Play the Songs
STOP THE WORLD – I WANT TO GET OFF is a thought-provoking tale about the fleeting nature of worldly success. In a circus-like world, the hero – an Everyman character named Littlechap – is born, grows up, faces life’s many challenges, and ultimately makes a choice celebrating the perpetual cycle of life.
The tuneful score by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse includes the hit songs “What Kind of Fool Am I?,” “Once In A Lifetime,” and “Gonna Build A Mountain.”
Music samples provided courtesy of Jay Records and TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc.
In a kaleidoscopic, circus-like world, tiny clownish Littlechap is born. He goes through school, finds work as a tea-boy, and struggles to make his way in life. One day, while traveling on the bus, he falls in love with Evie, his boss’s daughter. When they discover Evie is pregnant, Littlechap and Evie get married. Saddled with the responsibilities of a family, Littlechap manages to get a job in his father-in-law’s factory.
Littlechap moves up the business ladder, becoming the manager of his office, and he and his wife have another daughter. Still, Littlechap longs for a son. Despite his career success, he grows increasingly dissatisfied with his life, and he pursues several different women in his business travels—Russian official Anya, German domestic Ilse, and American cabaret singer Ginnie—in a futile quest for satisfaction.
Over time, Littlechap becomes rich and successful, and is elected to public office. But life still seems to have moved too quickly for him, and he remains unsatisfied. In his old age, Littlechap looks back on his life in a fleeting parade of memories, and he realizes that what he always had—the love of his wife— was more than enough to sustain him. Sadly, Evie dies before Littlechap can make amends.
Littlechap begins writing his memoirs, and finally comes to terms with his own selfishness. At the moment of his death, he watches his daughter Jane give birth to a son. When the boy nearly dies, Littlechap intervenes, and allows Death to take him instead. Littlechap mimes his own birth, and the life cycle begins once again.
STOP THE WORLD — I WANT TO GET OFF
Book, Music and Lyrics by
Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
Produced for the Broadway stage by
David Merrick in association with Bernard Delfont
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The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
STOP THE WORLD — I WANT TO GET OFF
is presented by arrangement with
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1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed II: Flute , Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed III: Clarinet , Bass Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone & Baritone Saxophone
1 Reed V: Bassoon
2 Trumpet I & II
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
2 Percussion I & II
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Cymbals (Suspended & Hi-Hat)
Tom Toms (3 Pitches)
Gong (Tam Tam)
Timpani (3 Drums)
Piano (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.)
2 Piano/Conductor Scores
20 Libretto/Vocal Books
Evie (Also Anya, Ilse and Ginnie)
Chorus of Seven Girls
STOP THE WORLD – I WANT TO GET OFF opened at the Queen’s Theatre, London, where it played for 485 performances. On Broadway, it played for 555 performances at the Shubert and Ambassador Theatres starring Anthony Newley and Anna Quayle.
The Tony Award for best featured actress in a musical (Anna Quayle).
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