Stop the World - February 2001
All the world’s a circus in this
Stop the World, I Want to Get Off
North York Mirror, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2002
By Maria Tzavaras
Special to the Mirror
When the lights go up to reveal a circus setting in The Civic Light
Opera Company’s latest production, Stop the World, I Want to Get
Off, the last thing you’d expect to see is a musical comedy about a
power hungry, cheating husband.
But the circus setting, much like the play, is full of symbolism
about the absurdities of human nature and how our lives often
parallel the craziness of a three-ring circus. If nothing else, the
trapeze on the ceiling seemed to symbolize the main character’s
swinging from woman to woman.
Stop the World, I Want to Get Off by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse is a musical comedy that follows the entire life of Littlechap (Joe
Cascone) and all his escapades. We see from the time Littlechap was young, he had a healthy appetite for the ladies. One day at a disco, he
meets his match in Evie (Julie Lennick), who turns out to be his boss’ daughter, and after an accidental pregnancy, his wife.
As Littlechap becomes a father and gets a promotion from his crummy job, he also gets antsy with his predicament, resenting he has to stick
with one woman forever. As his life travels farther away from what he thought it would be, Littlechap faces his life the only way he can –
Throughout the play, eight chorus ladies decked out in different clown suits, wonderfully add to the atmosphere by assuming numerous roles
in each of Littlechap’s predicament. As Littlechap is continually promoted, he begins traveling on business trips, which becomes his outlet to
fulfill his one-woman man dilemma. In Russia, he pursues Anya, in Japan, Ara, in New York, Lorene. He even tries with his German nanny,
Ilse. All these characters were impressively played by Lennick, who sang and spoke in different accents appropriate to each country.
Cascone made a notable performance as Littlechap, and although he spends most of his time climbing the corporate ladder and cheating on his
wife, he somehow wins your approval with his candid sense of humour and honesty in how he feels.
Whether you enjoy Stop the World I Want to Get Off for its plot or not, you most likely will enjoy the music throughout, which includes well-
known tunes like, “Gonna Build a Mountain” and “What Kind of Fool am I?”
As there are laughs to be had throughout, the show is quick-paced with a constant change of scenery. That, coupled with going through a
man’s entire life in two hours, the show becomes confusing at times, and you may find yourself following the program that describes every
scene. Otherwise, Stop the World, I Want to Get Off is an entertaining evening.
Stop the World, I Want to Get Off runs until March 2 at the Fairview Library Theatre.