Book by Mark O'Donnell & Thomas Meehan
Songs by David Javerbaum & Adam Schlesinger
Based on the film written and directed by John Waters
Sept. 26-Oct. 19, 2019

CRY-BABY

“Drop everything and go see New Line Theatre's return to Cry-Baby.”
– Richard Green, TalkinBroadway

“New Line Theatre’s Cry-Baby should not be missed.”
– Jeff Ritter, Critical Blast

"One of the most flat-out entertaining musicals you're ever likely to see."
– Paul Friswold, The Riverfront Times

"If you go for smart fun with a contemporary edge, this is the musical for you."
– Judy Newmark, All the World’s a Stage

"High-spirited and hilariously engaging . . . Cry-Baby rocks."
– Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"It is ludicrous, supremely entertaining, and leaves the entire audience laughing."
– Tanya Seale, Broadway World

“The production bristles with energy and hormonal frenzy.”
– Tina Farmer, KDHX

"A high-spirited, joyful romp of a musical."
– Mark Bretz, Ladue News

“A rousing, fun new production. . . Cry-Baby is a hit!”
– Michelle Kenyon, Snoop’s Theatre Thoughts

"Boy, is it fun. . . A delightful piece of work.”
– Ann Pollock, St. Louis Eats and Drinks

It's 1954. Everyone likes Ike, nobody likes communism, and Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker is the coolest boy in Baltimore. He's a bad boy with a good cause -- truth, justice, and the pursuit of rock and roll.


Wayward youth, juvenile delinquents, sexual repression, cool music, dirty lyrics, social rejects, it's all here! New Line opened its 29th season in October 2019 with the hilarious rockabilly musical CRY-BABY, based on the classic John Waters film.

At the center of this world are the star-crossed lovers, Cry-Baby and the square rich girl Allison, just a good girl who yearns to be bad in Cry-Baby's arms. Fueled by hormones and the new rhythms of rock and roll, she turns her back on her squeaky clean boyfriend Baldwin to become a "drape" (a Baltimore juvenile delinquent) and Cry-Baby's moll. At the other end of the topsy-turvy moral meritocracy of 1954 America, Baldwin as the king of the squares leads his close-harmony pals against the juvenile delinquents, who are ultimately arrested for arson, sending the drapes all off to prison. It's Romeo and Juliet meets High School Hellcats.

CRY-BABY has a score by David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on John Waters' classic indie film. O'Donnell and Meehan also adapted John Waters' Hairspray for the musical stage. Cry-Baby premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in November 2007 and opened on Broadway in April 2008. New Line first produced the show regionally in March 2012, after negotiating the first regional production rights in the country. The original creative team revised the show for New Line and commissioned new orchestrations, to make it a smaller, more intimate musical, with a 6-piece rock band.

CRY-BABY was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Choreography. It was also nominated for Best Musical by the Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle Awards. Terry Teachout wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "You want funny? I'll give you funny, or at least tell you where to find it: Cry-Baby, the new John Waters musical, is campy, cynical, totally insincere and fabulously well crafted. And funny. Madly, outrageously funny. It is, in fact, the funniest new musical since Avenue Q. If laughter is the best medicine, then Cry-Baby is the whole damn drugstore." Newsday called the show "pleasantly demented and -- deep in the sweet darkness of its loopy heart -- more true to the cheerful subversion of a John Waters movie than its sentimental big sister Hairspray." The New Jersey Star-Ledger called it, "candy for adults who like their musicals nutty -- and not so nice."

The New Line cast included Caleb Miofsky (as Wade “Cry Baby” Walker), Grace Langford (Allison Vernon-Williams), Margeau Steinau (Mrs. Vernon-Williams), Marshall Jennings (Dupree W. Dupree), Jake Blonstein (Baldwin Blandish), Reagan Deschaine (Pepper Walker), Jaclyn Amber (Wanda Woodward), Sarah Dowling (Mona “Hatchet-Face” Malnorowski), AJ Surrel (Lenora Frigid), Todd Micali, Stephen Henley, Ian McCreary, Christopher Strawhun, Maggie Nold, and Grace Minnis. The New Line production was directed by Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy-Windsor, with music direction by Nicolas Valdez and Marc Vincent, choreography by Michelle Sauer, scenic design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Colene Fornachon, lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl, and sound design by Ryan Day.

Produced by arrangement with Music Theatre International, New York.


The New Line Film Series presented John Waters' original musical film CRY-BABY during the run of New Line's Cry-Baby.

Want to explore more?
We recommend:

The original John Waters film on which the musical is based

Director Scott Miller's background and analysis essay about Cry-Baby to be included in his next book

The New Liners' Cry-Baby Blogs, chronicling the creative process

The podcast My Favorite Murder, and the true crime that inspired John Waters' Cry-Baby film

A New York Times preview of the Broadway production

A great NPR interview with the Cry-Baby songwriters

Some of the Cry-Baby songs, on a webpage for a tour that never happened

The official John Waters Dreamland website

John Waters' own words about his work, in the books Crackpot, Shock Value, and John Waters: Interviews -- also a very recent blog interview with Waters.

John Waters on Artsy.net

The films Jailhouse Rock,The Wild One, and Rebel Without a Cause

The webpage 1954: The People's History, another webpage about the 1950s, and The Memory Lane website's 1954 page

An entire 1954 issue of Life magazine online, including a story on the polio vaccine!

The official website for The Hi-Lo's, the model for Cry-Baby's Whiffles

David Halberstam's outstanding book The Fifties, and the book The 1950s' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Rock & Roll Rebels, Cold War Crises, and All American Oddities