The World Goes 'Round
A brilliantly constructed retrospective of prolific musical theatre collaborators, Kander and Ebb.
Show Essentials
5
Roles
PG
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

The show opens with a woman stating simply that, no matter what good or bad things happen in life, the world continues, and life goes on ("And the World Goes 'Round"). The rest of the cast joins her to express the philosophy of saying yes to get the most out of life ("Yes"). They then explore the problem with a life that is far too rushed and highly caffeinated ("Coffee in a Cardboard Cup").

Elsewhere, a man is trying to get his wife to remember happier times so that he can see her smile again ("The Happy Time"). The woman, however, can only seem to remember fragments of her youth, thus noticing that there now seems to be something missing from her life ("Colored Lights"). Two people, who have an easier time finding happiness, appear. A man finds happiness in Sara Lee products ("Sara Lee"), while the woman has discovered a great way to lower her stress levels ("Arthur in the Afternoon").

We move on to hear stories of loss and love ("And the World Goes 'Round – Reprise"). The first is from a woman who has watched the man that she trusted walk away forever ("My Coloring Book"). Next is a man choosing not to think of those memories ("I Don't Remember You"), as well as another man who is trying to remember the last time a whole day went by without thinking about the love he lost ("Sometimes a Day Goes By"). The audience is then propelled into a more salacious time, where a woman invites us to a raucous evening of booze and music ("All That Jazz"). Two women – clearly not the perfect examples of class – complain about the current days of loose values and empty morals ("Class"). Meanwhile, a man laments that, no matter what he does, he is never going to be noticed ("Mr. Cellophane"). The cast comes together to assure the audience that everything will be okay ("Me and My Baby").

Next, three women come together to emulate an old vocal jazz routine à la the Andrews Sisters ("There Goes the Ball Game"). The number is followed by commentary on what it is like to be living the high life in style ("How Lucky Can You Get?"). Two men come together to discuss how women would rather go to the skating rink for dates than a nice evening out, and the women join them, all on skates, hailing the joys of the rink ("The Rink").

Act Two

The act begins with the story of a woman who travels around the world to find a husband, only to fall for the boy next door, after meeting him in a foreign country ("Ring Them Bells"). We are then told of the dangers of the Spider Woman ("Kiss of the Spider Woman"). Elsewhere, a woman longs for love as she watches two lovers pass by ("Only Love"). The man proposes, but the woman, somewhat bewildered, turns him down ("Marry Me"). After he leaves, she realizes that she does actually love him, but she had trouble realizing it because it was not what she expected ("A Quiet Thing"). He returns, and they dance together. She accepts his proposal. They continue dancing, and the others join them. There, they all wonder why dancers don't ever talk about how much it hurts to dance ("Pain"). Afterwards, we see two women greeting each other, when a man comes up and asks for an autograph. One of them is a Broadway star. He ignores the other woman, and, after he leaves, the two women comment on how the other lives ("The Grass Is Always Greener").

We now return to the theme of love ("And the World Goes 'Round – Reprise"). A man is sure that, with love, they can get through anything ("We Can Make It"). A woman then hopes that, this time, things will be better with her man ("Maybe This Time"). Another woman wonders if life is better with a friend instead of a lover ("Isn't This Better").

