Stop the World - I Want to Get Off
Stop the World – I Want to Get Off is a musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 with a book, music, and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Leslie Bricusse
Leslie Bricusse is an English composer, lyricist, and playwright.Although best known for his partnership with Anthony Newley, Bricusse has worked with many other composers. He was educated at University College School in London and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge...

 and Anthony Newley
Anthony Newley
Anthony George Newley was an English actor, singer and songwriter. He enjoyed success as a performer in such diverse fields as rock and roll and stage and screen acting.-Early life:...


Set against the backdrop of a circus
A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...

, it focuses on Littlechap, whose first major step towards improving his lot is to marry Evie, his boss's daughter. Saddled with the responsibilities of a family, he allows his growing dissatisfaction with his existence to lead him into the arms of various women—Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n Anya, German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Ilse, and American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Ginnie—as he searches for something better than he has, only to realize in the twilight of his life what he always had—the love of his wife— was more than enough to sustain him.

According to Oscar Levant
Oscar Levant
Oscar Levant was an American pianist, composer, author, comedian, and actor. He was more famous for his mordant character and witticisms, on the radio and in movies and television, than for his music.-Life and career:...

, the play's title was derived from a graffito
Graffiti is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property....


Production history

The West End
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

 production, directed by Newley, opened on July 20, 1961 at the Queen's Theatre
Queen's Theatre
The Queen's Theatre is a West End theatre located in Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster. It opened on 8 October 1907 as a twin to the neighbouring Gielgud Theatre which opened ten months earlier. Both theatres were designed by W.G.R...

, where it ran for 485 performances. Newley starred as Littlechap, with Anna Quayle
Anna Quayle
Anna Quayle is an English actress. Her father was the stage actor Douglas Quayle.She has appeared on film, on stage, and on television...

 playing the multiple roles of Evie and the other women in his life. Marti Webb
Marti Webb
Marti Webb is a musical actress from England, who appeared on stage in Evita, before starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber's one woman show Tell Me on a Sunday in 1980...

 was a member of the chorus. An original cast recording was released by Decca Records
Decca Records
Decca Records began as a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934; however, owing to World War II, the link with the British company was broken for several decades....

Producer David Merrick
David Merrick
David Merrick was a prolific Tony Award-winning American theatrical producer.-Life and career:Born David Lee Margulois to Jewish parents in St. Louis, Missouri, Merrick graduated from Washington University, then studied law at the Jesuit-run Saint Louis University School of Law...

, always impressed by a low-cost project requiring minimal sets, costumes, and a small cast, decided to stage the show in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Directed by Newley, scenery and lighting design by Sean Kenny, musical supervision by Ian Fraser, musical direction by Milton Rosenstock
Milton Rosenstock
Milton Rosenstock was an American conductor, composer, and arranger. Trained at the Juilliard School, he was highly active as a musical director for Broadway musicals from 1942 through 1980; serving in that capacity for 29 productions, including the original productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ,...

, orchestrations by Ian Fraser, After one preview, the Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 production opened on October 3, 1962 at the Shubert Theatre
Shubert Theatre (Broadway)
The Shubert Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 225 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan, New York, United States.Designed by architect Henry Beaumont Herts, it was named after Sam S. Shubert, the second oldest of the three brothers of the theatrical producing family...

, eventually transferring to the Ambassador
Ambassador Theatre (New York)
The Ambassador Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 219 West 49th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp for the Shuberts, the structure is unusual in that it is situated diagonally on its site to fit the maximum number of...

 to complete its 555-performance run. Newley and Quayle reprised their London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 roles. Newley later was replaced by Kenneth Nelson
Kenneth Nelson
Kenneth Nelson was an American actor.Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Nelson appeared in several television series in the late 1940s, Captain Video and His Video Rangers and The Aldrich Family among them...

, then Joel Grey
Joel Grey
Joel Grey is an American stage and screen actor, singer, and dancer, best known for his role as the Master of Ceremonies in both the stage and film adaptation of the Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret. He has won the Academy Award, Tony Award and Golden Globe Award...

, and Joan Eastman assumed the roles of Evie et al. A Broadway cast recording was released by Polydor On the national company tour, the show starred Grey and Julie Newmar
Julie Newmar
Julie Newmar is an American actress, dancer and singer. Her most famous role is Catwoman in the Batman television series.-Early life:...


A Broadway revival directed by Mel Shapiro
Mel Shapiro
Mel Shapiro is an American theatre director and writer, college professor, and author.Trained at Carnegie-Mellon University, Shapiro began his professional directing career at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and then as resident director at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C....

 opened on August 3, 1978 at the New York State Theatre in Lincoln Center, where it ran for 30 performances. The cast included Sammy Davis, Jr.
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Samuel George "Sammy" Davis Jr. was an American entertainer and was also known for his impersonations of actors and other celebrities....

 and Marian Mercer
Marian Mercer
Marian Ethel Mercer was an American actress and singer.Born in Akron, Ohio, she graduated from the University of Michigan, then spent several seasons working in summer stock. She made her Broadway debut in the chorus of the short-lived musical, Greenwillow in 1960...

. A revival cast recording was released by Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label. It was the foundation label of the present-day Warner Music Group, and now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of that corporation. It maintains a close relationship with its former parent, Warner Bros. Pictures, although the two companies...

Film adaptation

A 1966 Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 release was little more than a filmed version of a staged production. Directed by Philip Saville
Philip Saville
Philip Saville is a British television direction and screenwriting from the late 1950s...

, it featured additional material by Alan
Alan Bergman
Alan Bergman is an American lyricist and songwriter.-Life & career:Born in Brooklyn, New York, he studied at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UCLA. His involvement in the entertainment industry began in the early 1950s as a director of children's television shows...

 and Marilyn Bergman
Marilyn Bergman
Marilyn Bergman is a composer, songwriter and author.She was born Marilyn Keith in Brooklyn, New York and studied psychology and English at New York University...

, David Donable, and Al Ham
Al Ham
Albert W. Ham was an American composer and jingle writer. He was notable as the composer of the Move Closer to Your World music package used since the 1970s on WPVI-TV's Action News broadcasts in Philadelphia, as well as many on many other newscasts in the United States throughout the 1970s and...

. The cast included Tony Tanner and Millicent Martin
Millicent Martin
Millicent Mary Lillian Martin is an English actress, singer and comedienne.Martin was born in Romford, England. She made her Broadway debut opposite Julie Andrews in The Boy Friend in 1954...

. Neither a critical nor commercial success, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Music Scoring.

Sammy Davis, Jr. and Marian Mercer reprised their Broadway revival roles for Sammy Stops the World, a 1978 television adaptation


Act I
  • The A.B.C. Song
  • I Want to Be Rich
  • Typically English
  • A Special Announcement
  • Lumbered
  • Welcome to Sludgepool
  • Gonna Build a Mountain
  • Glorious Russian
  • Meilinki, Meilchick
  • Family Fugue
  • Typische Deutsche
  • Nag! Nag! Nag!

Act II
  • All-American
  • Once in a Lifetime
  • Mumbo Jumbo
  • Welcome to Sunvale
  • Someone Nice Like You
  • What Kind of Fool Am I?
    What Kind of Fool Am I?
    "What Kind of Fool Am I?" is a popular song written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley and published in 1962. It was introduced by Anthony Newley in the musical Stop The World - I Want To Get Off...

Awards and nominations

  • Tony Award
    Tony Award
    The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

    for Best Musical (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Author of a Musical (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Newley, nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Quayle, winner)
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