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Legs Diamond – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1988

Legs Diamond – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1988

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Synopsis

The Almost Totally Fictitious Musical Hystery of Legs Diamond ACT I New York: The Roaring ’20s: High above the stage standing in front of a huge, glittering electric sign that glorifies his name, Jack “Legs” Diamond tells us his story: “When I Get My Name in Lights.” After having done time-in a Pennsylvania prison for a small-time hood named Arnold Rothstein, Jack arrives in New York and looks up his former on- and off-stage dancing partner, Flo, at her nightspot, the Hotsy Totsy Club and Grill (“Speakeasy”). He goes to the club, but before he has a chance to surprise her, Flo is onstage entertaining her elite clientele (“Applause”). Seizing the opportunity to display his talents, Jack interrupts her floor show with one of his own (“Knockers”). After his number a none-too-pleased Flo takes Jack into the back room and gives him two things: advice and money. He ignores the first and pockets the second. What he really wants is a spot in the show. Flo tells him “on the level” that the club isn’t hers. It’s Arnold Rothstein’s. No longer a small-time hood, Rothstein is big time in New York. Jack figures that the least Rothstein can do is give him a spot in the show. Outside Rothstein’s office, his henchmen Bones and Moran let Jack know that A.R. (what his intimates call him) isn’t interested in doing Jack any favors. A.R. himself appears and lets Jack know that he considers the favor returned by not having had Jack killed. However, Kiki Roberts, A.R.’s doll-of-the-moment, escapes the watchful eye of her constant bodyguard Augie to give Jack a pass to see her act at A.R.’s Club Tropicabana. At the club, Kiki reveals much of her heretofore hidden “potential” – “I Was Made For Champagne.” After the show, she and Jack explore their “mutual interests.” He wants a spot in the show and she wants him to dress the part. He’d love to, but at the moment he’s. low on cash. The solution is simple: Since Kiki knows where A.R. has charge accounts, they’ll go shopping and charge everything to him. Alone, Jack wonders if he’s right to use people to get ahead. He quickly concludes that in this world you have to take the things you’re not given (“Sure Thing Baby”). At the Hotsy Totsy a few weeks later Flo has the girls show A.R. a special Christmas number, “Speakeasy Christmas.” Augie bursts in and gives A.R. an accounting of what “The Shopper” has taken from him (“Charge It To A.R.”) Police Lieutenant Devane, a crooked cop on A.R.’s payroll, presents him with an early Christmas present – “The Shopper,” a.k.a. Jack, accompanied by Kiki. A.R. is about to have Jack killed when Flo enters with enough money to cover “The Shopper’s” damages. Jack is grateful, very grateful to her for coming to his rescue (“Only An Older Woman”). Flo doesn’t fall for Jack’s “gratitude:’ Instead she tells him he can work off the loan by dancing in her taxi line. One night, watching Jack dance with any number of women, A.R. nicknames him “Legs” – and the name sticks. Later, when Jack is changing into his street clothes, he and Kiki hatch a plan to get ahead in the world and at the same time get back at A.R. (“Only Steal From Thieves”). Seeing that Diamond has cut into his operations, A.R. decides to eliminate him. Moran wants to do the honors but A.R. hires outside help – “The Boys from Bay Ridge”! At the New Year’s Eve party A.R. is throwing in his honor, Jack celebrates what has been the best year of his life (“When I Get My Name in Lights” – reprise). As the clock strikes midnight, the boys from Bay Ridge take aim, but before they can shoot, Bones appears with a gun and shoots Legs dead. As his lifeless body falls into the crowd, a newspaper headline heralding “Last Legs?” appears and the curtain falls. ACT II One by one, the mourners at Jack’s funeral pass by his open coffin. When it’s Moran’s turn, he says he never liked him and he isn’t going to miss him. Shocked, Jack sits up and asks Moran if that’s any way to talk about the nearly departed. How did he survive? It was all in the “Cut Of The Cards.” Not pleased by Legs’s survival, A.R. declares war on him (“Gangland Chase”). The war culminates in Jack being “murdered” once again by Bones. But, soon after, Flo sees him paying Bones off for the second fake “hit.” She asks Jack to go away with her, but he declines; after all, he’s on a lucky streak. Flo tells him word on the street has it that A.R. himself is set to “hit” Kiki that night at the Tropicabana for her part in Jack’s schemes. Jack thanks her for the tip. That night in an effort to prevent A.R. from murdering Kiki, Jack sneaks away from onstage at the Hotsy Totsy and arrives backstage at the Tropicabana, where he accidentally kills A.R. in a scuffle. All of this happens while Kiki is appearing onstage. Jack slips back to the Hotsy Totsy just in time for a big finish. How does he do it? “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t.” Naturally, Jack is the number one suspect in A.R.’s murder. Lieutenant Devane rounds up the three people that are most likely to supply his much-needed alibi – Flo, Kiki, and, to the surprise of everyone, Madge, another entertainer at the club. Locked in the Hotsy Totsy’s ladies’ room, they commiserate with one another (“The Man Nobody Could Love”). In the back room of the club, Devane is unable to get any of the women to say they weren’t with Legs at the time of the shooting. When Jack and Kiki reveal that they are married, Devane acknowledges that he can’t legally get any testimony from her. To celebrate his freedom, Legs and Kiki invite Flo to join them. Reeling from the shock of Jack’s marriage, Flo stays behind and sings the blues – “The Music Went Out of My Life.” Everything is just swell as Jack absorbs A.R.’s empire into his own until two FBI men show up at his door and it’s over (“Say It Isn’t So”). On the eve of his trial, Jack arranges all the evidence against him to be in one place and leaving all of the people around him blameless. He offers Kiki a boat ticket to Cuba, but she confesses that that’s not what she wants to do. Returning his wedding ring with no hard feelings, she leaves. Alone now in what was once the flourishing Hotsy Totsy Club, Legs reflects on where his life went wrong (“All I Wanted Was the Dream”). Guided by Jack’s voice, Devane and the Federal authorities find the evidence they need to convict him. Out of nowhere, Moran appears wielding a gun. He beckons Jack to show himself, and when he does, high overhead atop a spinning mirror-ball, Moran shoots him dead. The end? Not at all! Jack appears, paying off Moran for yet another fake “hit.” Alone, Jack wonders if there is more to life than what he’s had. Just as he thinks of that older woman who always seemed to be there for him, Flo appears. Together they leave to catch the boat to Cuba as the curtain falls. Finale. – Bill Rosenfield

