Steel Pier is one of those shows that was maligned at the time but to me looks like spun gold compared to the direction the musical has gone in. I did see the original, and like most I was not terribly enthusiastic at the time. But it has grown in my affection over the years via recording.
One of the reasons I was so hard on it is I was a big fan of They Shoot Horses, Don't They and I really disliked how Steel Pier removed so much of the darkness from the story. For those who might not be aware, they wanted to musicalize Horses but the rights were unavailable, so they created their own dance marathon musical from scratch.
But with some time and perspective I can see how the ending of Horses was not likely to work, or to be a commercial success anyway. I'd like to see Steel Pier reworked to retain it's more hopeful ending, but to eliminate the supernatural element, which for me is what really did NOT work about the show. It was totally pointless and didn't bring anything to the proceedings.