"It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman!"

After the success of the TV series, Superman appeared in a Broadway musical-comedy entitled It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman, written by David Newman and Robert Benton, it presented Bob Holiday as Superman and Patricia Marand as Lois Lane, but the star of the show was Jack Cassidy as Max Mencken, the evil Daily Planet columnist.It was the first Broadway musical based on a comic book.

An Original Soundtrack, previously available on vinyl LP, was released by Sony Classical Music on Compact Disc that includes an informative booklet with photos from the play, and four bonus tracks. Sadly, the CD format did not allow reproducing the LP's clever back cover which was designed to appear like a newspaper's front page.

The plot revolves around Superman's efforts to defeat Dr. Abner Sedgwick, a ten-time Nobel Prize-losing scientist who seeks to avenge the scientific world's dismissal of his brilliance by attempting to destroy the world's symbol of good. Additionally, Superman comes into romantic conflict with Max Mencken, a columnist for the Daily Planet newspaper, who resents Lois Lane's attraction to Superman.

Although campy and somewhat dated, many of the songs are catchy. Despite some favorable reviews, the musical didn't catch on and closed on July 17th.

The musical was made into a TV special on February 1, 1975. It was broadcasted on ABC as part of its Wide World of Entertainment specials.

It starred David Wilson as Superman/Clark Kent, Lesley Ann Warren as Lois Lane, and Loretta Swit as Sydney Carleton.

Cast

  • Superman/Clark Kent.....................Bob Holiday
  • Max Mencken.............................Jack Cassidy
  • Lois Lane...............................Patricia Marland
  • Perry White.............................Eric Mason
  • Sydney..................................Linda Lavin
  • Dr. Abner Sedgwick......................Michael O'Sullivan
  • Jim Morgan .............................Don Chastain
  • Father Ling ............................Jerry Fujikawa
  • Dong Ling ..............................Bill Starr
  • Tai Ling ...............................Murphy James
  • Fan Po Ling ............................Julieste Salve
  • Ming Foo Ling ..........................Michael Gentry
  • Joe Ling ...............................Joseph Gentry
  • Credits

  • Composer...............................Charles Strouse
  • Lyricist...............................Lee Adams
  • Book...................................David Newman and Robert Benton
  • Director...............................Harold Prince
  • Musical Direction......................Harold Hastings
  • Orchestration..........................Eddie Sauter
  • Dance Arrangements.....................Betty Walberg
  • Scenery & Lighting.....................Robert Randolph
  • Costumes...............................Florence Klotz
  • Dances & Musical Numbers Staging.......Ernest Flatt