BWW Interviews: Fringe Spotlight: Jon Peterson in HE WROTE GOOD SONGS

May 17
5:09 PM 2014

BWW Interviews: Fringe Spotlight: Jon Peterson in HE WROTE GOOD SONGS

Broadway and West End veteran Jon Peterson brings his new one man show HE WROTE GOOD SONGS to the Hollywood Fringe Festival beginning June 8. It is the story of British actor/singer/songwriter & director Anthony Newley, who created a catalogue of unforgettable songs such as "Goldfinger," "What Kind of Fool Am I?," "Gonna Build a Mountain" and "The Candy Man."

Throughout the show, Peterson explores Newley's highs and lows, his many loves, and the desperation of a man innately wise to the charade that is show business - a man possessed with too many talents. Written and performed by Peterson, it includes twenty of Newley's incredible songs, driving home this tale of a show business legend.

Here Jon tells us why he loves this story and why it's perfect for the Fringe. Enjoy!


"I had been performing a show entitled Song Man Dance Man, which was a 90 minute one-man show about seven of the greats who did it all...Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, George M. Cohan, Sammy Davis Jr, Bobby Darin, Donald O'Connor and Anthony Newley. The show told their stories, dealt with how their lives all connected and interwove, and there were 24 songs and dance numbers associated with them.

The response when I introduced Newley into the story was always so full of love that a show all about him seemed a natural progression. He was such an interesting man; a cockney, who gave scant regard to towing the line or sycophantic, show business behavior, yet his ebullience and charm drew everybody in, whether they were 'in' or 'out' of any elite circle. His huge talents for acting, singing and composing such standards as "Who Can I Turn To?," "What Kind Of Fool Am I?" "and "Pure Imagination" made him an irresistible attraction to the powerful, the wannabes, and the many women who became part of his life.

He was famously married to Joan Collins in the sixties and seventies. They had children, as he had with other wives - and unknown partners - siring some undocumented children along the way. He'd been a fatherless child so he was perpetually creating or recreating family around him.

BWW Interviews: Fringe Spotlight: Jon Peterson in HE WROTE GOOD SONGSHis impatience with 'celebrity' caused him to withdraw from those circles after short periods of time, and his need for expression made some of his work seem very off-the-wall and often down right pretentious. Within that body of work however you still see great songs emerge that have become standards to this day. Eventually his behavior pushed him into the periphery and into downward spirals of deep depression, and later cancer.

So, with his interesting story, character, and the amazing songs that easily help to further his 'plot,' I think the Hollywood Fringe is a perfect beginning for this show that lets us revisit this man and his enigmatic world.

This is an 85-minute condensed (still working on that!) version to give a sense of what the show could become. It will be bare-bones. Any scenery or props will be up to the audience to create in their minds. The play is all about the story, the world I paint, and that amazing music to move us, especially as we see it in relation to Newley's story. It's as if he had been writing the score to his own life all along."

HE WROTE GOOD SONGS
June 8 (preview ) 13, 16, 21, 28, 2014
Theatre Asylum (Asylum Lab)
6320 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90038
Tickets: $10 ($1 for preview night)
www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1613

For more Los Angeles Musical Theatre news follow @MusicalsinLA on Twitter

Los Angeles THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW LA  Follow BWW LA



About the Author

Get Author Alerts
Ellen Dostal Ellen Dostal is a longtime west coast editor and reviewer for BroadwayWorld.com. A self-professed musical theatre geek, she also publishes two popular Southern California theatre (read more...)

  • BWW Review: A MEXICAN TRILOGY: An American Tale: A Legacy of Letting Go
  • BWW Review: GENERATION ME Tackles Important Teen Issues
  • BWW Review: The Troubies and Getty Villa Throw a HAUNTED HOUSE PARTY
  • BWW Review: NEWSIES Continues to Win Audiences' Affection in LA
  • Theatre in Historic Places: THE LIGHT OF WESTERN STARS at El Molino Viejo
  • BWW Review: CHICKSPEARE Moves, Audience Laughs, Comedy Wins

  • BROADWAYWORLD TV

    Generation Me the Musical in Los AngelesGeneration Me the Musical
    Hudson Mainstage Theatre
    (Runs 9/16 - 10/9)
    BIG FISH
    Heritage High School
    (Runs 3/1 - 3/16)
    Finding Neverland in Los AngelesFinding Neverland
    Pantages Theatre
    (Runs 2/21 - 3/12)
    GHOST
    3D Theatricals
    (Runs 10/8 - 11/6)
    The King and I in Los AngelesThe King and I
    Pantages Theatre
    (Runs 12/13 - 1/21)

    VIEW ALL ADD A SHOW AUDITIONS

    Save $$$ on Tickets to:
    Backstage with Richard Ridge
    Back to Falsettoland w/ OBC - Passing the Torch
    Backstage Bite
    TV Exclusive: BACKSTAGE BITE with ALADDIN's Rodney Ingram!
    Turning the Tables
    Binge on TURNING THE TABLES!
      Chewing the Scenery with Randy Rainbow
    TV:-LuPone's Autobio - Lands EVITA!
    KID CRITICS
    TV: KID CRITICS Swept Away at PHANTOM
    BROADWAY SESSIONS
    BROADWAY SESSIONS Goes 'Back to School' Tonight