Customer Review

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential Newley and Bricusse Score, 20 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Stop The World I Want To Get Off (Audio CD)
This score is perhaps the finest musical output Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse have ever done. However, there is far more to "Stop The World - I Want To Get Off" than the score. Taking the concept of Commedia dell'Arte to new heights, Newley and Bricusse have crafted a delightfully funny concept that is by the same token extremely touching, as we initially like Littlechap, feel happiness for him as he finally gets ahead in life, and lastly sympathy and pity for him as he realizes the errors he has made with his life. Add to this the fact that every number in the score in eminently hummable, and capable of sticking in your brain for weeks upon end. The inimitable Anthony Newley sings every number that he's in to perfection, he has probably never sounded better. "Gonna Build a Mountain" complete with Newley's pronounciation of "Moun-tayne" and his rejouissance in "Once In A Lifetime" reaches high exultation and has all of the grandeur of the finest showstoppers ever written. Of course, no review would be complete without mention of "What Kind of Fool Am I?" which Newley sings with the same vigor, energy, and humour that he gives for all the other numbers. This treatment actually increases the melancholy nature of the show's final number. Anna Quayle also gives an excellent performance portraying all of the women who have played a significant part in Littlechap's life, getting to sing what is essentially the same song a few times, with hysterical lyrical alterations fitting the different nationalities that Quayle portrays. From being "Typically English" to "Glorious Russian" "Typische Deutsche" and finally the brilliant Lounge Singer-esque "All-American," Quayle spans the gamut and does so with grace and humour. However, beneath the near farcical elements of the script and the brilliant crisp renditions of the songs, there is the element in sadness as Littlechap's plight (sans the Love Affairs) could resemble anyone's life with their wife, as they go through thick and thin. Also, not to be missed is Newley and Quayle in the song "Lumbered," truly one of the tour de farces of musical theatre, as both characters complain about they're plights, Littlechap complaining that Evie is pregnant again, and Evie complaining that... well, that she's pregnant again. While their score to "The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd" has more nuance and complexity, it doesn't quite reach the sheer joy and hummable factor that "Stop the World" has, and of course, the show also features Anthony Newley at his peak creatively and vocally. Truly one of the finest performers of our time, this recording is a wonderful encapsulation of his talents as well as the extremely fine voice of Anna Quayle. Definitely consider adding this to your collection, if only to have the album of the show that inspired the line from "The Producers," "Stop the World... I Want To Get On!" Of course, you'll probably grow to love the score, as it only takes one listening to start humming the songs, truly one of the best crafted, most singable and exuberant modern musical theatre scores... If only they made more of them like this.
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