we fans of this musical have waited too long for the release of the original cast album on cd. we have worn out our vinyl lps while longing for this day. anthony newley's bitingly satirical lyrics capture the british workingman's attitude toward the upper classes -- sort of a cockney parallel to "how to succeed."
but it is much more than that. newley's littlechap is everyman, going through all of the stages, joys and woes of life and registering his wonderment at the profundity of it all in newley's memorable tunes and witty lyrics. you will marvel at his verbal gymnastics and chuckle at some of the topical references if you are of a certain age. and you will be humming and whistling more of these songs than you now know.
there are so many songs in this show that have become classics -- just once in a lifetime; gonna build a mountain; someone nice like you; but my personal favorite is "lumbered," as it captures the angst of a man thrust into unwilling fatherhood.
stop the world was part of the first british invasion -- before the beatles. there was "beyond the fringe," "look back in anger" and "oliver" on stage and "tom jones" in the cinema, all showing us that broadway and hollywood were not the only places where entertainment could originate and that the british could be funny and poignant, and lyrical, and more cerebral than we.
this show is all of that, and much more. and now, no doubt in response to the drumbeat from fans who have longed for the original cast album to be released on cd, it is here. at long last... so buy it. you will be enthralled by anthony newley as, with anna quayle as his foil and a greek chorus as his conscience, he puts on what is basically a one man show.
newley poured all of his energy and creativity into this show, and, with his inadequately mourned passing a couple of years ago, it is his legacy -- the mountain that he was able to build just once in his lifetime... and, it is an off-broadway classic, so buy it and add it to your showtunes collection. you will not be disappointed.