STOP THE WORLD – RICH PASCHALL

I Want To Get Off, Rich Paschall

Stop The World – I Want To Get Off

Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley scored big with their 1961 musical Stop the World – I Want to Get Off . They opened “out of town” in Manchester but quickly moved to London’s West End where the show was a hit. Newley directed and starred in the show. In October of 1962 the production moved to Broadway for a long run. Again Newley starred as Littlechap, with the play moving through the years of the main character’s life. When things were not going his way, Littlechap would shout “Stop the world.” He was a selfish being, who sought success for himself and cared little for others. Does Littlechap ever learn learn his lessons of life and love as you follow him from birth on to the end? (Spoiler alert: If you watch the Davis video to the end you will see the conclusion of the play.)

Anna Quayle starred as the women in Littlechap’s life and won a Tony award for her work. Newley was nominated but lost out to Zero Mostel in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Bricusse and Newley picked up three other Tony Award nominations.

There was a film adaptation in 1966. A short Broadway revival starring Sammy Davis, Jr. ran in 1978. The revival begat a television special starring Davis and Marian Mercer. In 1996 there was a television movie starring Peter Scolari. The Newley and Davis productions, as well as the 1966 movie version have cast albums available on Amazon.

What kind of fool am I
Who never fell in love
It seems that I’m the only one
That I have been thinking of

“What Kind of Fool Am I?” closes the second act of the play as Littlechap reflects back on his life. The Newley recording of the song received a Grammy for Song of the Year at the 5th Annual Grammy Awards for the song writers, Bricusse and Newley. Sammy Davis also had a hit with his version of the song released in 1962. Davis’ love of the show and its songs brought him to star in it years later.

What kind of man is this
An empty shell
A lonely cell in which
An empty heart must dwell

So who sang it better? The composer and stage performer Anthony Newley or the dynamic consumate performer Sammy Davis, Jr? You be the judge. Feel free to file your review below.

What kind of lips are these
That lied with every kiss
That whispered empty words of love
That left me alone like this

What kind of lips are these
That lied with every kiss
That whispered empty words of love
That left me alone like this

You Tube will also treat you to night club performances of the song by both artists. Just for fun, we offer this little vintage piece starring our favorite frog on the Ed Sullivan Show. That’s right, I said frog. You may recognize the other performer in this piece as well.

Sources include various Wikipedia articles including:
Stop The World – I Want To Get Off,” Wikipedia, the Free Encycopedia. en.wikipedia.org.

Author: Rich Paschall

When the Windows Live Spaces were closed and our sites were sent to Word Press, I thought I might actually write a regular column. A couple years ago I finally decided to try out a weekly entry for a year and published something every Sunday as well as a few other dates. I reached that goal and continued on. I hope you find them interesting. They are my Sunday Night Blog. Thanks to the support of Marilyn Armstrong you may find me from time to time on her blog space, SERENDIPITY. Rich Paschall Education: DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University Employment: Air freight professional

11 thoughts on “STOP THE WORLD – RICH PASCHALL”

      1. Nifty piece, Rich.

        I saw Davis on Broadway. But hard to pick the best cover of “Stop The World”. I’ll give it to Sammy – but it’s close.

        Liked by 1 person

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