Last Updated 27th February 2001

My Introduction To Bugsy Malone Jr.

Back in 1999 I was contacted by a representative from MTI (Music Theatre International) who told me that he was putting together a 'Director's Guide' to Bugsy Malone Jr, for use by youth groups wanting to put on a stage production of Bugsy Malone. This guide, with it's accompanying Performance/Guide Vocal CD, was to be part of MTI's Broadway Junior Collection.

I was asked whether I would mind them using some of the background information from these Paul Williams Music and Acting web pages, to use as some of the background information on Paul in the guide. I said I was happy to oblige and glad to be able to contribute, in my own small way, to such a great publication. Some months later when I received a complimentary copy of 'Director's Guide' to Bugsy Malone Jr, with it's accompanying Performance/Guide Vocal CD, I was honoured to see printed on the first page 'Special Thanks to David Chamberlayne'. My contact at MTI had also written on the inside front cover:

"Dear David,

Your kind help and expertise have been invaluable in the preparation of this Guide! Kids everywhere will share in this wonderful music.

Thank you, so much!!

Best wishes

Fred Stuart"

Broadway Junior CollectionTM have developed an excellent web page themselves about the 'Director's Guide' to Bugsy Malone Jr here. I thought that I would also like to give some details of what you can find in this wonderful Guide. It is a fascinating book if you are a fan of Bugsy Malone, but especially if you live in the U.S.A. and are thinking of putting on a young people's production of Bugsy Malone. Some the photos on this page, produced here from the guide, are courtesy of the Lincoln Community Playhouse.

Thanks to Fred Stuart for permission to publish the following information from the guide.

Welcome to The Broadway Junior CollectionTM 
BUGSY MALONE JUNIOR from Music Theatre International!

With The Broadway Junior CollectionTM, educators finally have the opportunity to present authorized young performers' editions of the best Broadway musicals ever produced. Musicals in this series have been custom-tailored to the needs of young performers up through Grade 9 and to the resources available to schools and educators. The Broadway Junior CollectionTM musicals are author-approved, condensed versions (60-70 minutes) of Broadway's classic musicals, which preserve the spirit and essence of the original full-length works while eliminating elaborate production elements which may be beyond the physical and financial capabilities of most schools. The Broadway Junior CollectionTM brings the excitement and joy of the American Musical Theatre to a new generation.

· Director's Guide / Script
· 2 Piano / Vocal Scores
· 20 Student Libretto / Vocal Books
· Broadway Junior Production Handbook
· Cross-Curricular Activities and Enrichment
· Performance / Accompaniment CD


For a brief summary of what is included in the above take a look at the 'What's In The Box' page of the Broadway Junior CollectionTM web page.

What follows are extracts from the Director's Guide / Script and Performance / Accompaniment CD

Notes on Directing Bugsy Malone Junior Bugsy Malone Junior

Bugsy Malone Junior should be a great deal of fun to direct! The overall idea of the show is to tip your hat to the classic Hollywood gangster films of the 1 930s. Some titles you may want to watch to prepare for your pro­duction include: Public Enemy (Warner Brothers, 1931), Little Caesar (Warner Brothers, 1930) and Scarface (Caddo, 1932). These films will give you an idea of the original style which you will want to spoof. Bugsy Malone is loaded with clichés and references to these old film greats, so you will want to be familiar with the genre. James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Jean Harlow; Lauren Bacall and Ann Dvorak are wonderful examples of actors with a distinct acting style that you should try to impart to your cast. The key to Bugsy Malone Junior is to have fun, stay focused on the story and deliver the gags!


Listed below is the Table Of Contents from the Guide. The sections underlined I have included on this page...for the rest you will have to just buy the guide :)  

- Introduction (Pages 4-5)
    Using This Book  
    Your Performance License   
    About Music Theatre International

- About Bugsy Malone Junior (Pages 6-8)
    A Brief History of Bugsy Malone Junior 
    The Plot 
    Selected Discography 
    About the Creators 
    Bugsy Malone Facts