The cast begins to look at another part of life ("And the World Goes 'Round – Reprise") as they all find themselves in a bit of chaos when they see what really makes the world go around ("Money, Money"). They remind us all to live life to its fullest ("Cabaret"). They also reiterate the idea that, no matter what, the world will continue to turn ("And the World Goes 'Round – Finale"). Finally, the cast members each take on a different language as they remark on the joys of New York ("New York, New York").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Small (Up to 10 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Woman 1
Tough and strong. Impassioned. She has been hurt. A bit of a lush and snob. Clumsy. Hopeful.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: E3
Woman 2
Independent. Zany. Bawdy and brassy, but also reflective and poised. She is seductive.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Woman 3
Nostalgic. Adventurous. Hopeful. A lush and snob. Confident and sexy, but hesitant in regards to love.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Man 1
A bit of a ham. At times he is lonely, dejected, and shy. Just as easily emboldened to action. Sincere, loving, and charming.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: A4
Man 2
Nostalgic. Handsome. Lonely. Stern and demanding with a commanding voice.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Full Song List
The World Goes 'Round: And the World Goes 'Round
The World Goes 'Round: Yes
The World Goes 'Round: Coffee In A Cardboard Cup
The World Goes 'Round: The Happy Time
The World Goes 'Round: Colored Lights
The World Goes 'Round: Sara Lee
The World Goes 'Round: Arthur In The Afternoon
The World Goes 'Round: My Coloring Book
The World Goes 'Round: I Don't Remember You/Sometimes A Day Goes By
The World Goes 'Round: And All That Jazz
The World Goes 'Round: Class
The World Goes 'Round: Mister Cellophane
The World Goes 'Round: Me and My Baby
The World Goes 'Round: There Goes The Ballgame
The World Goes 'Round: How Lucky Can You Get
The World Goes 'Round: The Rink/The Rink Dance
The World Goes 'Round: Ring Them Bells
The World Goes 'Round: Kiss Of The Spider Woman
The World Goes 'Round: Only Love/Marry Me/A Quiet Thing
The World Goes 'Round: When It All Comes True
The World Goes 'Round: Pain
The World Goes 'Round: The Grass Is Always Greener
The World Goes 'Round: The World Goes 'Round Crossover #2
The World Goes 'Round: We Can Make It
The World Goes 'Round: Maybe This Time
The World Goes 'Round: Isn't This Better?
The World Goes 'Round: Trio
The World Goes 'Round: The World Goes 'Round Crossover #3
The World Goes 'Round: Money, Money
The World Goes 'Round: Cabaret
The World Goes 'Round: Finale
The World Goes 'Round: New York, New York

Show History

Inspiration


The World Goes 'Round is a musical revue showcasing the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb. The revue takes its title from a tune that the songwriting team wrote for Liza Minnelli to sing in the Martin Scorsese film, New York, New York.

The show consists of an eclectic collection of love songs, torch songs and acerbicly witty comic numbers. It was conceived by director, Scott Ellis; choreographer, Susan Stroman; and librettist, David Thompson, who collaborated on such Kander and Ebb shows as Steel Pier and the 1996 revival of Chicago. David Loud created the vocal and dance arrangements.

Productions


The World Goes 'Round premiered in New York City on March 18, 1991, at the Westside Theatre. Its cast included Karen Ziemba, Robert Cuccioli, Karen Mason, Brenda Pressley and Jim Walton. The show received critical praise and a satisfying run of 408 performances.

Starting in August 1992, Ziemba, Blum and Mazzie were joined by John Ruess and Shelley Dickinson for a ten-month U.S. national tour. With scenic and technical embellishments added and the title simplified to The World Goes 'Round, the revised edition included mostly upbeat, unfamiliar songs from the team's lesser-known musicals.

Throughout the years, the revue has been staged by regional and community theatre groups and as a fringe theatre production in London.

Cultural Influence

  • An original cast recording was released by RCA Records in 1991.
  • John Kander and Fred Ebb were a highly successful songwriting team, whose stage musicals are an important part of the musical theatre canon. "New York, New York" was one of their most famous songs and was recorded by Frank Sinatra.

Trivia

  • Although the original cast featured Karen Ziemba, Robert Cuccioli, Karen Mason, Brenda Pressley and Jim Walton, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Joel Blum and Marin Mazzie were replacements later in the run.
  • After reaping accolades for his conception of this show, director, Scott Ellis, went on to direct many more popular productions, including a smash Broadway revival of She Loves Me, as well as a revival of Picnic. Creative choreographer, Susan Stroman, advanced to choreographing the long-running musicals, Crazy for You and The Producers, as well as the Harold Prince mega-revival, Show Boat, among others.
  • The show was originally called And the World Goes 'Round; the title was changed to streamline it.
  • Harold Prince has won more Tony Awards than anyone else (20): eight for directing, eight for producing, two as producer of the year's Best Musical and two special Tony Awards.

