Starlight Express originally opened in 1984 in the West End, where it ran for over 7,000 performances. Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, the show debuted on Broadway in 1987 and was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and went on to play 22 previews and 761 performances at the Gerswhin Theatre before closing January 8, 1989.
Featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book by Richard Stilgoe, Starlight Express transports audiences to a fantasy train world in which steam engine Rusty (Greg Mowry) enters a cross-country race against flashy trains Greaseball (Robert Torti) and Electra (Ken Ard) in the hopes of impressing pretty sidecar Pearl (Reva Rice). The cast also included Andrea McArdle as Ashley and Jane Krakowski as Dinah the dining car.
The musical continues to run in a purpose-built venue in Bochum, Germany where more than 15 million people have seen it in the 31 years it has been running.