STOP THE WORLD - I WANT TO GET OFF
Commentary by Judy Harris
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Book, Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
Directed by Anthony Newley
|Anthony Newley||Anthony Newley|
|Anna Quayle||Anna Quayle|
|Amanda Bayley||Jennifer Baker|
|Barbara Halliwell||Susan Baker|
|Gloria Johnson||Rawley Bates|
|Carole Keith||Bonnie Brody|
|Virginia Mason||Diana Corto|
|Vivienne St. George||Jo-Anne Leeds|
|Marti Webb||Karen Lynn Reed|
|Susan Baker||Sylvia Tysick|
|Jennifer Baker||Stephanie Winters|
When I've written about other Broadway shows, it has always been about shows I've seen multiple times, which made a great impression on me, and I wanted to share with other people who admire the original cast albums what it was like to see the show in person. However, I never saw the original STOP THE WORLD . In the UK, it opened at the Queen's Theatre on July 20,1961 and played to packed houses for 15 months before transferring to Broadway where it opened October 3, 1962 at the Shubert Theatre and ran for 556 performances.
The original Broadway cast album is as exciting, tuneful and immediate as if it had been recorded yesterday, instead of 1962. In the wake of Anthony Newley's untimely death at the age of 67 on April 14,1999, I have had occasion to go back to it, and admire it all over again. The show was much praised in its time, and some of the songs have become "standards", recorded and reinterpreted by many leading recording artists. Although some of the lyrics of the "specialty" numbers have become dated, they are remarkably clever and still contain a lot of humor, and I believe the show deserves to live on and be appreciated by future generations who, like me, never had an opportunity to see the original in person.
Contrasting the original cast album of the West End show with the Broadway version that opened 15 months later, there are more similarities than differences. The orchestrations of the London show seem slower and contain occasional different musical stresses. The numbers seem "sung" more than "acted" and, as a consequence of this and the slower tempo, it is easier to understand some of the lyrics that are hard to hear on the Broadway album. Newley's voice seems much lighter on the London album; on the Broadway album his voice has matured and taken on a theatricality that he exhibited for the rest of his singing career. There are occasional changes of lyrics from the original to make things clearer for American audiences; MUMBO JUMBO is considerably different, with more local British references, and several more people introducing the candidate; there's no Winston Churchill impersonation at the line "we will fight them on the beaches". Instead of the "I'm all right, Jack" ending lyric, the British line is "Free false teeth to all!", a dubious campaign promise! In I WANNA BE RICH, Newley pronounces "Riviera" correctly; and in TYPICALLY ENGLISH, the Chorus chant about the "accident" ends with the suggestion that anyone who saw it notify New Scotland Yard. The London album has NAG, NAG, NAG, but not FAMILY FUGUE; the Broadway album seems slicker and more commercial (the score having been reorchestrated by Ian Fraser); the orchestrations are more razz-ma-tazz; Newley's performance is stronger and more assured; Anna Quayle's is more flamboyant. There are introductions to the songs of the "other women" in Littlechap's life that set up the numbers better for someone who has not seen the show.
I did see a revival of the show starring Sammy Davis in August of 1978 at the New York State Theatre. It had been rewritten to tailor it to Sammy; WELCOME TO SLUDGEPOOL was inexplicably retitled WELCOME TO SLUDGEVILLE and a new number was added as the first act closer, LIFE IS A WOMAN. Marian Mercer played all the women in Littlechap's life, and the American character, Ginnie, was renamed Lorene. The "Greek chorus" of the original version were assigned individual characters, expanding the cast greatly.
I managed to see a revival starring Anthony Newley and Suzie Plaksin in September of 1986 at the Westbury Music Fair but, frankly, I don't remember too much about it, except all of the outdated references in the "situation" numbers were updated in the interests of political correctness and to acknowledge the passage of time, and I regretted very much not being able to see in person performances of some of the original lyrics, which I loved so much. The Ginnie Romain character was once again renamed Lorene and the show was also tinkered with to open with ONCE IN A LIFETIME, perhaps my favorite Newley number. Newley took the show back to London's West End where it opened October 20, 1989 at the Lyric Theatre with Rhonda Burchmore as Evie and a cast that included Martine McCutcheon and Denise (Van) Outen. It closed November 25th. (I also saw the awful 1966 film version starring Tony Tanner and Millicent Martin (Tanner had replaced Newley in the London stage version. Newley was offered the lead in this film, but it would have meant doing the film during the day while he was still doing the show on Broadway in the evenings, and he didn't have the energy); I deliberately avoided the 1996 TV adaptation which starred Peter Scolari.)
I noticed on eBay an auction for the LP of the Tony Tanner film; the seller listed several songs not part of the original London or Broadway soundtracks, including TYPICALLY JAPANESE which seemed to take the place of TYPISCHE DEUTSCHE and a "second act" finale called I BELIEVED IT ALL.
