The Roar of the Greasepaint
In a world turned upside down, a rag-tag group relies on humor, song and dance to try to build a new life. But can show tunes and music hall merriment revive the human spirit? On the highway of life, hope is just around the bend in this arresting reinvention of the vivacious Broadway hit. Their world may have ended, but songs like “Who Can I Turn To?,” “The Joker,” “Feeling Good” and “A Wonderful Day Like Today” echo on, welcoming new love and another dawn.
Book by Michael Stewart | Music by Charles Strouse | Lyrics by Lee Adams
Tickets for individual shows will go on sale Feb 14, 2016
The Terris Theatre
33 North Main Street
Chester, Conn. 06412
May 20 – June 26, 2016
The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd is a musical with a book, music, and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. The musical is best known for producing the standards “Who Can I Turn To?” “Feeling Good” and “”The Joker” the last of which was covered most successfully by Bobby Rydell. The show title is a transposition of the phrase “the smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd,” referring to the experience of theatre performers.
Resembling a music hall production more than a book musical, the allegorical plot examines the maintenance of the status quo between the upper and lower classes of British society in the 1960s. The two main characters are Sir and Cocky. Since Sir is forever changing the rules of the game of life, downtrodden young Cocky always gets the short end of the stick. Assisting Sir is his eager disciple Kid, anxious to pick up bits of wisdom while helping keep Cocky in his place. Cocky tries to beat Sir at the game, first by getting a job, and then with love, but Sir bests him both times. Cocky is re-inspired when he sees a new character, the Negro, win the game behind his and Sir’s backs. By ignoring the rules, Cocky manages to win, but neither he or Sir can function without the other. The show ends with both of them frozen in a pose arguing which way to go next.