POPS PLACE UPTOWN
A NEW MUSICAL by ALAN
Imagine a boy growing up in swinging, hip Harlem during the 1930's in a place of musical
magic when jazz was in its golden age and the Savoy Ballroom at Lenox and West 140th
Street was alive with dance.
Across from the Savoy was a zestful place, where celebrities and those who drank in their
starlight, called the Brittwood. Some of you may remember it. Or, perhaps, you were there.
New York Songwriter Alan White certainly knows all about.
He grew up there!
Over half-a-century since his family closed The Brittwood's doors, Alan heard the music, the
talk, the laughter and the drama come amazingly alive one very special night in September
2000, drifting into his West Side apartment on time's cool breezes. And, working non-stop with
lots of love at his piano, he created this remarkable story of an unforgettable time in his life
And, once again, The Brittwood opened its doors, -- this time as a place in the heart, now seen
and heard so clearly in this wonderful, warmly human new musical, "Pops Place Uptown."
Alan White, famous for his hit song, "After the Lights Go Down Low," and other compositions,
has written the music and lyrics of the very first autobiographical musical ever, making
It's never been done before! Here is a foot-stomping, heart-throbbing and mind-touching
journey into his childhood through a boy called Rawry.
Through Rawry's eyes and ears, White has recreated the experience he lived for whole new
generations of people to enjoy. As the Brittwood doors open anew, you'll hear the first song,
"Unexpected Company" and enter into "Pops Place Uptown."
We watch the exuberiant fun, the ear-bending stories and the unforgettable wonder came fully
alive. And you'll never want to see those doors ever close again.
Even though Rawry sings the cute and charming "I'm Just A Little Boy," he is that and more, as
he dazzles in the spirit and life of his family's showplace, inspired by his parents and riding life
on the lyrical track of musical notes.
Anybody who was anybody in the world of jazz and swing -- Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald,
Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, for instance, -- came through The Brittwood's doors, where
fans, friends, visitors and celebrities mingled.
Rawry, living in a real musical heaven, muses about the future in "When I'm Not A Kid
Anymore." Love enters his life. He plays the piano, an old tune, and enjoys it immensely. He
wants to be "Somebody."
As Act II begins, a show bursts to life on the tavern's dance floor, starting with a lively "Hot
Digitty Dog" and the "I Believe the Angels Knew," a '30s-type Ink Spots group song.
Then, as Rawry approaches age 18 in 1943, his thoughts turn to a world in turmoil as World
War Two rages and he faces the fact that he will soon go-off to war. His parents worry but feel
confident of their son's strength.
Your eyes may well drip with tears when Rawry sings, "Year of Destiny" about that key time in
his life, which is marked by his marriage and the birth of his first child in August 1943.
And then, taking leave of Pops Place Uptown for the first time, onto war he goes, his fate in the
hands of a world gone mad and fighting for justice.
In 1946 Rawry, at 21, returns in "Welcome Home Man" and rejoins his lovely wife, singing
"Together Again." There is a celebration, with the war over and the place jumping in peacetime,
a "Saturday Night Fiesta."
Will Rawry follow his grandfather, as sung in the first act song, "Entrepreneur"? Or will this fine
young man go into the creative world he really loves, that of music, as his family asks what he
wants to do with his life?
"I Want to Sing and Play" he sings as he plays his piano. And we hear White's wonderful hit
song enter the musical, "After the Lights Go Down Low."
And we know that Rawry has found his place in the world, in creating music and, like the place
where he grew-up, bringing folks together.
Here now, in the new 21st Century, "Pops Place Uptown" comes vividly and vibrantly alive
through the amazing music of the extraordinary Alan White. This life-positive musical will make
you jump for joy!
...Its doors will close no more.
Liner Notes by Harold Walter Egeln
Act I -- Vocals and piano by Alan White and friends ("Unexpected Company"). All other songs
sung and played by Alan White.
Act II -- Vocals -- Dexter White and Bridgette ("I Believe the Angels Knew" dialogue.) Annuel
Dowdell and Alan White ("I'm A Boyfriend Now"). Taeko Fukao ("Thank You Baby") and Nobuko
Kiryu ("Together Again").
Piano -- Cheime Nakajima
Bass -- Clarence Burrows
1. Unexpected Company
2. Pops Place Uptown
4. My Kinda' Man
5. I'm Just A Little Boy
6. Long As the Sun Comes Up
7. Cupid Boy
8. It's Got to Stop
9. I'm a Boyfriend Now
10. Let Me Call You Sweetheart
11. NYC is a Lonely Place
12. When I'm Not a Kid Anymore
15. Hot Digitty Dog
16. I Believe the Angels Knew
17. Thank You Thank You Baby
19. Year of Destiny
20. I Got a Part
21. Welcome Home Man
22. Together Again
23. Saturday Night Fiesta
24. I Want to Sing and Play
25. After the Lights Go Down Low
26. Pops Place Uptown (Reprise)
All songs written and copyrighted @ 2001 by ALAN WHITE, except "Let Me Call You
The Blue Pages