Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off: Ambitious, Yet Dated

By • May 19th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Great Falls Player’s production of Stop the World, I Want to Get Off [MP3 5:10 1.5MB].

Laura: Tonight we saw the Great Falls Players‘ production of Stop the World, I Want to Get Off in McLean, Virginia.

Mike: Stop the World, I Want to Get Off is a musical written in 1960 by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse. Stop the World, I Want to Get Off is a different type of show. It has miming. It has a lot of singing. The main character is never off the stage for more than 5 seconds. There is an all female chorus. The female lead role is playing four different characters. It is about 2 1/2 hours long as performed by the Great Falls Players. So what’d you think of the show, Laura?

Laura: I liked it, I thought it was a good show. It wasn’t a lighthearted comedy. It gives you a lot to think about. How you are using your life and making everyday count and whether you’re making everyday count. The singing and dancing was really good.

Mike: it was set in the 60’s and I think it didn’t age real well. One scene that didn’t sit well with me was when Littlechap, the main character, was talking to his father-in-law who was also his boss. The boss has had to transfer Littlechap to New York for a stort time on a business trip. He sets him up as to where he can meet women. He tells Littlechap,”You’re not going to put that on the expense account, are ya? Wink, wink.” That just didn’t sit well. I just can’t picture that happening at all today. Actually the whole show showed that Littlechap did not have a high opinion of women. They were just kind of something there that he could experience. He felt that they were always trying to use him. For right or wrrong that’s how he felt.

Laura: Littlechap’s wife, Evie, was played by Nikki Arbiter-Murphy. She did well. She had a lot of different roles to play. And a lot of different costume changes. She sang over all well. There were times when her voice would drop out on the low notes. There were times when I couldn’t hear her especially at the end of Act I because the other singers were all singing different things. She had a lot of expression and she got ino her different roles and did a really good job.

Mike: The main character was Littlechap. He was played by Russell Maitland. He did a good job with the part. He had a lot of lines. He had a lot of dancing to keep straight. He had a lot of interaction with the chorus and with his wife and the other characters tht his wife was playing. However he felt like he was the wrong actor for the part. This is such a hard part to do. Maybe he should have been more weasel like, or maybe introspective. At the end of the show he was very introspective, looking back on his life and some of the mistakes he has made. I liked at the end when he was being introspective and re-examining his life. He realizes that Evie was the one he wanted all his life and she’s here, but he doesn’t really think badly of his other relationships he’s had with the other women. He includes them in his memoirs. They’re a part of who he is so that’s the way it is. He doesn’t even worry about how that’s going to effect Evie. It was like a half conversion at the end.

Laura: I thought the set was really well done. You had stairs going up to a sort of platform and then another set of stairs coming down the other side. It allowed for good use of the stage and blocking and entrances and exits.

Mike: Hanging off the stage above and to the right was the world. At certain points Littlechap would yell,”Stop the world!” and the world would stop rotating. He would then deliver a monologue out to the audience. Then he would finish and go back into character and the world would start spinning again. That was kind of neat. It was also spinning before the show so you could kind of feel,” Oh, stop the world.” The characters all wore clown makeup. They were all in mime, although they were all talking and singing. Their costumes matched that well. The women in the chorus all wore black and white checkered patterned tights and their shirts were multicolored with holes in the sleeves. They all had different colors, but they all matched really well together. Evie wore several different costumes depending on what country she was representing. Littlechap stayed in the same costume throughout. It worked really well for him.

Laura: Stop the World, I Want to Get Off is playing for the next two weekends at the Alden Theatre in McLean, Virginia.

Mike: Stop the World, I Want to Get Off is a very difficult show to put on because you have to have exactly the right characters. If you do have an interest in theater history you definitely need to go see this show. It is the first time it has been performed in the DC area in about 20 years. It’s playing at the Alden Theatre for the next two weekends.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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