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Betty Comden

Betty Comden

Betty Comden wrote lyrics and librettos for enduring and beloved musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and Peter Pan, winning some of the industry’s highest honors.

Betty Comden, 1917 - 2006

"New York, New York,
a helluva town
The Bronx is up and the Battery's down
The people ride in a hole in the ground
New York, New York, it's a helluva town."

Lyricist Betty Comden's first hit, "On the Town," opens on Broadway

December 28, 1944

Opening of the Broadway musical "On the Town," featuring the writing of librettist and lyricist Betty Comden.

Theater in the United States

For over a hundred years, Jewish women have been involved in the American theater as writers, actors, directors, designers and producers. The vitality of the Yiddish theater, the splendor of Broadway, the rich tapestry of the regional theater—and everything in between—all owe a debt to the Jewish women who have given of their talents, their energy, their drive, and their dreams.

Betty Comden

Beginning with On the Town (1944) and continuing with The Will Rogers Follies (1991), Betty Comden’s long career as librettist and lyricist for Broadway and Hollywood has included many classics of American musical comedy. With her partner Adolph Green, Comden has written lyrics and/or librettos for such hits of stage and screen as The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Wonderful Town (1953), The Band Wagon (1953), Peter Pan (1953), Bells Are Ringing (1956), the film version of Auntie Mame (1958), Say Darling (1958), Applause (1970), and On the Twentieth Century (1978).

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Betty Comden." (Viewed on September 16, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/15955>.

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