Shows S

The age of storm clouds was also the era of Swing. Among Mooney's more popular songs was 1938's big hit I'M GONNA TAKE HIM HOME TO MOMMA. With the outbreak of World War II, Mooney returned to England and began his career of morale-boosting war songs: BUMPITY BUMP for Cecily Courtneidge, and VICTORY V for the Combined Allied Forces. Mooney had a good war and was immediately snapped up by Hollywood for the era of the great postwar musicals. APRIL IN WISCONSIN was his first Frank Sinatra song. But the later forties also saw the beginning of McCarthyism of which he and Bella were victims. Mooney was blacklisted and did not work for five years. In the more liberal climate of Broadway he made his comeback. In 1954 the curtain rose of HAPPY HICKORY. His one important contribution to the American Musical Theatre, HAPPY HICKORY was an international hit. With success Mooney became, if not big-headed, somewhat high-minded. For his next musical he chose a more significant subject - racial prejudice. Inspired by Emile Zola's J'Accuse, his hero was a black US Army Captain wrongly accused of selling secrets to the North Koreans. The anti-American number I ACCUSE outraged the first night audience and the show closed in Boston. Mooney suffered all the heartaches of a Broadway flop and got it out of his system with MESSAGES. In 1960 the Shapiro family moved to London. The times they were a-changin' and Mooney tried to change with them. On a trip down memory lane to his birthplace, Liverpool, he employed a group to record his newstyle song I FOUND LOVE. The ageing songwriter jumped on all the Swinging Sixties bandwagons, and fell off each. Badly bruised he found comfort in the arms of an 18 year old budding pop singer, Bonny Brown. That old song of Mooney's DON'T PLAY THAT LOVE SONG ANYMORE suddenly became poignant for his wife Bella. She left, and so did Bonny. Totally alone at 64, Mooney painted an unflattering self-portrait in GOLDEN OLDIE. But all was not lost. Typically he landed headfirst on his feet again, when Bonny Brown made it to the top of the charts with his golden oldie CLIMBIN'. That was the beginning of Mooney Shapiro, Cult Figure. Reconciled with Bella he went to live in Ireland. He devoted his last years to a lifelong obsession with finding the missing black notes between E & F and B & C. In 1977 he died - electrocuted by his synthesiser. His last song, found stuffed in a bottom drawer, was NOSTALGIA. Monty Norman and Julian More - August 1979. THE CAST: M3 F2 (who play some 100 parts between them) THE SCENE Composite set MUSICAL NUMBERS: It should be remembered that this is a Fictional Biography - and the show references too are fictional. ACT 1 Songbook (from BALTIMORE BALLYHOO film, 1948) East River Rhapsody (from revue FELDMAN FOLLIES OF 1926) Talking Picture Show (from EVERMORE film, 1928) Meg (Trunk Song, 1929) Mister Destiny (from hit recording, 1930) Your Time Is Different to Mine (from hit recording, 1932)