I also saw on eBay an auction for an LP of the German soundtrack with a cast that included Violetta Ferrari and Harald Juhnke. The numbers included: INTRODUKTION und WIE WERDE ICH REICH (presumably, I WANNA BE RICH), TYPISCH ENGLISCH, SO EIN REINFALL, ICH VERSETZE BERGE (GONNA BUILD A MOUNTAIN), RUHMREICH-RUSSISCH, MEILINKI MEILTSCHIK, TYPISCH DEUTSCH, MECK - MECK - MECK (NAG, NAG, NAG), TYPISCH AMERIKANISCH, HABBEL - BABBEL (MUMBO JUMBO) and FANFAREN UND EHRUNGEN (which translates to FANFARES AND HONORS and might be ONCE IN A LIFETIME).
Anthony Newley was 30 years old when he cowrote STOP THE WORLD with Leslie Bricusse. He had already had a long and remarkable career as a child actor, character actor and pop singer. He made his directing debut with a short-lived British TV series, THE STRANGE WORLD OF GURNEY SLADE, in 1960; he had previously written two songs for the 1959 film IDOL ON PARADE, a spoof inspired by Elvis Presley going into the Army, which launched Newley's pop idol career. It is hard to think of any other performer whose career spanned so many media (singer on Broadway, in nightclubs and on records, actor/comedian in films and TV and on stage) and who was so artistically creative. In STOP THE WORLD alone, he cowrote the book, music and lyrics, and directed and starred in both the London and Broadway versions. Like the Beatles, neither Newley nor his long-time collaborator Leslie Bricusse could read or write music; they would hum and sing to their fortuitously musical friend, Ian Fraser, who wrote it all down; Fraser served as musical arranger on many of Newley's later albums and live appearances. In a March 1997 interview included with the CD ONCE IN A LIFETIME: THE ANTHONY NEWLEY COLLECTION (released July 15, 1997), Newley is quoted as saying, "You could say that Newley did the music and Leslie did the lyrics. The only time we both did lyrics together was on STOP THE WORLD." Click here to visit my webpage on the career and life of Anthony Newley
Anna Quayle was born October 6, 1936. According to the STOP THE WORLD program, she made her stage debut at the age of 3 playing Little Willie in EAST LYNNE. She studied at RADA and appeared in a series of West End revues: GOOD INTENTION, LOOK WHO'S HERE and AND ANOTHER THING. She was 26 when STOP THE WORLD came to Broadway. She won the Tony Award for her versatility and comic ability in the multiple roles in this show. The Internet Movie Database lists her film appearances as:
1964 A HARD DAY'S NIGHT
1966 THE SANDWICH MAN
1966 DROP DEAD, DARLING/ARRIVEDERCI, BABY
1967 SMASHING TIME
1967 CASINO ROYALE
1968 CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG
1971 UP THE CHASTITY BELT/NAUGHTY KNIGHTS
1975 ESKIMO NELL
1976 THE SEVEN PER-CENT SOLUTION
1977 ADVENTURES OF A PRIVATE EYE
1978 ADVENTURES OF A PLUMBER'S MATE
1979 S.O.S. TITANIC
1990 HENRY V
And the following TV series:
1976 THE GEORGIAN HOUSE
1977 GRANGE HILL
1982 BRIDESHEAD REVISITED
1982 FATHER CHARLIE
By searching Internet, I've discovered she lives in Brighton and appeared in a 1984 revival of THE BOY FRIEND.
The only other members of the original British cast to transfer to Broadway were the twins, Susan and Jennifer Baker. When I read now about all the fuss Equity makes over importing British performers, refusing anyone who is not considered an irreplaceable star, it is amazing to me that Anna Quayle and the Baker Twins were allowed to appear on Broadway; certainly Quayle justified this by winning the Tony award for STOP THE WORLD, creating four really distinct and funny characters. Aside from Newley and Quayle, the remaining cast members were all teenagers, a practice Newley indulged in again for his follow-up show, THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT, THE SMELL OF THE CROWD.
