The Shop Girl: A Unique Early Theatre Item in the University of Arizona Special Collections Main Library Archive by Elizabeth Marchalonis

The Shop Girl is considered by many scholars to be the first real direct antecedent of the modern Broadway musical. It premiered at the Gaiety Theatre in London in 1894. Producer George Edwardes developed the idea of a musical comedy which was not a burlesque but rather a full coherent story. The star was Ada Reeve who became pregnant and was replaced with Kate Cutler.