Bugsy Malone
The pint-sized, pinstriped classic is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the gangster films of the 1920s.
Show Essentials
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Full Synopsis

Act One

As the musical opens, Bugsy Malone, a one-time boxer who's neither completely honest nor completely crooked, ushers us through his neighborhood, where three murders have just occurred ("Bugsy Malone"). Bugsy winds up at the local speakeasy owned by gangster boss, Fat Sam ("Fat Sam's Grand Slam"). Turns out, one of those murders was that of Roxy "the Weasel" Robinson — one of Fat Sam's best men. Enraged, Fat Sam, vows revenge on Dandy Dan, whose henchman carried out the hit. Meanwhile, Bugsy's been chatting up Blousy Brown, the new girl in town who's come to audition for Fat Sam's club; but Fat Sam's given her the brush off (as he does to everyone) and tells her to come back tomorrow. Bugsy takes Blousey for dinner, and she tells him that she's going to audition for the Lena Marelli show as well. Just as the mood turns romantic, however, Dandy Dan's men raid the club. Dan's determined to become the fashionable kingpin of the neighborhood, bringing all of the other gangs under his control ("That's Why They Call Him Dandy"), using his newly fashioned weapon of choice — the Splurge "mark two" gun.

Meanwhile, back at Fat Sam's speakeasy, they're closing up shop. Fat Sam and his girl, Tallulah (who's also the entertainment at his club), are preparing to go out on the town. Fizzy, the janitor, sings about his ever-elusive chance to audition for Fat Sam ("Tomorrow").

In the next scene, we're at the auditions for the Lena Marelli show. Lena (as she does every week) has quit, and Oscar de Velt is casting a replacement. Just as Blousey takes the stage to sing, however, Lena returns (as she does every week) and takes the stage ("Show Business"). Bugsy tries to cheer up a dejected Blousey and promises to talk to Fat Sam about an audition.

Cut to Fat Sam's speakeasy, where Fat Sam and his gang are getting nervous about Dandy Dan's new initiative ("Bad Guys"). Fat Sam fears that his gang is behind the times. They need to upgrade their weapons, so he contacts Shady, a Chinese laundry man, who locates a stash of "Splurge guns." But Shady's a two-timer, paid off by Dandy Dan to lure Fat Sam's gang into a trap. Upon retrieving the guns, however, Fat Sam's gang is wiped out. Fat Sam and Knuckles (his right hand man) are panicking now, but determined to "act normal" as they try to figure out what to do. Just then, Blousey arrives to audition. Instead of turning her away, however, they ask her to wait — they'll be right with her. They decide to enlist the help of the murdering lunatic, Looney Bergonzi, and arrange a meeting with Dandy Dan.

At the club, Tallulah is putting the moves on Bugsy as Fat Sam and Knuckles arrive to audition Blousey, who walks in just as Tallulah plants a big smooch right on Bugsy ("I'm Feeling Fine"). Blousey books the gig, and Fat Sam offers Bugsy $200 to drive him to his meeting with Dandy Dan. Back at the girls' dressing room, Bugsy tries to reconcile with a very angry Blousey, but Blousey is unconvinced.

In the next scene, Fat Sam and Dandy Dan confront each other, but, just as Fat Sam reveals his secret weapon, Looney Bergonzi, Dan's gang emerges from the trees and "splurge" him. Bugsy grabs Fat Sam and they escape. Grateful, Fat Sam gives him an extra $100 for being quick on his feet and tells him to get a new suit ("Bugsy Malone – Reprise").

Act Two

As the second act opens, we're in the girls' dressing room at Fat Sam's while Tallulah is rehearsing her number ("My Name Is Tallulah"). Having earned his money and the loan of Fat Sam's snazzy car, Bugsy calls on Blousey to take her out on a date. He tells her that he wants to use the cash to buy them two tickets to Hollywood. Elated, she agrees to go. ("I'm Feeling Fine – Reprise").

Meanwhile, Fat Sam has fashioned his own "splurge gun," but the gun misfires and he kills his main man, Knuckles. In an additional bit of bad luck, Bugsy is jumped by some thugs who steal his hard-won $200. Leroy, a stranger who happens to be walking by, beats off the thugs. Bugsy's impressed by his punching skill and, although he's $200 poorer, he's found his first boxing client and proclaims himself Leroy's manager. Bugsy takes Leroy to meet Cagey Joe, who determines that Leroy has what it takes to be a champion ("So You Wanna Be a Boxer").

Poor Fat Sam's luck has turned from bad to worse when he gets a phone call that Dandy Dan has destroyed his hooch stills and taken over his grocery racket. He sends Tallulah to ask Bugsy for help. She finds him waiting for Blousey to catch a train to Hollywood. But, when she says that he'll be handsomely rewarded for his help, Bugsy decides to delay the trip. Fat Sam offers him $400 to help him save what's left of his empire, and Bugsy agrees. Just then, Blousey calls. She's been waiting for him for an hour to catch a train to Hollywood. He tells her that Hollywood's going to have to wait — he has business to handle. Blousey is heartbroken ("Ordinary Fool"). Dejected, she returns to Fat Sam's to get her job back as Bugsy enlists the help of Leroy, the wanna-be prize fighter, to take care of Dandy Dan once and for all. They arrive at the center of Dan's gun-running operation, "Splurge Imports," only to find that they are severely outnumbered. Just then, they come across a group of "down and outs" waiting in a soup line. Together, Bugsy and Leroy convince them to be their ad-hoc army ("Down and Out"). They distract the guards and storm the warehouse, only to be surrounded by the police. Fortunately, they find a secret escape and leave the police holding their hats. They arrive back at Fat Sam's just in time for the showdown with Dandy Dan's gang. Bugsy presents Blousey with their two tickets to Hollywood and everyone tries to "act normal" as they wait for the rumble ("Fat Sam's Grand Slam – Reprise"). Immediately, however, Dan and his henchman arrive as the stage explodes into a pitched battle of splurge whippped cream guns and custard pies to save Sam's club ("You Give a Little Love").

