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Swinging on a Star (The Johnny Burke Musical)

Swinging on a Star (The Johnny Burke Musical)
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Michael Leeds, based on the songs of Johnny Burke
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 76
Pub. Date: 1996
ISBN-10: 0822215233
ISBN-13: 9780822215233
Cast Size: 4 women, 3 men

About the Play:

Swinging on a Star (The Johnny Burke Musical) is a full-length musical revue by Michael Leeds, based on the songs of Academy Award-winning lyricist Johnny Burke. Hollywood songwriter Johnny Burke's songs illustrate different aspects of American life from a smoky 1920's Speakeasy to the Bowery of the 1930's, from a World War II USO performance to a 1950's Manhattan supper club, Swinging on a Star perfectly weaves various settings and scenes with some of most popular songs of a generation.

Swinging on a Star is a toe-tapping, finger-snapping celebration of the music of Johnny Burke, one of America's most prolific and successful songwriters of the early twentieth century. The fabulous songs of Johnny Burke are here perfectly woven into various settings and scenes as if they always belonged there. We move from a smoky 1920s Chicago Speakeasy, where we hear such songs as "Dr. Rhythm" and "What's New" to the Bowery for the classic "Pennies from Heaven" and others. The ever popular "Your Hit Parade" takes us into the 1930s, segueing into a World War II USO show for several songs including "Personality" and culminating with the Academy Award winning "Swinging on a Star." The journey continues to a glittering ballroom for the immortal "Imagination" and then takes us into the world of Paramount's Hope/Crosby/Lamour "Road Movies" and the songs they made famous. The evening ends in the Starlight Supperclub, high atop Manhattan, with a celebration of Burke's genius. Other favourite songs included are "Misty," "You're Not the Only Oyster in the Stew," "Ain't It a Shame About Mame," "Scatterbrain," "One, Two, Button Your Shoe," "An Apple for the Teacher," "There's Always the Blues," "Apalachicola," "But, Beautiful," "Like Someone in Love," "If Love Ain't There (It Ain't There)," "Sunday, Monday, or Always," and "Here's That Rainy Day."

Swinging on a Star had pre-Broadway engagements in 1994 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut, and premiered in 1995 at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical.

Cast: 4 women, 3 men

What people say:

"Johnny Burke wrote his songs with moonbeams! Songs poured out of him like life-renewing raindrops, glinting like pennies." — The New York Times

"A Winner! You'll have a ball! Grab the chance to Swing on this Star." — New York Post

"A dazzling, toe-tapping, finger-snapping delight." — ABC Radio Network

"It feels awfully good! A brazen infectious delight." — The New York Times

"We exit swinging too." — New York Newsday

About the Playwright:

Johnny Burke (1908-1964) was one of the most prolific and successful writers of popular song lyrics, writing and collaborating on over 550 songs, including those for 42 motion pictures and four Broadway musicals. He is the only songwriter to have had five of the top ten songs on the Hit Parade at the same time. He collaborated with composer Jimmy Van Heusen on the popular Road to...films, starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, as well as the movie, Going My Way, which featured the song, "Swinging on a Star," for which he won an Academy Award. He has written major hits for some of our greatest recording artists, including Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Lena Horne, Linda Ronstadt and Harry Connick, Jr., among others.

Michael Leeds began his career as a performer. He studied with renowned Acting Coach Larry Moss for ten years and appeared in six Broadway shows before turning to directing, choreography and writing. He wrote and directed the Broadway musical Swinging on a Star, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical.