Steve Lawrence

What Makes Sammy Run?

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Budd Schulberg's 1941 novel What Makes Sammy Run? was an indictment of Hollywood in the person of amoral opportunist Sammy Glick. The movies ignored Schulberg's cautionary tale, but 23 years later a Broadway musical adaptation was mounted. Schulberg and his brother Stuart wrote the script, veteran songwriter Ervin Drake (a musical theater neophyte) contributed the score, and TV and nightclub singer Steve Lawrence portrayed Glick. On the cast album, Lawrence proves to be the most impressive element, even in the presence of talented co-stars Robert Alda and Sally Ann Howes. Drake's score is only serviceable, but Lawrence makes the most of his solo "My Home Town," duets effectively with Howes on "You Can Trust Me/A Room Without Windows," and has fun with Howes and Alda on the witty "Lights! Camera! Platitude!" Still, What Makes Sammy Run? as a musical is a less impressive effort than such similar shows as Pal Joey, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

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