Monday, March 13, 2017


I just found out the Bob Holiday died earlier this year.  You've probably never heard of him, but to me, and quite a few Broadway fans, he was Superman.  He played the title role in the 1966 musical It's A Bird...It's A Plane...It's Superman!

He might be remembered better if the show hadn't flopped.  It had a lot of talent behind it--produced and directed by Harold Prince, it featured songs by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, a book by Robert Benton and David Newman, and starred, among others, Jack Cassidy and Linda Lavin.

Some say it failed because of timing.  Prince had been planning the show for years.  It was a fun, 1960s pop art version of Superman.  However, by the time it opened in March 1966, the Batman TV show had just debuted, stealing its thunder.

Anyway, we've still got the very lively cast album, with as good a score as Strouse and Adams ever turned out.  It shows how evenly distributed the songs are--all six main characters each get their moments to shine.  But today, let's listen to material that features Holiday.


Blogger New England Guy said...

I remembering seeing the show on TV in the 70s sometime. Late night after the news- I seem to recall David Wayne playing the evil scientist character singing about being snubbed by the scientific community ("My heavy hydrogen was heavier than his")

Also I remember having an old comic book which had come to me which had an ad touting the new Superman musical. (Unfortunately I have no knowledge of what became of the book). Always wondered why it wasn't a bigger deal

6:21 AM, March 14, 2017  
Blogger New England Guy said...

What a wonder the internet is.

My 42 year old memory is pretty damn good. The abbreviated show played to poor reviews on ABC in February 1975.

"Ah, but the thing that really
Drove me to a fury:
They gave the prize to Harold Urey.
The shocking thing about the matter is
My heavy hydrogen was heavier than his."

6:28 AM, March 14, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I remember seeing the ABC version as well. The original was sort of campy, but this was camp squared. If you're a fan of the Broadway version, it's a travesty.

As for the song "Revenge" that you're referring to, I suggest you go to YouTube and listen to the original (if you haven't already).

I told a chemistry professor about this song years ago--he requested a copy but it was well before YouTube so I couldn't find it.

8:22 AM, March 14, 2017  

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