- Director's Guide to Bugsy Malone Junior (Pages 9-27)
Preparing For Your Production 
    Notes on Directing Bugsy Malone Junior  
    Casting Suggestions 
Getting Everyone Involved 
    Setting up a Rehearsal Schedule                                        
    Suggestions for Theatre Games 
    Set Suggestions 
    Lighting Suggestions 
    Costume Suggestions 
    Prop Suggestions 
    Suggested Prop List 

    A Note On Splurging 
Choreography Suggestions 
    Using the Performance/Accompaniment CD
    Using the Guide Vocals CD  
Publicity Suggestions 
    Program Suggestions

- Actor's Introduction and Libretto (Pages 33-66)
    The Actor's Production Pages 
    Table of Contents 
    Songs By Character 
    To the Actor 
    How to Start Talking Like a Big shot Actor 
    How to Destroy Your Script Like a Professional. 
    What to Expect in Rehearsals 
    A Final Word 
    Scene/Character Breakdown 
    Rehearsal Calendar 
    Notes on Bugsy Malone Junior 
    About the creators 

- THE SHOW (Pages 69-141)
(This section gives the full director's script, staging notes included in the margin of script throughout, and page numbers cross-referenced to student books. For examples of pages from this script take a look at the 'Audition Central' pages of the Broadway Junior CollectionTM here)

#1 Opening (Orchestra) 
#2 After Splurge (1) (Orchestra) 
#3 After Splurge (2) (Orchestra) 
#4 Bugsy Malone (Company) 
#5 Fat Sam's Grand Slam (Company) 
#6 Razamataz! (Orchestra) 
#7 Grand Slam Playoff (Orchestra) 
#8 Change to Scene 3 (Orchestra)  
#9 That’s Wby They Call Him Dandy....(Dandy and his Gang) 
#10 Tomorrow  (Fizzy)     
#11 Show Business  (Lena, Chorus)  
#12 Show Business Playoff  (Orchestra)  
#13 Bad Guys (Fat Sam's Gang) 
#14 Bad Guys Playoff (Orchestra) 
#15 After Splurge (3) (Orchestra) 
#16 I'm Feeling Fine ('3lousey) 
#17 I'm Feeling Fine Playoff (Orchestra) 
SCENE SEVEN                            
#18 Splurged! (Orchestra) 
#19 Change to Scene 8 (Orchestra) 
#20 My Name Is Tallula (Tallulah and the Girls) 
#21 I'm Feeling Fine Underscore (Orchestra) 
#22 Change to Scene 10 (Orchestra)
#23 Ordinary Fool  (Blousey) 
#24 Ordinary Fool Playoff (Orchestra) 
#25 Change to Scene 13 (Orchestra) 
#26 Down and Out (The Down and Outs) 
#27 Down and Out Playoff  (Orchestra) 
#28 Fat Sam's Grand Slam-Reprise (Company) 
#29 You Give a Little Love (Company) 
#30 Bows and Exit (Orchestra) 


Using this Book

This book is intended to serve as a guide for the production's director, although it also contains information which your producer; music director, choreographer and designers (we'll call them your production team) may find useful. If at this point you are thinking to yourself, “what if all those people are really just me” don't worry, this book is designed with you in mind as well! You will find background information on the show as well as sug­gestions on holding auditions, casting, running rehearsals, directing and staging the show, creating the set, cos­tumes, lighting and props, using the accompaniment CD, assembling the program and publicizing the production. Beginning directors may use this guide as a blueprint on which to build their own production. Experienced direc­tors may use the resources in this book to cut down on preparation time, leaving them free to concentrate on delivering the best production possible. 

The Directors Guide is divided into four sections: the “Introduction” which offers information on how to use this book and the nature of your performance license; “About your show” which includes a plot summary and background information on the show, its source material and authors; the “Director's Guide” which offers general suggestions on the various aspects of your production; and a section titled “The Show,” consisting of the intro­duction and libretto sections from the Libretto/Vocal book, annotated with specific suggestions on directing, staging, rehearsing and lighting the show, moment by moment (for quick reference, icons have been used to indicate the subject of each annotation-e.g., a director's clipboard for directors' notes).   

