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Cover to FS RecordingBUGSY MALONE

Words and Music by Paul Williams

Libretto by Alan Parker; Based on the film of the same name.

Her Majesty's Theatre - 26 May, 1983 (300 perfs)

Synopsis

(1929, Gangster warfare in New York) Dandy Dan's hoodlums terrorise the district, exterminating undesirables with their new weapon splurge guns. His rival is Fat Sam Stacetto, who runs the Grand Slam Speakeasy, but Fat Sam's gang still use old fashioned pies. Fat Sam engages the help of Bugsy Malone, a smooth city slicker who hitherto has been more occupied in sweet talking Blousey Brown, a would be girl singer. With Bugsy's help, Fat Sam escapes from a frame up but he learns later that Dandy Dan's mob have splurged nearly all his gang. They've also destroyed his sarsparilla and grocery rackets the whole empire's gone! There's only one hope left. Fat Sam pays Bugsy 400 dollars in exchange for more help. Bugsy, who has promised to take Blousey to Hollywood, has to break his date with her. Is she mad! Meanwhile Bugsy and Leroy Smith, a guy with an awesome punch, witness a secret delivery of splurge guns at Dock 17. With a bunch of down and outs, they help themselves from the crates. Then the police arrive, led by Captain Smolsky and Lieutenant O'Dreary. Bugsy and the gang escape through a trapdoor. Finally Dandy Dan prepares for a showdown at Fat Sam's speakeasy. When his mob burst in, Bugsy and the guys let 'em have it the works. Splurge, custard pies, flour bombs... Out of the gooey pandemonium it emerges that Bugsy and Blousey have made it up. Peace has broken out at last.

Story

A slapstick musical comedy, Bugsy Malone follows the rivalry between two half-witted street gangs and the washed up, well-intentioned, one-time boxer who steps in to take control of Fat Sam's gang and give Dandy Dan and his boys what they've got coming. In this film noir spoof, the message is one of good, clean fun; the characters are wonderful cartoon cutouts; and the weapons of choice are "splurge" whip cream guns, flour bombs, and custard pies.

As the musical opens, Bugsy Malone, a one-time boxer who's neither completely honest nor crooked, ushers us through his neighborhood where three murders have just occurred ("Bugsy Malone"). Bugsy winds up at the local speakeasy, owned by gangster boss Fat Sam ("Fat Sam's Grand Slam"). Turns out, one of those murders was that of Roxy "the Weasel" Robinson – one of Fat Sam's best men. Enraged, Fat Sam, vows revenge on Dandy Dan whose henchman carried out the hit. Meanwhile, Bugsy's been chatting up Blousy Brown, the new girl in town who's come to audition for Fat Sam's club; but Fat Sam's given her the brush off (as he does to everyone) and tells her to come back tomorrow. Bugsy takes Blousey for dinner and she tells him she's going to audition for the Lena Marelli show as well. Just as the mood turns romantic, however, Dandy Dan's men raid the club. Dan's determined to become the fashionable kingpin of the neighborhood, bringing all the other gangs under his control ("That's Why The Call Him Dandy") using his newly fashioned weapon of choice – the splurge "mark two" gun.

Meanwhile, back at the Fat Sam's speakeasy they're closing up shop. Fat Sam and his girl, Tallulah (who's also the entertainment at his club), are preparing to go out on the town. Fizzy, the janitor, sings about his ever-elusive chance to audition for Fat Sam ("Tomorrow").

In the next scene we're at the auditions for the Lena Marelli show. Lena (as she does every week) has quit, and Oscar de Velt is casting a replacement. Just as Blousey takes the stage to sing, however, Lena returns (as she does every week) and takes the stage ("Show Business"). Bugsy tries to cheer a dejected Blousey up and promises to talk to Fat Sam about an audition.

Cut to Fat Sam's speakeasy, where Fat Sam and his gang are getting nervous about Dandy Dan's new initiative ("Bad Guys"). Fat Sam fears his gang is behind the times. They need to upgrade their weapons; so he contacts Shady, a Chinese laundry man, who locates a stash of "splurge guns;" but, Shady's a two-timer, paid off by Dandy Dan to lure Fat Sam's gang into a trap. Upon retrieving the guns, however, Fat Sam's gang is wiped out. Fat Sam and Knuckles (his right hand man) are panicking now, but determined to "act normal" as they try to figure out what to do. Just then, Blousey arrives to audition. Instead of turning her away, however, they ask her to wait – they'll be right with her. They decide to enlist the help of the murdering lunatic Looney Bergonzi and arrange a meeting with Dandy Dan.

At the club, Tallulah is putting the moves on Bugsy as Fat Sam and Knuckles arrive to audition Blousey, who walks in just as Tallulah plants a big smooch right on Bugsy ("I'm Feeling Fine"). Blousey books the gig and Fat Sam offers Bugsy $200 to drive him to his meeting with Dandy Dan. Back at the girls' dressing room, Bugsy tries to reconcile with a very angry Blousey, but Blousey is unconvinced.

