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SONGBOOK (A tribute to Mooney Shapiro) Music by Monty Norman. Lyrics by Julian More: Book by Monty Norman and Julian More Globe Theatre, London - 25 July, 1979 (208 perfs) Morosco Theatre, New York - 2 May, 1981 (1 perf) A fictitious songwriter and fifty years of his music provide an ideal opportunity to mock today's popular musical anthologies. Here is the saga of an imaginary Liverpool Irish Catholic, Mooney, who is adopted by the Shapiros of New York City, turns songwriter and survives sixtynine years of whatever the twentieth century might throw at him, from the early follies tunes to punk rock! In an introduction the authors write: "the song writer should purposely recall the theatre anthologies of reallife songwriters Stephen Sondheim, Noel Coward, Cole Porter, Fats Waller, and others. The style, therefore, can be as economical as a concert performance; or as relatively elaborate as the London and New York productions ..." Story If Mooney Shapiro had existed, we wouldn't have had to invent him. SONGBOOK is our tribute to this amazing songwriter and human being. To us he is as real as Sondheim, Porter, Coward and Waller. His story ... Born Michael Mooney is Liverpool, England 1908, love child of an Irish tweeny, he was raised at St Cecilia's Orphanage where he played honky-tonk harmonium when the nuns were out of earshot. At sixteen, in trouble with the Mother Superior over a girl, he made a dash for the docks and stowed away on a boat to New York. Adopted by Lower East Side music teacher, Abraham Shapiro, he changed his name to Mooney Shapiro and began his song writing career with EAST RIVER RHAPSODY, which expressed the immigrant Mooney's affection for his new home town. 1927 found Mooney in Hollywood married to Swedish film star, Astrid Kalmar. It was the year of The Jazz Singer. The musical movie was born and Mooney was right there on the spot - TALKING PICTURE SHOW. Then, the Wall Street Crash. Astrid blamed Mooney for losing her fortune. She kicked him out. Back in New York, a drunken failure, his experience of the gutter led to MR DESTINY, one of the most popular songs of the Depression. Back on his feet again, Mooney tried for a reconciliation with Astrid by long distance telephone to Hollywood - YOUR TIME IS DIFFERENT TO [sic] MINE was the result. Mooney was divorced in 1933. The footloose tunesmith, armed with introductions to the Hemingway set, headed to Paris, France. He had been signed by Busby Berkeley to write the title song of a new movie. PRETTY FACE was one of the first Americans-in-Paris songs. This was soon followed by JE VOUS AIME MILADY, inspired by socialist socialite Lady Arabella Klintoch, who was to become the love of his life. Bella showed him another side of Paris, including a landmark that no longer exists - the market of LES HALLES. Bella and Mooney married and honeymooned in Berlin as guests of Bella's sister, Lady Charity Klintoch, a close friend of the Führer. It was 1936 and Mooney penned a stirring OLYMPIC SONG. But two events led to rapid disillusion with Nazi Germany; his left wing wife in trouble with the Gestapo; and Hitler's snubbing him on account of his Jewish surname, a fellow feeling he shared with the black athlete Jessie Owens, also a victim of Hitler's bad manners. Back in New York, Mooney rocked Manhattan café society with the outrageous PARTY POOPER which he sang at his welcome-home party.