When posting the video the other day of Anthony Newley starring as Ebenezer Scrooge in the stage version of Leslie Bricusse's movie musical, Scrooge, I mentioned that there was an interesting revival of the show in England in 2004. What I left out is what made the revival so particularly interesting -- it starred in the title role...Tommy Steele. And yes, we have video of that.
He's in wonderful voice and (as one might imagine) energetically lively. Impressive, nonetheless, given that his stage debut was 40 years earlier, in Half a Sixpence in 1963 (which my parents saw and brought the cast album back). In fact, he's still playing the role, reviving the stage musical during every Christmas season -- and indeed toured the country with it again and played West End as recently as last Christmas 2012, at the age of 75. No doubt a spry and lively 75.
This comes from a 2004 TV benefit, Children in Need. It's the same song which we had the other day, "Thank You Very Much," that (in fairness) Scrooge doesn't sing in the show, at least in this particular scene. But he does sing it in the finale -- and actually gets to sing a few lines in this initial version -- so I guess this performance counts. (Usually, in this scene, he just just wanders around, interacting with the people who can't hear him because he's with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. He thinks they're thanking him for being such a swell guy, when in fact they're thanking him for having died which voids their debts.)
The video also includes some chat with the telethon's hosts. And so, here's the whole thing -- teeth and smile and all.
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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