Judy Harris
Broadway Chronicler
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Favorite Musical Memory?
The Overture
You've Got What I Need

It's a Bird It's a Plane It's Superman features one of my top 3 or 4 overtures and entr'actes. These musical interludes which precede the first and second acts, seem to have disappeared with the advent of the Andrew Lloyd Webber type "sung through" musical. Charles Strouse's music is exciting and melodious and Lee Adams' lyrics are extremely clever and amusing.

My favorite number from the show is YOU'VE GOT WHAT I NEED, which is done in a sort of old time music hall/vaudeville presentation. Before the advent of The Producers, there were not too many duets, even in Broadway shows, performed by two men. There is a nice contrast in this number between the smoothness and excellent singing voice of Jack Cassidy and the more comical and less graceful Michael O'Sullivan. The song eventually builds to their dancing, and it really was a riot to see O'Sullivan kicking his legs and going "whoo." It also still amuses me to hear a man say to another man (a scientist), "You're tops in my book, cookie."

I also admired the staging of the second act IT'S SUPERMAN number, done in the series of boxes to resemble the panels of a comic book; the way the lights would go on in one panel, and then go off and light up in another.

I can't stress enough how perfect Bob Holiday was as both Clark Kent and Superman. It fell to him to perform the first musical number, DOING GOOD, and he just so exactly embodied the reverse transformation from Superman back to the much meeker, less confident newspaper reporter; it made the whole show believable.