We suggest you begin by reading the “Introduction” which you are if you are reading this! (You see, great minds think alike!) Next read “About your show” to famil­iarize yourself with the show. You should then SKIP TO THE LAST SECTION OF THE BOOK ("The Show") to study the script and other contents of the actors’ libretto. The inset libretto pages in this section appear exactly as they do in the actors' books, down to the page numbers at the top of each inset page. Consider reading the "To the actor" section of the libretto with your entire group, to make sure everyone is familiar with the impor­tant theatrical terms discussed and the rehearsal process described.

If you are a beginning director, you should then read the Broadway Junior™ Production Handbook included in this Showkit, if you have not already done so. Even if you are an experienced director, leaf through the Broadway Junior™ Production Handbook--it's a great guide to theatre production and you may learn some­thing you didn't know about putting on a show Then read the "Director's Guide" section of this book, sharing all relevant information with your production team. Finally, re-read the final section of this book, concentrat­ing on the Director's Guide annotations and taking notes in the margins of each page in pencil as you may change your notes as your production progresses.

If you are serving as director and music director you should take one of the two piano/vocal scores provided in the showkit and use it in tandem with the Director's Guide. The other piano/vocal score should be given to the rehearsal pianist, if one is available. 

A final note to the director: peruse the Cross Curricular Activities and Enrichment book included in the showkit, even if you do not intend to integrate your pro­duction into a school curriculum. The book contains a number of exercises and activities that may help your actors (and you) better understand the show. 

 A Brief History and Facts about Bugsy Malone.

 Film director Alan Parker first had the idea of a gangster film featuring an all kid cast in 1973.Though meeting with little encouragement from the film industry, Parker persevered and a year later began work on a script that would become the film, "Bugsy Malone." A team of pro­ducers rounded up enough money to develop the project and Parker went to show business legend Paul Williams to commission the score for the film. Parker searched all over Britain for American children who happened to live in the U.K., mostly on Air Force bases, and in schools throughout New York City. Over the year 1974-75 over 10,000 children auditioned for the film!

The process of making the film is best summed up by the writer/director himself, Alan Parker: "... filming for thirteen weeks, making over 300 specially cut-down costumes, designing a complete 1929 New York street set, setting up a full-time school for lessons in between scenes, finding ways of making the cars and the splurge guns nearly work, getting child work permits from two countries... and we were on our way. A thousand custard pies and 100 gallons of synthetic cream later we had our film." The movie version starred then unknown Scott Baio and child star Jodie Foster and a supporting cast of over 200.

After the film's release and subsequent box office and home video and television success, Parker began to receive countless requests for a stage version so that schools and dramatic groups could present the story. Parker wrote the stage version in the early 1980s. In 1997, England's National Youth Music Theatre, supported by Andrew Lloyd Webber, presented Bugsy Malone on London's famed West End (the British equiv­alent of Broadway) at the Queen's Theatre. 

Long a favorite of the British amateur stage, Bugsy Malone was finally released in North America by Music Theatre International in 1999. The North American premiere of the Broadway Junior Collection version, Bugsy Malone Junior premiered at the Lincoln Community Playhouse in Lincoln, Nebraska in July of 1999 under the direction of Rhonda Lake.

The Plot

In this version of Bugsy Malone Junior the show is broken down into 14 Scenes. Here is the plot line for Scene 1

Scene 1

As the curtain rises, we hear Bugsy Malone narrate the following action: A young member of New York kingpin Fat Sam's outfit is cornered by rival hoods. They question him, then-splat! He is 'splurged' with a mysterious new weapon that fires whipped cream! The hoods exit and we see lawyer Flash Frankie getting a haircut. The hoods re-enter and-splat! Frankie is splurged with the same new weapon. Bugsy enters and comments on the curious action. The girls introduce Bugsy with, "Bugsy Malone." Bugsy meets Blousey, the wide-eyed new girl in town. 

Then it's on to “Fat Sam's Grand Slam," where Bugsy is smitten with Blousey, but she will have none of him. Suddenly the hoods enter again and splurge! One of them drops his strange gun but returns to get it. Fat Sam tries to calm his customers then calls his boys together for a meeting to plan a defense against the new splurge guns and their mastermind, Dandy Dan!

