Cry-Baby the Musical


Writers: Mark O'Donnell Thomas Meehan Adam Schlesinger David Javerbaum


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Based on 1990 film Cry-Baby by John Waters
Number of Acts
First Produced
Satire, Comedy
Multiple Settings
Time & Place
1954 Baltimore, Maryland USA
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Rock Combo
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Large Cast, Star Vehicle Male, Regional Theatre, Professional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly female cast
Includes late teen, young adult, early teen, adult, mature adult, elderly characters


Based on the cult classic John Water’s film of the same name, Cry-Baby the Musical is a rebellious teen comedy musical that, as book writer Mark O’Donnell said, is “edgier than Grease, funnier than West Side Story” and full of rockabilly tunes that keep the audience dancing in their seats. The delinquent Drapes and the squeaky-clean Squares can’t see eye to eye on anything. But when Drapes leader Cry-Baby and Square member Allison meet at the Anti-Polio Picnic and discover that they are both orphans, their star-crossed love story begins to blossom. Allison longs to shake off her Square identity and join Cry-Baby’s rock n’ roll lifestyle. As Allison gets a bad girl makeover, king of the Squares Baldwin hatches a plan to get rid of the Drapes gang and win Allison back. When Cry-Baby whisks Allison away to Turkey Point and asks “Girl, Can I Kiss You With Tongue?”, Baldwin and the Squares frame Cry-Baby for arson and he is carted off to prison. Cry-Baby must fight to clear the Drapes’ name and get back to Allison before she gets trapped in a Square life forever. With raging hormones, rock rhythms, and dancing delinquents, Cry-Baby the Musical brings the 1950’s to life with a rockabilly good time.

Lead Characters

Cry-Baby the Musical guide sections