Critical Reaction

"And the World Goes 'Round: The Songs of Kander and Ebb, the new revue at the commodiously renovated Westside Theater, may be its authors' long overdue smash. The evening is an unexpected delight: a handsome, tasteful, snazzily staged outpouring of song and dance that celebrates all the virtues of the Kander-Ebb catalogue while scrupulously avoiding most of the cloying cliches of and-then-I-wrote anthologies. The revue is sophisticated enough to satisfy aficionados like myself, who recently spent a week's allowance to replace a worn copy of the out-of-print cast album of "The Happy Time," and welcoming enough to convert new audiences to the Kander-Ebb fold. The five fresh performers, mostly familiar but unheralded Broadway hands, are the best team of its sort to hit town since the quintet in Ain't Misbehavin'."
– Frank Rich, The New York Times

"Part musical revue, part Jukebox musical and part theatrical magic, The World Goes 'Round offers the perfect way to reacquaint yourself with familiar favorites and discover lesser known gems."
– Stage and Cinema, Los Angeles

Drama Desk Award

1991 - Outstanding Choreography, Nominee (Susan Stroman)
1991 - Outstanding Director Of A Musical, Winner (Scott Ellis)
1991 - Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Winner (Karen Ziemba)
1991 - Outstanding Orchestration, Nominee (David Krane)
1991 - Outstanding Choreography, Nominee (Susan Stroman)
1991 - Outstanding Musical Revue, Winner ()

Outstanding Director - Musical

1991 - Drama Desk Award -, Nominee (Outstanding Director - Musical)

Outstanding Featured Actress - Musical

1991 - Drama Desk Award -, Nominee (Outstanding Featured Actress - Musical )

Outstanding Musical Revue

1991 - Drama Desk Award -, Nominee (Outstanding Musical Revue)

Outer Critics Circle Award

1991 - Best Off -Broadway Musical Revue, Winner (The World Goes 'Round)
1991 - Best Director, Nominee (Scott Ellis)
1991 - Best Choreography, Winner (Susan Stroman)

Best Off Broadway Musical Revue

1991 - Outer Critics Circle Award -, Nominee (Best Off Broadway Musical Revue)

Best Choreography

1991 - Outer Critics Circle Award -, Nominee (Best Choreography)

Outstanding Musical

1992 - Lucille Lortel Award -, Nominee (Outstanding Musical)

Connect

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND
(100%)
 
Music by
JOHN KANDER 
(50%)
Lyrics by
 FRED EBB
(50%)

 

Conceived by
SCOTT ELLIS, SUSAN STROMAN, DAVID THOMPSON
(25%)
 
***when using choreographic manual, you must include the following credit:
"Original Choreography by Susan Stroman reproduced by (name of local
choreographer)"
 
****NO FURTHER KANDER & EBB SONGS MAY BE ADDED TO THIS SHOW****
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK8
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 12
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 22
SONG PACKET1

Production Resources

Resource
CHOREOGRAPHY MANUAL
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON? - SGLPIECE
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
REHEARSCORE+
REHEARSCORE+ DIGITAL
VIDEO CONVERSATIONPIECE

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
DRUMSBELLS , CABASA , DUCK CALL , GLOCKENSPIEL , HOTEL BELL , KIT , MARK TREE , POLICE WHISTLE , RACHET , SLEIGH BELLS , SLIDE WHISTLE , TAMBOURINE , TEMPLE BLOCKS , TRIANGLE , TYMPANI , WOOD BLOCK
KEYBOARD 1
PIANOPIANO
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , FLUTE , PICCOLO , SOPRANO SAX
TROMBONE
TRUMPETFLUGELHORN , TRUMPET