Credits

Jack Diamond: Peter Allen Convicts: Adrian Bailey, Quin Baird, Frank Cava, Norman Wendall Kauahi, Bobby Moya, Paul Nunes, Keith Tyrone Prison Guards: Stephen Bourneuf, Rick Manning Madge: Brenda Braxton Cigarette Girl: Deanna Dys Bones: Christian Kauffmann Augie: Raymond Serra Kiki Roberts: Randall Edwards Devane: Pat McNamara Hotsy Totsy Announcer: Mike O’Carroll Flo: Julie Wilson Hotsy Totsy Girls: Carol Ann Baxter, Colleen Dunn, Deanna Dys, Gwendolyn Miller, Wendy Waring Moran: Jim Fyfe Arnold Rothstein: Joe Silver Tropicabana Announcer: James Brandt Tuxedo Dancers: Stephen Bourneuf, Jonathan Cerullo, K. Craig Innes, Kevin Weldon Latin Dancers: Adrian Bailey, Frank Cava, Norman Wendall Kauahi, Bobby Moya, Paul Nunes, Keith Tyrone Champagne Girls: Carol Ann Baxter, Gwendolyn Miller Showgirls: Colleen Dunn, Wendy Waring Gangsters: Quin Baird, Stephen Bourneuf, James Brandt, Jonathan Cerullo, Rick Manning, Bobby Moya, Mark Manley, Paul Nunes, Mike O’Carroll Taxi Dancers: Frank Cava, K. Craig Innes, Bobby Moya Boys from Bay Ridge: Adrian Bailey, Rick Manning, Bobby Moya Mourner: Ruth Gottschall Burlesque Women: Gwendolyn Miller, Wendy Waring Barber: Mike O’Carroll Chinese Waiter: Norman Wendall Kauahi A.R.’s Gang: Adrian Bailey, Quin Baird, Jonathan Cerullo, Rick Manning, Bobby Moya Jack’s Gang: Stephen Bourneuf, Frank Cava, K. Craig Innes, Norman Wendall Kauahi, Paul Nunes, Keith Tyrone Policeman: Paul Nunes Jack’s Secretary: Shelley Wald F.B.I. Men: James Brandt, Rick Manning