Casting Suggestions

The Guide itself gives many useful tips to help when choosing the cast for the show.  The Broadway Junior CollectionTM have web pages designed to be downloaded by the director and auditioning actors of the show for audition purposes only. These materials may only be used in conjunction with a performance license of an individual show. For more information on securing a performance license, please click here. Any other use is a violation of the copyright law and strictly prohibited. Here is what it has to say about some of the characters:


Bugsy is the hero of our story. Cast a handsome young man who can sing and act well. This role is equal parts Jimmy Stewart, James Bond and Gene Kelly. Bugsy alter­nates as the narrator and the star of the show A young performer at home in front of an audience who radiates a sense of charm and sincerity as well as a street-wise sen­sibility will take your show a long way towards success. 


Vocal range: C# to D (Baritone-Tenor)
Suggested vocal audition:
#29 "You Give A Little Love": measures 1-9
Suggested dialogue audition:
Scene 1, pp.37-38
Scene 2, pp.47-48


Blousey is at first the typical, wide-eyed young would-be sta', just off the bus from the middle of the country somewhere! But, we find out that Blousey is a force to be reckoned with and certainly nobody's fool. This is a large role that requires good singing and acting, but the key to casting Blousey is finding a young actor who is at home with comedy. A young Carol Burnett type is one recommendation.


Vocal range: Low G to F (Soprano)
Suggested vocal audition:
#16 "I'm Feeling Fine": All #23 "Ordinary Fool": All
Suggested dialogue audition:
Scene 1, pp. 42-43
Scene 2, pp.47-48


Fat Sam should be an adept physical comedian with a commanding stage presence. He sings, so make sure you've got an actor who can carry a tune, but more­over, finding an experienced actor with good projection and diction skills is important. Fat Sam carries much of the dialogue of the show. One note: Fat Sam does not need to be fat. You can dress him in a fat suit or casting a really small kid with a really big voice is extremely effective. 

Vocal range: F# to F (Husky Baritone)
Suggested vocal audition:
#29 You Give A Little Love": measures 10-17
Suggested dialogue audition:
Scene 1, pp.44-46
Scene 6, pp.68-70


Tallulah is the classic gangster's moll. Cast a young woman who is at home with herself and can deliver the role with deadpan sincerity and droll appeal. Tallulah is a Mae West type with a talent for performing. She needs to be a strong singer for her self-titled number. 

Vocal range: B to B (Breathy Alto)
Suggested vocal audition:
#20 "My Name Is Tallulah": All
Suggested dialogue audition:
Scene 6, pp.72-73


Dandy Dan is the unflappably stylish, debonair under­world businessman who outwits Fat Sam every step of the way. Your Dan should be at home singing his song, "That's Why They Call Him Dandy." Find an actor with just the right sense of style and grace.


Vocal range: Low G to B (High Tenor)
Suggested vocal audition:
#9 "That's Why They Call Him Dandy": Ml
Suggested dialogue audition:
Scene 3, p.50
Scene 6, pp.70-71

A Note On Splurging

Splurging is Bugsy Malone Junior terminology for taking somebody out'. In the gangster films that meant death. Thankfully, in the world of Bugsy Malone Junior, if someone is splurged' it means they are 'all washed up'. Though not fatal, splurging is the end of one's career as a gangster or hoodlum. 

For stage purposes, splurging can be achieved in a number of ways. In our Broadway Junior test sights Super StringTM  was used with great effect. By building small casements for the Silly String dispensers, they can be used throughout the show, wherever there is a splurge incident. This stuff cleans up very easily, which is a big consideration in Bugsy Malone Junior!

Remember when staging your production's splurging, that it should look like good-natured slapstick comedy fun! It is not real. No one really gets hurt. It is important to note that you are not staging violence. It is "The Three Stooges" with great music!

Performance / Guide Vocal CD

This CD contains both the background music for the show, along with guide vocals featuring the voices of The French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts.

Using the Performance/Accompaniment CD

The CD included in your showkit contains all of the music for the Broadway JuniorTM version of your show. Each musical number has been indexed sepa­rately. The numbering of the accompaniment tracks corresponds to the numbering of the black bars in the show's libretto. 

The person operating the CD player for your production is a key player. Optimally, the music director should conduct the actors and an assistant would run the CD player. Your CD operator should attend several early rehearsals, production meetings and every technical rehearsal. A libretto and score with precisely marked cues should be in front of the CD operator. This person can also be responsible for running pre-show music and any other sound concerns. If you have a lighting board, you may want to put the sound equipment on the same table.

