Stop the World I Want to Get Off! Soundtrack
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'Stop The World I Want To Get Off!' Is one of the Master Works Editions series of classic, land mark musicals. By Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly, it hit the stage just weeks after Beyond The Fringe (Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller) with a similar revue style structure that was to have a lasting impact on the development of the British musical in the 60's.
With a circus setting, we watch the shows 'Everyman' character Littlechap journey through his seven ages and more, his story told through song, mime and drama, from birth to death, seeking happiness and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.
At the time Anthony Newly was a star of film (Fagin in the original Oliver!) stage and even the pop charts (Idol On Parade) and the show proved to be his tour de force. For this TER recording the rising star of the British stage, Mike Holloway, was brought together with West End stars Louise Gold, Katrina Murphy and Leigh-Ann Regan to recreate this magical piece with an emphasis on it's theatrical origins.
'Stop The World I Want To Get Off!' remains both a seminal show in music theatre history and ever popular amongst music theatre lovers of all generations.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm puzzled by the hostility that the performances of Holoway and Gold have provoked from most of the other reviewers. And I would think that some of the Newley lovers would be pleased that that the people at JAY think highly enough of this score to have produced a complete recording of it, even if they didn't love the result. Instead, they seem affronted by the idea that anyone would dare produce a recording with someone other than Newley as Littlechap.
Holoway has a more pleasing voice than Newley, and his acting of the songs satisfied me completely. Obviously, Newley had an authority in these songs that no one else will ever have. But Holoway is excellent.
And I think that Gold is often as funny as Quayle. There are definitely places where Quayle is absolutely matchless, brilliant and beyond comparison. But Gold is very good.
This recording is well-conducted, the orchestra plays terrifically, the orchestrations sound fabulous, and the supporting cast is fine. And it contains the entire score.
I've heard almost all of the releases in the JAY Masterworks series, and I think this is one of the best. Some of the other reviewers seemed to have been upset that neither of the recordings featuring Newley and Quayle were available while this one was. Well, it seems strange to blame this recording for that. The people at JAY weren't keeping the other ones from being released.
In any case, the Broadway recording with Newley and Quayle is again available. I'm glad to have both.
The score is stunning. Of course What Kind of Fool Am I? has become a standard, but the show also introduced Just Once in a Lifetime and Gonna Build a Mountain, all recorded throughtout the sixties by numerous artisits. My favorite in the show is Someone Nice Like You, poignantly performed near the end of the show. capping the turbulent marriage of the two lead characters, it is sad and sweet, and perfectly leads into the haunting What Kind of Fool Am I?
The staging, as a circus metaphor, the characters all in clown costumes, was brilliant and revolutionary for the time. Used many times since, most recently in the vapid Pippin revival.
As in all of the NSO recording, the score is very complete, technically superior to the original. While I miss the personal touch of Newley in the recording, Mike Holoway and Louise Gold capture all the energy,wit, and emotion beautifully. Gold shines playing multiple ethnicities, using various accents, and she is delightful, understandable why she is a mainstay at Jim Hensons Muppet Studios. Holoway captures all the ambition, humor, and ultimately sadness, of Littlechap wonderfully. A definite must have for any theater collection.