by Leslie Bricusse
directed by Keith Glover
originally produced at The Old Globe,
San Diego, CA.
through November 8, 2010
A new musical based on the life of the legendary performer Sammy Davis Jr. written by Leslie Bricusse who not only wrote most of Sammy’s signature songs but was also one of his closest friends. From the streets of Harlem to breakout stardom at Ciro’s nightclub on Oscar night 1951 to the Kennedy Center Lifetime Honors, Sammy charts the highs and lows of a black entertainer who topped the charts and struggled with the demons of racism, drugs, alcohol and the allure of many women as he looked for love amidst the fame, the adulation and the success.
A new musical is always exciting. Sammy is especially exciting because The Old Globe has the opportunity to work closely with Leslie Bricusse who is one of the major writers in the musical theater field. The story of Sammy not only covers the history of American popular culture in the 20th Century from the Depression through World War II to the post war civil rights era, but also examines a man who stood astride both white and black America. The tension that this caused in Sammy Davis, Jr. is relevant today as America is on the brink of a post racial era but we still find ourselves at times stuck in the old racial divide. Sammy Davis, Jr., like Michael Jackson, was a black entertainer who found his biggest success in America when he was able to leave behind racial identity, but at the same time may have lost an essential sense of self. This loss is at the center of Sammy, the musical.
Director: Keith Glover
Book, Music and Lyrics: Leslie Bricusse
Additional songs: Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
American Airlines and Mickey Stern