For performances, hit the "play" button on your CD player at the beginning of the show; the "pause" button each time you begin or end a musical number as you may find yourself more error prone if you press stop and play throughout the show.

Create cue sheets to keep track of when to play and pause the CD during rehearsals and performances. Set the volume level for each musical number during techni­cal rehearsals, and mark the cue sheets accordingly. Also indicate if any tracks (e.g. the "scene change' tracks) are to be repeated multiple times, and the number of times they are to be repeated. Included is a sample sound cue sheet and a blank one to photocopy and use for your pro­duction.

Using the Guide Vocals CD

The guide vocals tracks follow the perfor­mance tracks. These vocal tracks may be used to help teach parts as well as demonstrate the style demanded by each song. Your Guide Vocal CD includes the same performance tracks with example vocals provided to aid you in teaching the music. You may make cassette copies of the songs as a teaching aid for your young performers.

[1] Opening
[2] After Splurge
[3] After Splurge (2)
[4] Bugsy Malone
[5] Fat Sam's Grand Slam 
[6] Razamataz!
[7] Grand Siam Playoff
[8] Change To Scene3
[9] That's Why They Call Him Dandy
[10] Tomorrow
[11] Show Business
[12] Show Business Playoff
[13] Bad Guys
[14] Bad Guys Playoff
[15] After Splurge (3)
[16] I'm Feeling Fine
[17] I'm Feeling Fine Playoff
[18] Splurged!
[19] Change To Scene 8
[20] My Name Is Tallulah
[21] I'm Feeling Fine Underscore
[22] Change To Scene lO
[23] Ordinary Fool
[24] Ordinary Fool Playoff
[25] Change To Scene13
[26] Down And Out
[27] Down And Out Playoff
[28] Fat Sam's Grand Slam Reprise
[29] You Give A Little Love
[30] Bows And Exit

[31] Opening
[321 Bugsy Malone
[33] Fat Sam's Grand Slam
[34] That’s Why Thy Call Him Dandy Dan
[35] Tomorrow
[36] Show Business
[37] Bad Guys
[38] I’m Feeling Fine
[39] I’ m Feeling Fine (Dialogue)
[40] My Name Is Tallulah
[41] Ordinary Fool
[42] Down And Out
[43] Fat Sam's Grand Slam Reprise
[44] You Give A Little Love 

About The Creators

ALAN PARKER (Librettist) 

Alan Parker is a world­ renowned film director and writer In addition to "Bugsy Malone" (1976), Parker is responsible for such cinematic blockbusters as "Fame" (1980), "Pink Floyd: The Wall" (1982), "Birdy" (1984), "Mississippi Burning" (1988), "The Commitments" (1991), and "Evita" (1996). Parker said of filming "Bugsy Malone" with a cast of 200 kids, "I said from the beginning we weren't making just a kid's film. I treated them like adults and so expected them to behave like adults. And, all in all, it worked out very well. Perhaps they didn't hit their marks as often as they ought to, but then again we didn't get any grown-up tantrums either!" 

PAUL WILLAMS (Composer and Lyricist)

Paul Williams is an equally acclaimed composer; singer and actor. His song writing credits include 'just An Old Fashioned Love Song," the Carpenters' hit "We've Only Just Begun." He wrote the lyrics for the 1976 Oscar winner for Best Song, "Evergreen" (from "A Star is Born"). His songs have been performed by a wide variety of artists including Barbra Streisand, Luther Vandross, Kenny Loggins, David Bowie, Cracker; Grant Lee Buffalo, Frank Sinatra, Mathew Sweet and Elvis Presley. Paul co-wrote the title song for "The Secret of Nimh," which he also performed. Mr. Williams has released 19 albums, been nominated for six Oscars and ten Grammys (winning for "Evergreen" and Producer of Best Recording For Children ("The Muppet Movie"). As an actor; he has been seen in a variety of television shows and his hilarious portrayal of Little Enos in all three "Smokey and the Bandit" films. An active songwriter today, he continues to write music and lyrics for performers everywhere while touring himself and he provides the voice of the Penguin on the animated television series "Batman."

