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Superman on Broadway

On March 29, 1966 Superman made it to broadway in the musical comedy It's a Bird It's a Plane It's Superman at the Alvin Theatre.

Bob Holiday

Main Cast

Superman/Clark Kent: Bob Holiday
Max Mencken: Jack Cassidy
Lois Lane: Patricia Marand
Perry White: Eric Mason
Sydney: Linda Lavin
Dr. Abner Sedgwick: Michael O'Sullivan
Jim Morgan: Don Chastain
Father Ling: Jerry Fujikawa
Dong Ling: Bill Starr
Tai Ling: Murphy James
Fan Po Ling: Julieste Salve
Ming Foo Ling: Michael Gentry
Joe Ling: Joseph Gentry

Credits

Composer: Charles Strouse
Lyricist: Lee Adams
Book: David Newman and Robert Benton
Director: Harold Prince
Musical Direction: Harold Hastings
Orchestration: Eddie Sauter
Dance Arrangements: Betty Walberg
Scenery & Lighting: Robert Randolph
Costumes: Florence Klotz
Dances & Musical Numbers Staging: Ernest Flatt

Original Soundtrack Listings

Previously available on vinyl LP, Sony Classical released an audio CD soundtrack that includes an informative booklet with photos from the play, and four bonus tracks. Sadly, the CD format did not allow reproducing the LP's clever back cover which was designed to appear like a newspaper's front page.

Although campy and somewhat dated, many of the songs are catchy. Despite some favorable reviews, the musical didn't catch on and closed on July 17, 1966.



ACT 1

Overture
Orchestra, Superman, Lois

Doing Good
Superman
Superman laments the responsibilities of being a superhero, and life as Clark Kent.

We Need Him
Company, Lois, Max, Superman
The public express why they need Superman. Daily Planet reviewer Max briefly voices an opposing view.

It's Superman
Lois
Lois Lane expresses her love for Superman, despite Max's opinion.

We Don't Matter at All
Jim, Lois
Lab assistant Jim Morgan unsuccessfully woos Lois.

Revenge
Dr. Sedgwick
Dr. Sedgwick, professor at the Metropolis Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) after repeatedly losing Nobel Prizes plots his revenge, including the downfall of Superman.

The Woman for the Man
Max, Lois
Max unsucessfully courts Lois with song and dance.

You've Got Possibilities
Sydney
Sydney (Max's secretary) flirts with Clark Kent. A standout song.

What I've Always Wanted
Lois
Despite being courted by several men, Lois just wants Superman and a normal life.

It's Super Nice
Company
After Superman has being psychoanalysed by Dr. Sedgwick, Superman attends the public dedication of the M.I.T. Physics Hall where the public admires the Man of Steel. At the ceremony, the speakers' platform collapses requiring Superman to assist. While Superman is distracted saving people, Dr. Sedgwick blows up Metropolis' City Hall.

Entr'acte
Orchestra



ACT 2

Bob Holiday as Superman So Long Big Guy
Max
Max writes a column gloating over Superman's ruined reputation.

The Strongest Man in the World
Superman
With fickle public opinion now against him, Superman mourns his situation in isolation.

Ooh, Do You Love You?
Sydney
Sydney comments upon Max's tremendous ego.

You've Got What I Need
Dr. Sedgwick, Max
With their common feelings, Dr. Sedgwick and Max team up and express their mutual admiration.

It's Superman (reprise)
Lois, Superman, Sydney, Max, The Flying Lings, Jim,
Company

Lois still thinks of Superman despite Jim's efforts. Dr. Sedwick and Max anticipate success. An acrobatic group, The Flying Lings, dislike Superman, blaming him for their unemployment. And the public wonders what happened to Superman.

I'm Not Finished Yet
Lois
Dr. Sedgwick and Max have The Flying Lings kidnap Lois and take her to an abandoned power station where a trap awaits Superman. Lois knows Superman will save her somehow.

Pow! Bam! Zonk!
Superman, The Flying Lings
Superman rescues Lois, defeats the evildoers, and regains his confidence.

Finale
Company

Bonus Tracks on CD:
Four songs not used in the final version are included on the Sony CD.

Dot Dot Dot
Charles Strouse, Lee Adams
A sharp and cynical parody of gossip journalism supposed to define Max's character (or lack of). Rather out of line with the tone of the other songs.

A Woman Alone
Charles Strouse
This time a song supposed to define Lois. A melancholy song showing how Lois' life is unlike what she wants in What I Always Wanted. Another good song, but again out of sync with the rest of the songs. You've Got Possibilities
Charles Strouse
An even faster tempo and alternate lyrics.

Did You See That?
Charles Strouse, Lee Adams
Demonstrating the public reaction when Superman saves people at M.I.T. at the end of Act 1.



The 1966 musical was adapted in 1975 for an ABC TV Network special. David Wilson played Clark Kent/Superman. Also in the cast were Leslie Ann Warren (Lois Lane) and Loretta Swit (Sidney Carleton). Loretta Swit performed the show's hit tune"You've Got Possibilities".

The show also featured in the cast: David Wayne as "Dr. Abner Sedwick", Kenneth Mars as "Max Menkins", Al Molinaro and Harvey Lembeck as members of "The Mafio" (There were no "Flying Lings" in this TV production of "It's Superman!"), George Chandler as Jonathan Kent and Garry Ownes as the show's announcer and narrator. The show was an installment of "ABC TV's Wide World of Entertaiment" TV specials.

The ABC TV Network adaptation of "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman!" aired on Friday Night February 1, 1975.