“Stop the World — I Want to Get Off” features some of the most memorable songs in musical theater, including “What Kind of Fool, Am I?”, “Once In a Lifetime” and “Mumbo Jumbo.” In an entertaining production at The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, the charming cast delivers the songs with gusto.
Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley wrote the show’s book, music and lyrics. The story is presented as if it takes place at a circus. On a minimalist set, the characters are dressed as clowns and mimes, perhaps to suggest the buffoonery of man’s attempt to glorify himself during his short, frenetic life on Earth and to cast irony on his egoism.
The play, directed by Newley — who also starred in it — opened July 20, 1961, at the Queen’s Theatre, in London, where it ran for 485 performances. The Broadway production opened Oct. 3, 1962, at the Shubert Theatre, eventually transferring to the Ambassador to complete its 555-performance run.
Bob Trisolini directs the smoothly surreal Golden Apple production. He has produced, directed and choreographed many shows on and off Broadway, including Drama Desk and Obie Award winners, as well as Tony-nominated productions.
The main character in “Stop the World” is named Littlechap, a reference to “everyman.” He makes his way up the ladder of success by first marrying his boss’ daughter, Evie. Littlechap is most convincingly played by Steve Dawson, who has appeared in many local shows over the years, including lead roles in “Sweeney Todd” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” Never satisfied, Littlechap wheedles and connives as he makes his hypocritical rise through the ranks of London society and business, eventually landing in both Parliament and the “Snobs Club.” Never really loving or appreciative of his family, he has several affairs along the way with women from the exotic locales.
Kyle Ennis Turoff plays Evie as well as Littlechap’s three lovers — Russian Anya, German Ilse and American Ginnie. Turoff is funny in each part, especially as the fraulein.
Mary Burns and Delores Elizabeth McKenzie play the daughters. They also perform in the chorus with Heather Kopp, Ellie Pattison, Kathryn Parks, Aiden Pearson and Vera Samuels.
Other contributors to the production are Musical Director Don Sturrock, set designer Trez Cole, lighting designer Ben Turoff and costume designer Ellie Pattison.
IF YOU GO
“Stop the World — I Want to Get Off” — Runs through Aug. 7, at The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, located at 25 N. Pineapple Ave. For ticket information, call 366-5454.