Jerome Robbins was originally to have directed the show, but he ended up deciding not to direct. George Abbott instead directed, but when the show ran into serious problems during the pre-Broadway tryout, Robbins came in to help out. He suggested that a new opening number be written and he staged that new number ("Comedy Tonight"). He also made many adjustments and additions to the staging. Many of them were small changes, but they added up to a good many changes.
After the opening, Robbins sent to the show's producer, Harold Prince, an extremely detailed list of his contributions, along with a demand for more in royalties than must have been originally offered to him. The letter can be found at the Library for the Performing Arts in New York. It was on display at the library in an exhibition titled "New York Story: Jerome Robbins and His World" in 2008.