Zip Goes a Million
A musical extravaganza in 2 acts by Eric Maschwitz adapted from Brewster's Millions by G.B. McCutcheon, Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley.
Music by George Posford, orchestrations by Debroy Somers
Palace Theatre, London - 20 October, 1951
Zip Goes a Million was conceived around the talents of George Formby although it was difficult to see him in the same role as the original debonair Jack Buchanan who who
created the role in Brewster's Millions. The show had an almost disastrous opening in Coventry in 1951 but after playing at the Palace Theatre Manchester in September of that year it successfully transferred to the Palace Theatre London in October 1951 running for 544 performances until its close in 1953.
Six months after the opening, however, Formby suffered a heart attack. His role was undertaken by Reg Dixon who made the character of Percy Piggot his own. He also had hit parade success with "Ordinary People"
Percy Piggott, is a window cleaner who inherits a million-dollar fortune. There is a catch, to get the full amount he has to spend a million dollars in double-quick time, and without anyone suspecting that he is trying to get rid of the money.
To spend the money he becomes involved in promoting a musical comedy, Garter Girl, which he hopes will flop; he plays the stock market and goes to race meetings to wager money on the horses. Against all the odds, he makes a profit on each. And this despite the best endeavours of a shady banker, Van Norden and his daughter, to part Percy from his money, or from his innocent girl-friend, Sally.
The second act is set on a South Seas island and where Percy is involved with a yacht which he succeeds in wrecking, and at vast expense, salvaging. Personal conflicts, too, abound but at the eleventh hour, Percy finally divests himself of the last dollar and thus inherits the fortune that was his legacy.
Scenes from "Garter Girl" - the show within a show giving Zip Goes a Million the "Zip"
- Afternoon in Texas - Ballet
- Saving Up For Sally - Percy & Chorus
- The Thing About You - Lilac and Buddy
- Ordinary People - Percy and Company
- It Takes No Time To Fall In Love - Percy and Sally
- Zip Goes a Million - Percy and Company
- The Story of Chiquita - Lilac, girls and boys
- Nothing Breaks But the Heart - Buddy
- I Owe You - Percy and Sally
- Trouble With My Heart - Motty and Sally
6 violins; 1 Viola; 1 Cello; 1 Bass; 1 1st Alto Sax dbl Clarinet; 1 2nd Alto Sax dbl Flute & Piccolo; 1 st Tenor Sax dbl Clarinet; 1 2nd Tenor Sax dbl Clarinet; 2 Trumpets; 2 Trombones; 1 Percussion; 1 Guitar dbl Hawaiian Guitar, Banjo & Mandolin; 1 Piano