|The A.B.C. Song||Chorus||All-American||Ginnie|
|I Wanna Be Rich||Littlechap||Once in a Lifetime||Littlechap|
|Typically English||Evie||Mumbo Jumbo||Littlechap|
|Lumbered||Littlechap||Welcome to Sunvale||Chorus|
|Welcome to Sludgepool||Chorus||Someone Nice Like You||Littlechap, Evie|
|Gonna Build a Mountain||Littlechap||What Kind of Fool Am I?||Littlechap|
|Meilinki Meilchick||Littlechap, Anya|
|Family Fugue||Littlechap, Evie, Susan, Jane|
|Nag, Nag, Nag||Littlechap, Evie, Susan, Jane|
Newley and Bricusse conceived STOP THE WORLD as a one man show, where Newley would be surrounded by beautiful girls, but as it developed, Anna Quayle's role was considerably beefed up. The show depicts the 7 ages of man, from birth to death, personified by the character of Littlechap. All the characters dress in simplified clown costumes, with Littlechap (Newley) and all the women in his life (Quayle) wearing clown makeup on their faces as well. Originally, Newley had not intended the cast wear clown makeup, but when Sean Kenny came up with the circus tent motif for the set, he decided to go for whiteface. According to Leslie Bricusse in his autobiography, THE MUSIC MAN (Metro Publishing Ltd. 2006), the 14 songs were written in 8 days, with not a note nor a word changed; the show was cast, rehearsed and produced in 2 weeks and cost only £6,000 to get up and running. Of Newley's contribution to the show, Bricusse writes: "What Anthony Newley achieved in the ten weeks between our starting to write and the finished show opening to the public... is little short of miraculous, the most diversified, creative tour de force I have ever witnessed by one man. Everything he was ever meant to do or be came together in those two-and-a-half months. The natural spontaneity that existed between us from day one exploded into life. Good songs had fallen on to the page one after another. Tony's instincts as a performer led him to inspired casting as a director." Newley originally envisioned the all girl chorus to be made up of such international types as an Indian, African, Swedish, English, etc. Among the possible titles for the show when it was in the works was FALSE TEETH FOR EVERYONE (a punchline of the British version of MUMBO JUMBO). Producer Bernard Delfont chose the title STOP THE WORLD -- I WANT TO GET OFF. Unlike most shows nowadays that never seem to go into profit, STOP THE WORLD recouped its entire Broadway investment in the first two weeks of its pre-Broadway try-out in Philadelphia.
This is one of my three favorite overtures/entr'actes (the others being GYPSY and IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN). The beauty and lushness of even the humorous numbers comes through so well in this overture, where there are no clever/beautiful lyrics to distract. The musical director (special musical arrangements) of the original London version was Ian Fraser; he also did the orchestrations, along with David Lindup, Burt Rhodes and Gordon Langford. For Broadway, the musical director was Milton Rosenstock. Click here for 30-seconds of the Overture from the original Broadway cast album.
The A.B.C. Song
As Littlechap mimes the birth and early childhood of a baby, the chorus sings:
A-B-C-D-E-F-G H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P Q-R-S-T-U-V-W X-Y-Zed. 1 2 A-B-C-D-E-F-G 3 4 H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P 5 6 7 Q-R-S-T-U-V-W 8 9 10 X-Y-Zed.
As the song progresses, Littlechap mimes graduating from school; he turns out his pockets, they are empty. He looks for a job. A bassoon represents the unseen boss. He gets a job as a teaboy in a factory. After work he flirts with some girls, doing a mime in which his hand meets a girl's hand, and together they form a sort of flower. This courtship symbol works on girl after girl, until he meets Evie. She snubs him. Littlechap is amazed and shouts out: "Stop the world!" He walks to the edge of the stage and addresses the audience about how the girl you want is always the one you can't have.
He tries to chat up Evie, but she repulses him. Impressed by her posh accent, he gets the idea that you have to have money in order to get a girl like that. He sings the following song as he pursues Evie on a bus.
I Wanna Be Rich
Look at me--just take a look at me-- A minute ago, I didn't know Me elbow from me... Ask just simply anyone--go and ask anyone-- They'll tell you I was greener than the grass. Ooh, what I mess I was! Yes, I'll confess I was! Like a burbling bloody baby at the font! You don't know the half of it-- But now I just laugh at it! 'Cause now I know exactly what I want. I wanna be rich, have money to burn. A thousand a week, say, would do me a turn. I'd keep it in oncers in case of a slump. I'd have stacks and stacks and the Income Tax Could take a running jump. I've have all me suits made a dozen a time. I'd buy all the best shares, provided they climb Give me half a chance, a small advance, Me fingers itch to make me dirty rotten filthy stinking rich! Here, Evie, hang on! Took a look at me--a quick butcher's hook at me-- Now, a minute ago I didn't know a cockle from a whelk. Can you imagine it? I mean, just imagine it! Fancy not knowing a cockle from a whelk! Oh, what a nitt I was! Yes, I'll admit I was! Like a sloppy, floppy puppy with a ball. And then, without reason or rhyme-- I was chatting this bird at the time-- I heard a sort of voice within me call. I wanna be rich and have a big house, With hundreds of acres and pheasants and grouse. An American car as long as the street; And the local birds'll be lost for words-- It'll knock them off their feet. (Women drivers!) I wanna be famous and be in the news, Go out with a film star whenever I choose. Gimme half a chance to lead a dance With some rich bitch And I'll be dirty rotten filthy stinking rich! Here, Eve, hang on! Evie, wait for us! Eve...Evie! I wanna be rich and mix with the nobs And sit in the best seats with all of the snobs. I may go to Ascot to take in the scene. In me grey top hat and me spats and that, I'd be comp'ny for the Queen. I wanna go trav'ling to Cannes and Capri-- The French Riv-i-er-i-a is my cup of tea. Gimme half a chance in the South of France To make my pitch And I'll be dirty rotten filthy stinking-- I can hear the lolly clinking-- Lots of birds; lots of drinking-- I can guess what you're all thinking-- Dirty rotten filthy stinking rich!