Contact Details and Licensing Information

About Music Theatre International

Music Theatre International (MTI) is a theatrical licensing agency created by orchestrate Don Walker and com­poser-lyricist Frank Loesser to help theatre writers license their shows for live stage performance to schools, community and professional theaters around the country. 

On behalf of the show's authors, MTI issues a performance license to theatre groups which gives them the right to perform and present a musical theatre work as a live stage production. MTI also provides all materials necessary to produce the work, as well as additional resources that aid in the rehearsal process and enhance the final production. 

MTI performance licenses and materials result in over 7000 productions a year by professional, amateur and educational organizations around the world, including elementary, middle and high schools, colleges, universities, civic groups, religious groups, youth theaters, regional theaters, symphony orchestras, cruise ships, casinos, hotels, anywhere and everywhere musical theatre is performed

North America
Music Theatre International (MTI)
2nd Floor,
421 West 54th Street,
New York
NY 10019

Tel: 212 541 4684


web page:

These materials may be used only in conjunction with the licensed live stage performance of this play. You are prohibited under federal copyright law from using these materials without a current license from Music Theatre International, exclusive licensing agent, and from reproducing and / or disseminating any part of these materials by any means whatsoever, including electronic transmission.

Your Performance License

After creating a show, theatre writers copyright their work, protecting their ownership of it and allowing them-and only them or their duly appointed represen­tative-to decide who may perform the show, where it may be performed, how it may be performed and how much will be charged for the privilege of using their work. This dramatic performance right (or "grand right") is known as an "intellectual property right"; the show is the "intellectual property" of the authors. 

On their behalf, Music Theatre International (MTI) grants a performance license to produce the show and collects a fee, known as a "royalty;" for this license. Royalties are the authors' way of being paid for the use of their show, and are determined by careful evaluation of the dates and times of an organization's performances, and the number and prices of the tickets that organization plans to sell. 

MTI's other responsibilities include enforcing copyright law as it pertains to grand rights, including enforcing unlicensed productions (presenting the show without a performance license is akin to cheating the authors out of their livelihood) and prohibiting unauthorized changes to the show The Broadway Junior~ version of your show has been approved by the show's authors and is the only authorized condensed version of the show. Some people think making "minor adjustments" to a show (such as changing the gender of a character, inserting songs that have been edited from the Broadway Junior ™ version, or changing the name of a town to give it local significance) is inconsequential to the integrity of the show; or believe they have the right to “experiment” with the authors' intentions as an expression of their artistic vision. This is simply not the case. You have no right to make any changes at all unless you have obtained prior written permission from the authors or MTI to do so. Altering the show in any unauthorized manner is unfair to the authors and the show itself. Moreover; such actions will subject you to liability-not only to the authors, but also to MTI-for breaching the terms of your license agreement, which clearly forbids you to make any changes or deletions. 

Ultimately, you must remember that a theatrical production is a collaboration between the authors of a show and the organization presenting it. Your responsibility in that collaboration is to realize the show as the authors conceived it.

License Application  

Look here on the Broadway Junior CollectionTM web site, will tell you about how you can get a license as well as give you a guide to the material (eg. the showkit) and royalty fees. 

© 1998-2000 MTI Enterprises, Inc.
d/b/a Music Theatre International 

Click on one of the headings below to find out more about
"Bugsy Malone"

- Track Listing For "Bugsy Malone"

- Comments on the ten songs in "Bugsy Malone"

- What Alan Parker (Film Director) said about Paul Williams involvement in "Bugsy Malone"

- Where to get the sheet music for "Bugsy Malone"

- "Bugsy Malone" Press Kit (Part One) - including 'Synopsis,' 'The Main Players,' 'The Soundtrack Album' and 'The Paperback Book'

- "Bugsy Malone" Press Kit (Part Two) - including 'The Cast And Film Crew,' 'The Cast Biographies,' and 'The Film Fact File'

- Information on the National Youth Music Theatre' stage production of "Bugsy Malone"

- Where To Buy This "Bugsy Malone" Album

- Return to Paul Williams Discography 1975 to 2001

Return to Paul Williams' Music and Acting Home Page

Email me, David Chamberlayne, at: