Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley


Stop the World – I Want to Get Off

Book, music, and lyrics by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse
Directed by Ron Johnson
Musical direction by Doug Jones
Choreography by Kathy Todd-Chaney.

Review by Annette Skaggs.

Entire contents are copyright © 2014 Annette Skaggs. All rights reserved

Clarksville Little Theater’s latest offering, Stop the World – I Want to Get Off, is the tale of Littlechap (Andrew McGill), from birth to death. Throughout Littlechap’s life we see his start as a tea boy at a factory who then falls for the boss’s daughter Evie (Charlotte Campbell). His union with Evie does propel him to business success and eventually even a political life, but despite those successes Littlechap was always looking for something that he already had.

A circus setting is the backdrop of the production with Littlechap in white-face clown make-up, yellow suspenders and white gloves, while the rest of the chorus are dressed in various other costumes that one may see at the circus: colorful tutus, a showgirl, lion tamer, tattooed lady. A tip of the hat to the colorful and whimsical costumes.

As Littlechap makes his way through the world he is hit with obstacles, just like us, and when that happens he shouts, “Stop the World” and addresses the audience with a quick aside to his current problem or woe. Often times the problems he encounters are all self-made.

Through his success Littlechap is often away from home where he encounters various ladies such as the Russian Anya, well played by Carrie Chastain. Littlechap and Anya’s duet of “Meilinki Meilchick” is sung very sweetly, provoking just the right tug at the heart. Ginnie (Afton Shepard), a New York cabaret singer, is played appropriately as the naïve but big hearted blonde who falls for Littlechap. The domestic help that the Littlechap family hired, Ilse (Laura Von Fossen) is wonderful to listen to and delightful.

As Littlechap has entered the political arena, with the fun “Mumbo Jumbo” his health starts to fade quickly and he and Evie settle to a retirement community. It is in those moments of quiet that he finally sees what he had all along, the love of his daughters Susan and Jane, but especially of his wife. The duet “Someone Nice Like You” offers a glimpse of a love that lasted 35 years.

As Littlechap sits and writes his memoirs he recounts his life in the beautiful ballad “What Kind of Fool Am I?” while around him his daughters marry, bear children and Evie has passed. When seeing his grandson struggling to survive Littlechap offers himself so that the boy may live and the cycle of life is pantomimed once again.

Despite a few pitch problems and note searches I thought that the show was entertaining and fun with even a bit provocative for good measure. Kathy Todd Chaney’s choreography was just the right amount of movement for the small stage and, as a performer, she did well juggling the various dialects as the Announcer.

What I would like to see is the pantomime a little tighter in its execution. There was a motion that was supposed to make a woman fall in love with Littlechap, but from where I was sitting, it didn’t make any sense. But, by the same token, maybe that was the point.

All in all, a fun show.

Bravo Tutti.

Stop the World – I Want to Get Off

May 9 – 18, 2014

Clarksville Little Theatre
301 East Montgomery Avenue
Clarksville, IN 47129
(812) 283-6522