Click here for 30-seconds of TYPICALLY ENGLISH from the original Broadway cast album.
Evie tries to elude Littlechap but he grabs her arm in a kind of tug-of-war.
One of the chorus members declaims in the manner of a loudspeaker announcing train destinations:
Attention please: The virgin now struggling on Platform Two is for Patting, Petting, Kissing and Cuddling, but will stop short at anything approaching Sin, Desire, Lust and all stations to Immorality.
Littlechap responds: You wanna bet? I'll lay you ten to one.
My mother said I never should Play with the young men in the wood. If I did, she would say 'Naughty little girl to disobey!' Stop it! I'm a typically English rosebud Born of typically English stock With a typically Anglo-Saxon family tree.
Littlechap: You can tell, can't you?
I received my education In a typically English way At a typically English Girls' Academy.
Littlechap: I went to Brixton Reformatory for Boys meself.
I play typically English tennis At a typically English club With a typically English feeling for fair play. I eat typically English crumpets With my typically English tea At the end of every typically English day.
Littlechap: That's funny! We only had fish and chips.
Father is a typically English colonel, Home is a typically English county town.
Littlechap: Somewhere near Swindon.
Mummy and I play typically English patience While the typically English rain is pouring down. We've a typically English spaniel Who likes typically English walks Past the typically English trees upon the heath. And if anyone asks me how I like This typically English life, I am fed up to my typically English teeth.
My mother said I never should Play with the girlies in the wood If I did, she would say They'll only end up in the family way.
When I go to typically English dances, Mother gives me typically sound advice: How to cope with typically coarse advances, But I'm bound to confess I find them rather nice! Stay there. In the typically English summer We take typically English trips To a typically seaside place with Auntie Maude; And if anyone asks me how I like This typically English life, I have never been so - Pygmalion bored! And if anyone asks me how I like This typically English life, I have never been ...
Evie and Littlechap do the hand mime; he leads her offstage. The chorus chants:
Here is a special announcement. There was an accident in a bedsitting-room off the Brompton Road late last night when a seventeen-year old girl was involved in a head-on collision with a twenty-five year old tea boy, and received injuries from which her typically English family may never recover. Will anyone who saw the accident, or can give any information, please keep it to themselves.
Littlechap and Evie return. Evie sings:
When a typically English rosebud Is in typically English bloom And her typically English petals open wide Then her typically English perfume Reaches typically English bees And what follows is really most undignified!
My mother said I never should Play with the girlies in the wood. If I did, she would say They'll only end up in a most undignified, Somewhat magnified, Slightly stupefied, Maybe multiplied, Quite unqualified, None too sanctified, Highly satisfied way.
Littlechap is summoned into the boss's office and discovers Evie is the boss's daughter. After promising never to see Evie again, Littlechap runs into her and she tells him she's going to have a baby. Littlechap shouts out "Stop the World" and addresses the audience again about how the last time he was in church it was for his own christening.
The orchestra plays the wedding march as Littlechap and Evie walk toward the audience, Evie visibly pregnant.
Click here for 30-seconds of LUMBERED from the original Broadway cast album.
Evie staggers offstage, clutching her stomach. Littlechap sings:
I've been trapped, lumbered!
I--have been lumbered! I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again. I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, And I don't L-I-K-E it one small bit. I'm too young to be a father; There are lots of things I'd rather be-- Like working down a coal P-I-T pit! When I ought to be completely unencumbered, I've been forced to buy a ring and say Amen. I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again. I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered; I'm completely C-H-O-K-E-D choked! Bang, all my lovely visions-- I've been forced to make decisions. Wish I had a quid for ev'ry fag I've smoked. When I think of all the birds with whom I've slumbered; Now I'll only ever see them now and then. (At the weekends and whenever the wife's not around!) I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again. If I ever get my hands upon the idiot that wrote, "Into ev'ry life a little rain must fall," I shall take his book of poems And I'll stuff 'em up his...throat, 'Cause it seems to me as though I get it all! I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered; And the idea doesn't please me very much. I was not prepared for marriage-- I would catch a boat from Harwich-- But I don't speak any D-U-C-H Dutch. Though I know it's true a bachelor's days are numbered, I think I should have the choice of saying when, I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again.
