A Good Old, Bad Old Thanksgiving
Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse are known for their two stage musicals, Stop the World I Want to Get Off,and The Roar of the Greasepaint the Smell of the Crowd. Together, they also wrote the scores to several movies, most notably Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Bricusse alone wrote the scores to several movie musicals (including Doctor Doolittle, Goodbye Mr. Chips, and the aforementioned Scrooge, which I posted from this morning), as well as collaborating on some other stage musicals -- like the lyrics for the beloved Pickwick.
But less known is that Newley and Bricusse actually wrote a third stage musical together, after the first two, The Good Old Bad Old Days. It played in London in 1974, but never came to Broadway. As in their other shows, in addition to the score they also wrote the book, and Newley directed, as well as starred.
The score has a few very good things in it, most notably the terrific title song (which Jimmy Durante, of all people, recorded, and did a wonderful job with) and "It's a Musical World," that had a bit of a life thanks to Newly performing it outside the show. A few others are pretty nice, though it's not a particularly memorable score. I'll play some of them later on.
This song today (sung by Julia Sutton, it appears to be from the album, and chorus) isn't especially distinguished, but it's quite nice -- and most thoroughly appropriate. That's because it's title is..."Thanksgiving Day."
Which totally by chance -- between Scrooge, Pickwick and now The Good Old, Bad Old Days gives us three Leslie Bricusse references today, for the price of one.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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