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 Scrooge), as well as collaborating on some other stage musicals.
But less known is that Newley and Bricusse actually wrote a third stage musical together, after the first two. In 1974, they did The Good Old Bad Old Days. It played in London, 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.
I don't know much about the show, the cast album lists the lyrics, but not the plot. As best I've been able to track down, it's a sort of friendly battle between God and the Devil (played by Newley), who go by the names of Gramps and Bubba. But the story, I believe, is that Gramps wants to destroy the world, and Bubba wants to keep it going.
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."
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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