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Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

The wide-eyed new girl in town who's come to "make it big."
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: F4
Bugsy Malone
A washed up but well-intentioned former boxer who's looking to make a buck. He tries to be in the right place at the right time and, eventually wins the girl.
Vocal Range: Bari/Tenor.
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: D#4
Cagey Joe
A boxing trainer.
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Dandy Dan
The up & coming hot shot gang lord who wants to edge out Fat Sam. Always impeccably dressed.
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: A3
Fat Sam
The egomaniacal king of the Lower East Side gangs. No featured singing.
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: G3
The janitor at Fat Sam's.
Fat Sam's right hand man, who earned the name because he's always cracking his. No featured singing.
Lena Marelli
A temperamental singing diva.
A wanna be prize fighter.
Fat Sam's girl and his club's headlining entertainment.
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: A3
One of Fat Sam's gang.
A chorus girl at Fat Sam's.
Benny Lee
One of Dandy Dan's gang.
A chorus girl at Fat Sam's.
Bronx Charlie
One of Dandy Dan's gang.
One of Dandy Dan's gang.
A chorus girl at Fat Sam's.
The Bartender at Fat Sam's.
Laughing Boy
One of Dandy Dan's gang.
Looney Bergonzi
Fat Sam's secret weapon none-too-swift hit man.
A chorus girl at Fat Sam's.
Dandy Dan's girl.
One of Fat Sam's gang.
A magician auditioning for the Lena Marelli show.
An Irish cop.
Oscar De Velt
Director of the Lena Marelli show.
One of Fat Sam's gang.
Roxy Robinson
One of Fat Sam's gang.
A double-crossing Chinese laundry man.
One of Dandy Dan's gang.
Seymour Scoop
A newsman on the scene.
A police captain. O'Dreary's boss.
Snake Eyes
One of Fat Sam's gang.
A chorus girl at Fat Sam's.
Tallulah's friend.
One of Dandy Dan's gang.
Babyface, Barber, Baseball Guards, Boxers, Butler, Cellist, Chinese Laundry Workers, Cooks, English Reporter, Flash Frankie, Foreign Reporters 1 & 2, Paper Boy, Pickett, Policemen, Pop Becker, Press Men, Razamataz, Radio Announcer, Singer, Soundman, Undertakers, Ventriloquist & Dummy, Violinist, Waitress
Full Song List
Bugsy Malone: Overture
Bugsy Malone: Bugsy Malone
Bugsy Malone: Fat Sam's Grand Slam
Bugsy Malone: That's Why They Call Him Dandy
Bugsy Malone: Tomorrow
Bugsy Malone: Show Business
Bugsy Malone: Bad Guys' Song
Bugsy Malone: Double Chorus
Bugsy Malone: I'm Feeling Fine
Bugsy Malone: My Name Is Tallulah
Bugsy Malone: So You Wanna Be A Boxer?
Bugsy Malone: Ordinary Fool
Bugsy Malone: You Give A Little Love

Show History


Bugsy Malone is based on the 1976 Alan Parker film of the same name. Parker's movie is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the gangster films of the 1920s. Parker had the idea for a gangster film that starred an all-child cast in 1973, but his idea was met with very little enthusiasm. Eventually, he was able to raise enough money to develop the project. He commissioned the legendary Paul Williams to compose the score and they auditioned over 10,000 children. The film starred Scott Baio as Bugsy and Jodie Foster as Tallulah. In an era when movie musicals were considered a thing of the past, Bugsy Malone was a surprise hit. Following the film's success, Parker was deluged with requests to develop a stage version.


The first incarnation of the show premiered in the West End at Her Majesty's Theatre. The production opened May 23, 1983, and ran for 300 performances. The cast featured children, but had adults provide the vocals offstage. In 1997, the National Youth Music Theatre production featured an all-youth version. It premiered at the Queens Theatre on November 21, 1997, and featured a cast of forty, led by Sheridan Smith.


  • A young Catherine Zeta-Jones appeared as Tallulah in the West End production of Bugsy Malone.
  • Instead of bullets, the gun-toting gangsters in Bugsy Malone wield "splurge guns" that shoot custard pie foam.
  • The director of the original production of Bugsy Malone in London was Michael Dolenz, better known as Mickey on the television show, "The Monkees."

  • When the original production of Bugsy Malone was done in London, the producers auditioned over 13,000 children between the ages of nine and sixteen.

Critical Reaction

"This show is fun from start to finish... lots of great songs that are catchy and lyrical."
– London Theatre Guide Online

"So full of life it is irresistible!"
– News of the World



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