Show History



A friend of Frank Loesser's recommended the 1924 Sidney Howard play They Knew What They Wanted as material for a musical in 1952. After Loesser read it, he agreed it had musical potential, but decided to omit the political, labor, and religious material. It took him four years to complete the musical.

They Knew What They Wanted premiered at the Garrick Theatre on November 24, 1924 and closed in October 1925, after 192 performances. It was awarded the 1925 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  The play has been performed subsequently numerous times, including a critically acclaimed Broadway production in 1975 that was directed by Stephen Porter.