The Unsinkable Molly Brown


Writers: Richard Morris Meredith Willson


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Historical/Biographical
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Denver, Colorado, Europe, 1890s, 1900s, 1910s
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, High School, Large Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Female
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, early teen, late teen, mature adult characters


Before she survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, Margaret “Molly” Brown was already a dominant force to be reckoned with. From humble beginnings outside of Hannibal, Missouri, young Molly Tobin made her way to Leadville, Colorado. With her headstrong charm and never-give-in spunk, Molly convinces local saloon owner Christmas Morgan to give her a job singing and playing piano. While at the Saddle Rock Saloon, Molly meets Johnny “Leadville” Brown. He falls madly in love with her, and will do anything to marry her. But there is just one problem: Molly is determined to land a rich husband in Denver. So Johnny sets out to convince Molly that they are destined for each other, and after building her a cabin (complete with a room for her father and a brass bed), Molly finally admits that she loves him and they get married. Even though Molly believes that she settles for love, the couple strikes it rich with Johnny’s mine. They pack off to Denver, destined to be a part of the sophisticated elite. Even though Molly has the wealth, she doesn’t yet have the charm of the stuffy socialites; on a trip to Europe, Molly’s infectious zest for life attracts international nobility and royalty. But even though Molly is moving up in sophistication, she is leaving her husband behind, and must figure out which dream is more important: love or money. The Unsinkable Molly Brown is a rollicking musical with Meredith Willson’s signature sound and vivacious characters, true entertainment for audiences of all ages.

While Meredith Willson and Richard Morris’ original 1960 musical is heavily fictionalized, in 2009, producer Dick Scanlon started working on a revised and updated version, more authentic to Margaret Brown’s real life. The revised Unsinkable Molly Brown opened Off-Broadway in February 2020. The guide here is based on Willson and Morris’ original 1960 musical, available for licensing through Musical Theatre International.

Lead Characters

The Unsinkable Molly Brown guide sections