In the next scene, Fat Sam and Dandy Dan confront each Gangster with splurge gunother. But just as Fat Sam reveals his secret weapon, Looney Bergonzi, Dan's gang emerges from the trees and "splurge" him. Bugsy grabs Fat Sam and they escape. Grateful, Fat Sam gives him an extra $100 for being quick on his feet and tells him to get a new suit ("Bugsy Malone" reprise).

As the second act opens, we're in the girls' dressing room at Fat Sam's and Tallulah is rehearsing her number ("My Name Is Tallulah"). Having earned his money and the loan of Fat Sam's snazzy car, Bugsy calls on Blousey to take her out on a date. He tells her he wants to use the cash to buy them two tickets to Hollywood. Elated, she agrees to go. ("I'm Feeling Fine" reprise).

Meanwhile, Fat Sam has fashioned his own "splurge gun," but the gun misfires and he kills his main man Knuckles. In an additional bit of bad luck, Bugsy is jumped by some thugs who steal his hard won $200. Leroy, a stranger who happens to be walking by, beats off the thugs. Bugsy's impressed by his punching skill; and although he's $200 poorer, he's found a his first boxing client and proclaims himself Leroy's manager. Bugsy takes Leroy to meet Cagey Joe who determines that Leroy has what it takes to be a champion ("So You Wanna Be A Boxer").

Poor Fat Sam's luck has turned from bad to worse when he gets a phone call that Dandy Dan has destroyed his hooch stills and taken over his grocery racket. He sends Tallulah to ask Bugsy for help. She finds him waiting for Blousey to catch a train to Hollywood. But when she says he'll be handsomely rewarded for his help, Bugsy decides to delay the trip. Fat Sam offers him $400 to help him save what's left of his empire and Bugsy agrees. Just then, Blousey calls. She's been waiting for him for an hour to catch a train to Hollywood. He tells her Hollywood's going to have to wait – he has business to attend to. Blousey is heartbroken ("Ordinary Fool"). Dejected, she returns to Fat Sam's to get her job back as Bugsy enlists the help of Leroy, the wanna be prize fighter, to take care of Dandy Dan once and for all. They arrive at the center of Dan's gun running operation "Splurge Imports" only to find they are severely outnumbered. Just then they come across a group of "down and outs" waiting in a soup line. Together, Bugsy and Leroy convince them to be their ad-hoc army ("Down and Out"). They distract the guards, and storm the warehouse only to be surrounded by the police. Fortunately, they find a secret escape and leave the police holding their hats. They arrive back to Fat Sam's just in time for the show down with Dandy Dan's gang. Bugsy presents Blousey with her their two tickets to Hollywood and everyone tries to "act normal" as they wait for the rumble ("Fat Sam's Grand Slam" reprise). Immediately, however, Dan and his henchman arrive and the stage explodes into a pitched battle of splurge whip cream guns, custard pies to save Sam's club ("You Give A Little Love").

PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS

(Plus Chorus)

Bugsy Malone (who also acts as occasional narrator)
Blousey Brown (his girl and would be Hollywood singer)
Fat Sam (gangland boss and speakeasy owner)
Dandy Dan (Fat Sam's rival)
Knuckles (Fat Sam's right hand man)
Fizzy (general factotum and singer)
Tallulah (speakeasy girl singer and Blousey's rival)
Leroy Smith (heavyweight boxing hopeful)

Musical Numbers

  • Overture
  • Orchestra
  • Bugsy Malone
  • Tallulah, Girls
  • Fat Sam's Grand Slam
  • Chorus
  • That's Why They Call Him Dandy
  • Dandy Dan, Louella, Company
  • Tomorrow
  • Fizzy, Waitresses
  • Show Business
  • Lena, Dancers
  • Bad Guys' Song
  • Fat Sam's Gang
  • I'm Feeling Fine
  • Blousey Brown and Bugsy
  • My Name is Talulah
  • Talulah, Girls
  • So You Wanna Be A Boxer?
  • Cagey Joe, Leroy, Boxers
  • Ordinary Fool
  • Blousey Brown
  • Down And Out
  • Bugsy, Leroy, Company
  • You Give A Little Love
  • Company

    Instrumentation

    (Total number of books = 10)

    1 Clarinet I or Flute
    1 Clarinet II or Alto Sax
    1 Bassoon
    1 Trumpet
    1 Trombone

    1. The clarinet I part is for one player doubling Flute. If no such player is available, the Flute part can be played on Clarinet. The band part is written with either alternative in mind, and a separate Flute can be obtained if so desired.

    1 Guitar
    1 Bass Guitar
    1 Drums
    1 Piano
    1 Full Score

    2.The clarinet II part is for one player doubling Alto Sax. If no such player is available, the Alto Sax part can be played on Clarinet. The band part is written with either alternative in mind, and a separate Alto part can be obtained if so desired.

    Discography:

    Original Film Soundtrack Recording - Polydor 831540-2