I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered. It's enough to drive a fellow M-A-D! I am scarcely past my childhood-- I still play the games a child would-- I'm still playing mums and dads, as you can see. When I think of all the chicks with whom I've rumba'd-- For the wedding march, I'm lumbered with a hen! (Quack, quack!) I've been quite unduly, well and truly lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get, Never gonna get, never, never, Never gonna get, never gonna get, never never, Never gonna get lumbered again!
Susan, Littlechap's first born, appears on stage. Littlechap teaches her to walk.
Littlechap: Well, now for a bit of peace and quiet.
Evie: I'm going to have a baby--another one!
Littlechap: I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered.
Evie: So have I!
Littlechap: I've had just about E-N-U-F enough.
Evie: So have I!
Littlechap: For my little bit of pleasure I've been punished beyond measure. If you ask me, I've been treated rather rough!
Evie: So have I!
Littlechap: Like a garrison that's gradually outnumbered, Or a boxer when the count is nearing ten,
Evie: Down with men!
Littlechap: I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered,
Evie: I've been lumbered!
Both: But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again!
Welcome to Sludgepool
Littlechap plucks up his courage and asks his boss for a raise. The boss promotes him to new works manager of the Sludgepool factory.
The chorus sings:
Welcome to Sludgepool - The garden of the north! The home of heavy industry Since good King George the Fourth! Pride of the valley Twixt Huddersfield and Crewe, With ever-open grimy arms Sludgepool welcomes you!
Gonna Build a Mountain
Click here for 30 seconds of GONNA BUILD A MOUNTAIN from the original Broadway cast album.
Littlechap is appalled at the sluggish pace of the Sludgepool factory. When he tries to intimidate the workers into speeding up, one of them accuses him of making a mountain out of a molehill. Inspired, Littlechap sings:
Gonna build a mountain From a little hill. Gonna build a mountain - Least I hope I will. Gonna build a mountain - Gonna build it high! I don't know how I'm gonna do it - Only know I'm gonna try. Gonna build a daydream From a little hope. Gonna push that daydream Up a mountain slope. Gonna build a daydream - Gonna see it through. Gonna build a mountain and a daydream - Gonna make 'em both come true. Gonna build a heaven From a little hell. Gonna build a heaven And I know darn well If I build my mountain With a lot of care And take my daydream up the mountain Heaven'll be waiting there. When I've built that heaven As I will some day And the Lord sends Gabriel To take me away, Wanna fine young son To take my place I'll leave a son in my heaven on earth With the Good Lord's Grace. Gonna build a heaven From a little hell. Gonna build a heaven And I know darn well If I build my mountain With a lot of care And take my daydream up the mountain Heaven'll be waiting there. Gonna build a daydream, Gonna see it through. Gonna build a mountain and a daydream; Gonna make them both come true!
Littlechap's second daughter, JANE, appears. He is disappointed she is not a son. He teaches her to walk with less enthusiasm than the first daughter.
Disgusted, Littlechap stalks off; he forces the workers into a faster pace. The boss is impressed and tells Littlechap he is sending him to Moscow to be a delegate to the International Trade Mission.
Click here for 30-seconds of GLORIOUS RUSSIAN from the original Broadway cast album.
Moscow Announcer: Attention please: Trans Soviet Airways wish to announce the arrival of Flight Nyet Nyet Nyet from East Berlin, where a convention of party bricklayers has been cementing good-"wall" relations with West Berlin!
Anya appears, a Russian version of Evie. Littlechap tries his hand mime on her and she responds. He professes his love. Anya sings:
My mother said I never should Mix with subversive reactionary elements in the wood. If I did, she would say You'll only end up as a decadent Subservient western imperialistic Political puppet one day. I'm a glorious Russian comrade Born on glorious Russian soil. I was part of my glorious parents' Five year plan. I eat glorious Russian salad That's imported from the West And drink glorious Russian vodka when I can. I've got fourteen glorious brothers Down a glorious Russian mine. I've got fifteen glorious sisters and a cat. And the lot of us live together In such glorious Russian bliss In a glorious Soviet Russian two-room flat. Father is a glorious Russian dustman. Mother drives a glorious Russian tram. Grandma drives a lorry though she's ninety-four And Grandpa does not give a Russian damn. We've got glorious Russian heroes Up in glorious Russian space And the glorious Russian news is one day soon We'll live happily ever after On a vast collective farm Somewhere on the glorious Soviet Russian moon!
Anya: Do you like children?
Littlechap: As long as it doesn't become a habit. I think every man should have a son.
Anya: One day, I would like to have a meilinki dvorchka and a meilinki meilchick of my own.
Littlechap: Wouldn't you rather have children?
Anya: They are children. Meilinki dvorchka is a little girl; meilinki meilchick is a little boy.
Littlechap: Meilchick. Meilinki meilchick.
First say meilinki - that means a little. Then you say meilchick - that means a boy. Put them together - say meilinki meilchick; That's how in Russia we say little boy.
Littlechap: Can I have a go?
Anya: Da. First say:
Anya: That means:
Littlechap: A little.
Anya: Then you say:
Anya: That means:
Littlechap: A boy.
Anya: Now both together, say:
Littlechap: Meilinki meilchick.
Both: That's how in Russia we say little boy.
Littlechap: I've always been good at languages.
Moscow to Rostov and Rostov to Kiev, Boys you can see ev'ry Day of your life. Some may be small boys, Some may be tall boys Something makes all boys The pride of each man and wife.
I'd like meilinki - that means a little I'd like a meilchick - that means a boy. I'd like my own little meilinki meilchick That's how in Russia we say little boy.
A-B-C-D-E-F-G H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P Meilinki meilchick - though he'd be little He'd be my meilchick - he'd be my joy. Smiling a smile, little meilinki meilchick I'd be so proud of my own little boy. Smiling that smile-chick, All of the while-chick. Meilinki meilchick, How precious he'd be! He would beguile me, My meilinki meilchick; This juvenile-chick Would mean the whole world to me. I'd like meilinki - that means a little I'd like a meilchick - that means a boy. I'd like my own little meilinki meilchick. He'd make me happy, my own little chappie, My meilinki meilchick, my own little boy.
A boy appears on stage, mimes struggling to life, and then dying. Littlechap looks on in horror, seeing the death of his son, and shouts out again: "Stop the world!" He recites the nursery rhyme:
Jack and Jill went up the hill To fetch a pail of water - At least, that's what they said they did, But now they've got a daughter!
Littlechap returns from Russia, dissatisfied with his family and life. Click here for a 30-second soundbyte from the original Broadway cast album.
Daughter 1: Oh dear, what can the matter be? Mummy and Daddy've not spoken since Saturd'y.
Daughter 2: Home, home on the range, the silence is driving me mad.
Littlechap: I see it says in the paper today the divorce rate's up again. Some people have all the luck.
Evie: There was an old woman who lived in a suburb; she had two too many children...
Littlechap: But no son!
I thought that it would rain today; But it didn't! I took my raincoat anyway; But I needn't. We may have local fog tonight And thunder; It may rain cats and dogs tonight, Shouldn't wonder.
I knew it wouldn't rain today 'Cause any fool can tell darn well That when the sky is red at night It means another sunny spell. Why you took your raincoat When you've got that damn great motor-car! Knew it wouldn't rain today; How stubborn some men are!
Daughter 2: Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he...ooh...
Daughter 1: Polly put the kettle on; we'll all have...
Littlechap: I see if the Government spends another 200 billion on our space programme, we could have a white mouse in orbit by the end of the year!
Evie: Nobody knows the troubles I've seen; and nobody cares!
Littlechap: I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, but I'm never gonna get lumbered again.
Evie: And if anyone asks me how I like this typically English life, I am fed up to my typically English teeth.
Daughters: There's no place like home, there's no place like home.
Click here for 30 seconds of TYPISCHE DEUTSCHE from the original Broadway cast album.
Littlechap is summoned to his father-in-law's office again and congratulated on his Moscow trip. The boss talks about a directorship for Littlechap. With the higher salary, Littlechap can afford a maid. Ilse appears, a German version of Evie. She sings:
Bitte sehr, I am Ilse, Ilse Brandt. I am the domestic help your wife applied for. I was never a member of the Nazi Party und my father was completely cleared at Nuremberg.
The fatherland said I never should Play mit anyone in the wood. That would only mean disgrace; We'd never end up as the ultra modernized, Fully mobilized, Armed und mechanized, Extra specialized, Richly subsidized, Highly organized, Wildly idolized master race! I'm a typische Deutsche fraulein Born of typische Deutsche stock. Mit a typische Deutsche fraulein's point of view. I eat typische Deutsche sauerkraut Und drink typische Deutsche beer Und mein typische Deutsche dachshund drinks it too! I love typische Deutsche musik Played by typische Deutsche bands, As we dance beneath a typische Deutsche moon. Though I love the songs of Schubert Und the melodies of Brahms, Deutschland uber alles is my favorite tune. Father is ein typische Deutsche doktor But he was a general in the war. He still keeps his uniform in the cupboard Just in case we should the see the day he's waiting for. We are typische Deutsche people, We have typische Deutsche ways With a typische Deutsche outlook at the world. Und on Adolf Hitler's birthday In our sentimental way How we love to see the dear old flag unfurled. Happy Birthday, Dear Adolf, Wherever you are!
Nag, Nag, Nag
Ilse's integration into the Littlechap household does not go smoothly.
Chorus: Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag; Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag.
When God created man Some several years ago He smiled upon his handiwork But little did he know An Adam with no madam Was a certainty to grieve; But when the good Lord tumbled it, He lumbered him with Eve. So Adam looked at Eve And she looked back at him. "Why don't you let them talk, my Lord?" Said some bright cherubim. So God gave them the pow'r of speech Which makes a man a prince; But women, I regret to say Have not stopped talking since.
Evie: Very funny!
Littlechap: Oh, why aren't you laughing?
Evie: I have nothing to laugh at!
Littlechap: You should be standing here!
When you go off to work And leave me on my own To scrimp and save And work and slave And spend the day alone You never think of calling me To ask me how I am. You always say you're busy but You just don't give a damn! When you go off abroad To Paris and to Rome, I wonder what the business is That you can't do at home? It's no good telling me That I would never understand I bet you anything you like It's something underhand!
My wife's voice is a symphony, A symphony of love. When she speaks I hear violins From above. My wife's voice is a melody From the sweetest nightingale throat. My wife's voice is a symphony, And I hate every bloody note!
On the original cast LP, FAMILY FUGUE and NAG, NAG, NAG have been combined into one number. But in the original show, they were separated by TYPISCHE DEUTSCHE, which was then reprised after NAG, NAG, NAG, as Littlechap does his hand mime with Ilse, confessing he loves her. Once again, Littlechap shouts out, "Stop the world!" and talks irrelevantly about the only survivors of a Third World War likely to be grasshoppers. This is followed by a reprise of NAG, NAG, NAG, after which Littlechap, estranged from Evie, moves his things into the spare room.
Act 2 opens with the prospect of Littlechap being promoted to Managing Director if he pulls off an American deal and his father-in-law is made chairman. Click here for 30 seconds of ALL AMERICAN from the original cast album.
Announcer: Attention please. Flash American Airways, the airline that has flown more passengers at greater speed, greater expense and greater risk than any other airline, are proud (and relieved) to announce the arrival of their one millionth passenger whose wife doesn't understand him. Remember, if you're dying to fly, fly Flash American!
Girl: The Chocolate Box is proud to present Miss Ginnie Romain!
Ginnie is the American version of Evie, a remarkable Marilyn Monroe breathy sound-alike: She sings:
My mother said I never should Play in a Cadillac in the wood. If I did she would say You'll only be sorry on Labor Day. I'm an all American female From an all American town. I'm from all American Main Street, U.S.A. I eat all American popcorn, I chew all American gum, Which is why I talk this All American way. I watch all American movies Half the all American night On my all American television screen. And like all American females I've an all American dream To become an all American movie queen. My all American papa comes from Poland. He came here from Warsaw with my mom. She lives all alone because my Papa is An eighteen carat all American bum. I get all American goosebumps When I hear the Stars and Stripes; I'm an all American niece of Uncle Sam. And I think Mr. Eisenhower Is absolutely swell. . .
(Musical Director taps his baton)
Oh really! Well, I think that Mr. Kennedy Is absolutely swell. What a lucky all American girl I am! I consider myself very fortunate to be a citizen of the United States of America. And what is more, I support the Fifth Amendment! Whatever it is! Rah! Rah! America!
Littlechap goes backstage to see Ginnie. They do the hand mime and Littlechap tells her he loves her. Susan, Littlechap's elder daughter, shows up. She tells him she's going to have a baby. Stunned, Littlechap shouts out, "Stop the world!" He tells the audience, "If it runs in the family, there's nothing you can do about it." Littlechap returns home and gives the bride away.
Once in a Lifetime
Click here for 30 seconds of ONCE IN A LIFETIME from the original cast album.
Littlechap is Managing Director now, Secretary of the Foreign Trade Association and Committee Member of Snobb's, an exclusive club. His father-in-law suggests Littlechap run for public office, considering what he knows about "world affairs". Using the same tactics that worked in Sludgepool, Littlechap runs on the issue of knocking 2% off income tax - 98% being quite enough. He sings:
Just once in a lifetime, A man knows a moment-- One wonderful moment When fate takes his hand. And this is my moment-- My once in a lifetime-- When I can explore A new and exciting land. For once in my lifetime I feel like a giant! I soar like an eagle, As though I had wings! For this is my moment-- My destiny calls me-- And though it may be Just once in my lifetime, I'm gonna do great things!
Click here for 30 seconds of MUMBO JUMBO from the original cast album.
Littlechap begins to campaign, as the Chorus sings:
Vote for Littlechap! Vote for Littlechap! Vote for Littlechap! Vote for Littlechap! For Littlechap!
Girl: Fellow citizens, our speaker for tonight is the Opportunist candidate for this constituency, Mr. Littlechap.
Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Tickety bubarb yak yak yak Mumbo jum red white and bluebarb, Poor Britannia's on her back. Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Nothing newbarb cha cha cha. Mumbo Jumbo Castro's Cubarb. I think someone's gone too far! Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Voulez-vousbarb avec moi? Mumbo Jumbo entrez-nousbarb Bridget Bardot ooh la la!
Girl: Ladies of the Book of the Month Guild, it is my pleasure to introduce the Opportunist candidate for this constituency, Mr. Littlechap!
Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Has Red China got the bomb? Velly soon now if it's truebarb We'll be blown to kingdom come.
Chorus: You've got a bomb, We've got a bomb, All God's children got bombs.
Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Give the Democrats more cash. Helps the nation, stops inflation. How's your father? Wall Street crash.
Chorus: We wanna be rich with money to burn.
Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Prostitubarb off the streets. We will fight them on the beaches But we'll lose between the sheets.
Girl: Fellow members of the Motor Scooter Association, I'd like you to meet the Opportunist candidate, Mr. Littlechap.
Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Common Market can't go wrong. Washday Mondays? Send your undies Chinese laundry in Hong Kong. Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Give the Africans their rights. Colored people are free toobarb Though not quite as free as whites! Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Up your flubarb, Liberty Hall. And, dear friends, if I'm elected, I'm all right, Jack--screw you all!
Littlechap wins the election by a landslide. He advances through various Parliamentary committees until he has a heart attack. Evie leads him offstage. He returns to shout, "Stop the world!" He vows to slow down after his recent brush with mortality.
Welcome to Sunvale
Evie and Littlechap move to a retirement community, as the Chorus sings:
Welcome to Sunvale, The Paradise of Kent, Where rich and famous Englishmen Retire when nearly spent. Come back to nature, An hour from Waterloo. As long as you can foot the bill Sunvale welcomes you.
Someone Nice Like You
A bit belatedly, Littlechap realizes what a treasure Evie is. Click here for 30 seconds of SOMEONE NICE LIKE YOU from the original Broadway cast album.
Littlechap: Thirty-five years, Evie! I don't know how you've put up with me that long.
Evie: I'm just a glutton for punishment.
Littlechap: I think you must be, my dear.
And if we could live twice, I'd make life paradise For someone really nice like you. Why did someone nice like you, Evie, Have to love someone like me? When I think of all the men You could have loved, The men you should have loved, Who would have loved you. You're worth so much more than me, Evie, Believe you me, Evie, You know it's true. And if we could live twice, I'd make life paradise For someone really nice like you.
You ask why should someone nice like me Have to fall in love with you; And you mention all the men I could have loved, The men I should have loved, Who would have loved me. Maybe Mister Freud could tell you why I'll love you till I die The way I do. But who wants Freud's advice? I'm sure it works with mice - But not with someone nice like you.
And if we could live twice I'd make life paradise For someone really nice...
Littlechap: Like you!
They do the hand mime one last time; then Evie puts her hand to her forehead and exits. Littlechap doesn't notice.
What Kind of Fool Am I?
Click here for 30 seconds of WHAT KIND OF FOOL AM I? from the Broadway original cast album. Click here for a video of Newley singing this in a tux on the ED SULLIVAN SHOW.
Littlechap is not only knighted, but also wins the Ignobel Prize for outstanding achievement in the field of Parliamentary Doubletalk. He calls for Evie to share his triumph, but she's passed on. Once again, Littlechap calls out: "Stop the world!"
Jane, Littlechap's youngest daughter shows up to ask why he didn't attend her wedding. He replies he didn't know she was pregnant, but she is the first in the family not to have to get married. Littlechap tells her he's writing his memoirs; he recalls Anya, Ilse, Ginnie. He realizes he was never in love with anyone except himself. He sings:
What kind of fool am I Who never fell in love? It seems that I'm the only one That I have been thinking of. What kind of man is this? An empty shell-- A lonely cell in which An empty heart must dwell. What kind of clown am I? What do I know of life? Why can't I cast away This mask of play And live my life? Why can't I fall in love Like any other man? And maybe then I'll know What kind of fool I am. What kind of lips are these That lied with ev'ry kiss, That whispered empty words of love That left me alone like this? What kind of eyes are these That could not see What could be seen By ev'rybody else but me? What kind of clown am I? What do I know of life? Why can't I cast away This mask of play And live my life? Why can't I fall in love Till I don't give a damn? And maybe then I'll know What kind of fool I am.
A Boy appears in the center of the stage, Jane's son about to be born. Death appears and threatens him. Littlechap intervenes, protecting the Boy. Death beckons and Littlechap exits with him, looking proudly back at his grandson.
The Boy survives. From offstage, Littlechap calls: "Stop the world!" He runs onstage and starts the whole show over again, once more miming being born.
All lyrics posted copyright 1961 Anthony Newley and Leslie
TRO Essex Music Ltd.
For rights to put on this show, contact Tams Witmark