09 April 2019 (released)
10 April 2019
Rare Production’s Bugsy Malone is a musical Easter treat for families. This amateur dramatic group gives children the opportunity to perform live in a real theatre environment. As an audience member, what you might miss in slick professionalism is made up for by the energy and enthusiasm of the youthful cast, not forgetting the high cuteness factor of seeing youngsters of all ages thoroughly enjoying themselves on stage.
Bugsy Malone is a musical comedy that won popularity from the 1976 movie starring Scott Baio in the title role and a teenage Jodi Foster as showgirl Tallulah. Rare brings the film to life with great scene setting art and colourful costumes.
The story is set in New York during the prohibition era where the Gangster, Fat Sam, owns a jumping hotspot. Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy is the place to be,
“Anybody who is anybody will soon walk through that door.”
Sam’s criminal success is threatened by an arch rival, Dandy Dan and his dreaded new weapon, the splurge gun. Dan is taking over Sam’s empire with rapid fired whipped cream. Bugsy is struggling to make ends meet, so he's happy to get involved with Sam in order to earn himself a few bucks. At Sam’s Speakeasy, he meets and falls for Blousey Brown, an aspiring singer. We have to suspend our disbelief as the girl cast as Blousey looks considerably older than the smaller Bugsy but she has a lovely voice so you can understand why she's been selected to carry those solo vocals.
The lively score enhances the light-hearted humour of this tale. The musical accompaniment is delivered by three talented musicians playing live at the back, centre stage. The songs deliver plenty of opportunities to see the large troupe dancing across the boards. The original film score was written by Paul Williams who went on to win an Oscar for composing “Evergreen” (A Star is Born). His numbers are definitely very catchy, I’ve been humming them ever since I saw the play. From the opening title song through to the final upbeat “You Give a Little Love”, this musical certainly entertains!
Baio is reported to have said about making ‘Bugsy Malone’:
“A kid’s fantasy: You get to dress up as a gangster, you get to shoot guns that fire whipped cream and you get to talk like a grown-up. I mean, you couldn’t ask for a better first big gig. Talk about getting you hooked on a business! It was fantastic”