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All Night StrutTHE ALL NIGHT STRUT!

Conceived and Originally Directed and Choreographed by: Fran Charnas
Lyrics by: Various
Music by: Various
Conceived and Originally Directed and Choreographed by Fran Charnas
Musical Arrangements by Tom Fitt, Gil Lieb, and Dick Schermesser
Additonal Orchestrations by Corey Allen

Theatre Four Off-Broadway - October 4, 1979 (6 perfs)

A classy, sassy musical celebration of the 1930s and '40s, The All Night Strut! struts its stuff in a two act bonanza of the way things were during the depression, World War II and the post war boom. From the funky jive of Harlem to the sophisticated elegance of El Morocco and the romance of the Stage Door Canteen, this is an evening filled with jazz, blues, bebop and classic songs. An international hit, The All Night Strut! has delighted audiences old and young with its sublime music and sheer energy. Famous songs include "Minnie The Moocher", "In The Mood", "Fascinating Rhythm", "Hit That jive, Jack" and "As Time Goes By".

Synopsis

This is a world of confidence and unity, uncertainty and heartbreak—a complex, energetic, funky, sophisticated melting pot of American popular music from the 1930s and ‘40s. Four elegantly dressed performers welcome you, full-throttle, on board the “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” It’s a place where sad stories are told with optimism and flair. “Minnie The Moocher” tells a story about a big-hearted gal gone wrong. The world seems to have turned its back on a man who plaintively asks “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?”

We switch gears to happier moments and experiences: jitterbugging and getting “In The Mood” and a Saturday night bash in Harlem where old Hannah Brown says “Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer.” Romantic memories from Old London Town cast their spell in “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square.” We become mesmerised with the syncopations of a “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” and seduced by the odd and mellow lure of coffee with “Java Jive.”

Reflections of war in a medley of songs make us experience a range of emotions from discomfort (“GI Jive”), hope (“Shoo Shoo Baby”), homesickness (“White Cliffs Of Dover”), opportunity (“Rosie The Riveter”), heroism (“You’re A Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith”), to madness (“Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition”), danger (“Comin’ In On A Wing And A Prayer”) and heartache (“I’ll Be Seeing You”). The act ends with lingering memories of what was and what might have been.

Act Two begins with a sophisticated yet tongue-in-cheek Latin seduction (“I Get Ideas [When We Are Dancing]”), followed by a questionably sincere promise of fidelity (“Ain’t Misbehavin’”). Love and sincerity are shown in other ways, such as faith in the gospel-inflected “Operator,” as hopeful fantasy in “Dream,” and as pure fun ‘jamming’ in “Beat Me Daddy, Eight To The Bar.”

Two couples square off in a battle of one-upsmanship. They are sophisticated, funny and flirtatious as they complain of their stalled affair (“A Fine Romance”). Things then get sultry in the South with slow, steamy moves to dance the night away (“Tuxedo Junction”). The mood suddenly perks up and we swing and sway to “Jukebox Saturday Night.”

Even as the world changes, we are reminded that sentiments such as love and passion never fade or go away (“As Time Goes By”). Keeping spirits up — jivin’, swingin’ and singin’ — give the finale the feel of a great time (Medley: “Hit That Jive Jack,” “Billie’s Bounce,” “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”). As the cast bows, the excitement and optimism of a world long gone still reverberates in the sweet sentiments of “Lullaby Of Broadway.”

Cast: 2 men, 2 women - Cast members use their own names.

Instrumentation:

alto sax, trumpet. trombone, percussion, piano, double bass

Musical Numbers

  1. Juke Box Saturday Night - All
  2. Minnie The Moocher - All
  3. Bother, Can You Spare A Dime? - Baritone, All
  4. In The Mood - Soprano, All
  5. Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer - All
  6. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square - Tenor, All
  7. Fascinating Rhythm - All
  8. Java Jive - All
  9. World War II Medley - All
  10. I Get Ideas (When We Are Dancing) - All
  11. Ain't Misbehavin' - All
  12. Operator - Alto, All
  13. Dream - All
  14. Beat Me, Daddy, Eight To The Bar - Soprano, All
  15. A Fine Romance - All
  16. Tuxedo Junction - All
  17. As Time Goes By - Tenor, All
  18. Finale - All
  19. Lullaby Of Broadway - All