Saturday, March 25, 2017

Super Duper

Last week I paid tribute to Bob Holiday, who played the title role on Broadway in "It's A Bird...It's A Plane...It's Superman".  Since then I've been listening to the original cast album quite a bit.  The show was not a hit, but apparently a lot of people have fond memories of it based on the testimonials I've seen on the internet.

Anyway, thought I'd post some more of the show's songs.  Last time I concentrated on material featuring Holiday, but the numbers are distributed pretty equally among the cast.

For instance, Patricia Marand as Lois Lane gets several solos. I think my favorite is "It's Superman," taking the show's anthem and turning it into a lament.

Then there's Jack Cassidy as Max Mencken.  Cassidy had already won a Tony when he did this show (and wife Shirley Jones had won an Oscar) and he is, nominally, the lead.  Max is a heel who gets to show off his oily style and impressive pipes in a few numbers.  Maybe his best is when he's trying to make some time with Lois (and failing).

Max Mencken hates Superman, but the top villain in the show is Dr. Abner Sedgwick, played by Michael O'Sullivan. Not as good a singer as the rest of the cast, but he explains himself pretty well in this number.

Finally, the most famous song from the show--really the only one that's had a life outside it.  It's sung by Linda Lavin, who plays Sydney, Max Mencken's girl Friday. The song works on its own, but is even more effective in context.  Her character, rebuffed by Max, looks at generally unnoticed Clark Kent and sees a fixer upper. She's essentially trying to undress him, which not only shocks his sense of propriety, but threatens worse--if she unbutton his shirt and finds that red S underneath, his cover is blown.


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