A genuine novelty, MGM's Main Street to Broadway offers the modern viewer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the 1953 theatrical scene. The main plot concerns aspiring playwright Tony Monaco (Tom Burton), who pins his future on the possibility that Tallulah Bankhead will star in his first Broadway production. Along the way, Tony imagines that Tallulah has fallen in love with him, but faithful girlfriend Mary Craig (Mary Murphy) hangs around to pick up the pieces. Except for an amusing sequence in which Bankhead imagines herself as the sweet ingenue in a domestic comedy, the storyline can be dispensed with. The principal attraction of Main Street to Broadway is its glittering array of Manhattanite guest stars, including Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, Gertrude Berg, Shirley Booth, Helen Hayes, Leo Durocher, Fay Emerson, Joshua Logan, Mary Martin, Lilli Palmer and John Van Druten. In the film's best scene, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein Jr. come up with an "instant song"--the now-forgotten "There's Music in You"--then perform it for the amusement of their friends, with Rodgers on the piano and Hammerstein rendering the vocals!
by Hal Erickson synopsis