anyone interested in the progression of modern musical theatre.” — Michael Bihovsky, Review Stream

Musical Numbers for Bright Lights, Big City

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Writers Notes for Bright Lights, Big City

Written By: Paul Scott Goodman

On a breezy beautiful August day way back in ’96, I stood upon the deck of a modern country house near Woodstock and banged out the opening riff of BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY on my Ovation 12 string guitar.  I came back to Manhattan and over the next few weeks welcomed many other songs, all directly inspired by the heightened poetry of Jay McInerney’s novel. As the tunes continued to tumble, I remember thinking, “This is very rock and roll.” So now, more than a decade later, I would like to say to whoever decides to present this piece of work: thank you for doing so, don’t change the words or the music, but in matters of acting, singing, lighting, staging, dance, tone, sound, bravado, feel free to be brave, to break barriers and attempt to give the audience something they’ve never seen before.  Be fresh and inevitable. Rock and roll!


Performance Tools for Bright Lights, Big City

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MAKE YOUR OWN PLAYBILL! Playbill VIP allows you to create your very own Playbill Program. We have provided Playbill with all of the credits, song listings, musical numbers and more so that most of the work is already done for you. Just add your productions details, photos of the cast and share it with all of your friends. Learn more:

Rental Materials for Bright Lights, Big City


  • BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY - Orchestration - (6 Books/6 Players)
    • 1 – Keyboard I-Conductor
    • 1 – Keyboard II
    • 1 – Guitar I (Acoustic Twelve String and Electric)
    • 1 – Guitar II (Six String Acoustic and Electric. Also Mandolin.)
    • 1 – Bass (Fender and Fretless)
    • 1 – Drums (Kit plus Percussion and V-Drums)
  • BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY -Rehearsal Set - (22 Books)
    • 20 – Libretto-Vocal
    • 2 – Keyboard I-Conductor
    • 1 – Digital Logo


  • BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY - Pre-Production Pack - (2 Books)
    • 1 – Keyboard I-Conductor
    • 1 – Libretto-Vocal
  • BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY - Libretto-Vocal 10-Pack - (10 Books)
    • 10 – Libretto-Vocal

Cast Requirements for Bright Lights, Big City

4 Women
3 Men

3 Women
2 Men

Ensemble can be small or large, some featured roles can double in the chorus.

Jamie - Mid 20's New Yorker reeling from a year of devastating events. Attractive and vulnerable.
Tad - Jamie's best friend, party animal, selfish, smart, charismatic.
Mother - Jaime's mother who we see as a youthful Mom and then on her death bed.
Michael - Jamie's younger brother.
Amanda - Jamie's supermodel ex-wife.
Vicky - Tad's cousin, a Princeton student, pretty and likeable.
Clara - Jamie's boss, her exterior masks marshmallow inside.
Coma Baby - A newspaper headline who comes to life in Jamie's mind.
Mary O'Brien McCann - A missing NYU student who appears in Jamie's mind.
Chuck Bean - A rambunctious 'on-the-town' reporter.
Elaine - Odeon club girl.
Theresa - Elaine's 'friend' and fellow clubbie.
Elise - 14 going on 32, club girl who Jamie meets at Odeon.
Chorus - Variety of roles (Fact Checkers, Models, etc) including featured parts (Drug Girl, Paul, etc.).

Set Requirements for Bright Lights, Big City

BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY takes place over the course of one week in 1984 in New York City.

Heartbreak, a Manhattan nightclub
A club called ODEON
Gotham Magazine, Department of Factual Verification
Washington Square Park
Rockefeller Centre
The streets of Manhattan
A subway train
A bed
A toilet stall
Various apartments
Many memories in Jamie's mind

Materials Notes

KEYBOARD NOTE: Both keyboards should be Yamaha s-90s or Motiffs. Other keyboards may be substituted, but these may not provide the same patch names or sounds.

Media Rights


1. The Promotional Video shall be recorded and shown for the sole purposes of advertising your licensed production of the Play. For such a video, R&H allows theatres to film up to 10 minutes of total footage taken at either a performance or rehearsal (i.e.: 10 minutes of scripted moments.)

2. The Promotional Video may not include more than (i) 1 minute from any song or (ii) 3 minutes, in the aggregate, of footage of copyrighted material from the Play.

3. The Promotional Video may not include any sponsorship or underwriting without the prior consent of all R&H.

4. The Promotional Video must be submitted to R&H by sending the source video and video link to [email protected]

5. The Promotional Video must include the following: "Rights courtesy of Rodgers & Hammerstein,"

6. Upon approval by R&H of the Promotional Video, you agree not to make any alterations in the approved copyrighted material used therein and you agree to obtain the prior written approval of R&H for any other use of the Promotional Video not specifically granted herein.

7. Upon termination of the Term, you shall cease to have any rights to use the Promotional Video including, without limitation, in connection with a future production of the Play, and shall immediately remove its content from any and all websites on the Internet.

8. You may not use a commercially available recording.

9. Any additional promotional rights must be approved by R&H by contacting[email protected].


*Promotional video rights can only be granted once a performance license for Bright Lights, Big City has been secured. Please contact customer service if you have any questions. If you have not yet applied for Bright Lights, Big City, you can do so here. LOG IN to learn more.


1. Subject to the information provided in Licensee’s application and payment of the fee as set forth in Paragraph 3 herein, Licensee shall have the right to create a single copy of the Video for internal archival, private viewing purposes at Licensee’s address only and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved.

WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine.

This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present Bright Lights, Big City in order to license Archival rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.
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