Kid Champion is a musical starring Christopher Walken that was put on in 1975 as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival. The book, set in late 1969 to spring 1970, was written by Thomas Babe. Music and lyrics were by Jim Steinman, with Babe contributing additional lyrics. It was directed by John Pasquin. The music was conducted by Steve Margoshes.
Doollee.com offers this synopsis: "Charismatic, dazzling and attractive to both sexes, Kid Champion has achieved the pinnacle of success as a rock star. He is surrounded by an entourage of groupies, press agents, would-be biographers and adoring fans-all of whom seek to share in the glittering excitement of his almost frightening notoriety. But even as the play captures the aura of this high-powered world, it also exposes the emotional and intellectual complexities of its title character, and the uncertainties, faced by a gifted, attractive kid from Kansas who is skyrocketed to sudden wealth and fame, and eroded by the drink, drugs, and messianic power which are so much a part of the rock scene. Inevitably, as pressures mount, there is tragedy and sudden decline, and the sense that all the beauty and ugliness of the 60s have been compressed into one brief, but remarkable, lifetime."
According to Babe, the title "Kid Champion" was inspired by a children's television character named Kid Galahad.
- Kid Champion Suite:
- Candy Rock
- Space Station
- Nation Rock
- Spice Dog
- Spice Julius
- A Minor
- For Cryin' Out Loud
- For Cryin' Out Loud (Reprise)
- Donny's Guitar
Kid Champion - Christopher Walken
Mom - Sasha von Scherler
Tom - Christopher Allport
Lord Jim - Matthew Cowles
Alice - Anna Levine
Marylou - Mary Elaine Monti
Simon L. Renfrew - Kenneth McMillan
Zinko - Don Scardino
Jill McDill - Kathryn Walker
Stage Manager - Gene Fanning
Manager - David Margulies
Porter - Flloyd Ennis
Devoted Hack - Jerry Zaks
Cop - Anthony Mannino
Fan/Mailboy - Tom Happer
Celebrity/Woman - Patricia Stewart
Narcs: Flloyd Ennis, Gene Fanning, Tom Happer
Roadies/Groupies - Shelly Batt, Kevin Geer, Bertina Johnson, Anthony Mannino, Anne O'Sullivan, William Russ, Ilsebet Tebesli
Director - John Pasquin
Production Stage Manager - Richard S. Viola
The above information pertains to the 1975 production. There was also a 1979 production presented by Rock'N'Rep in New York City. It was revised and directed by Thomas Babe himself, and is the version published by Dramatists Play Service. The setting was designed by Mike Boak, the lighting was by Arden Fingerhut, costumes were by Bob Wojewodski, photographs and effects were by Daniel Clark, and the production stage manager was Renee F. Lutz.
Alan Rosenberg played Kid Champion, Larry Joshua played Tom, Charles Pistone played Zinko, Charlie Dougherty played Lord Jim, Bobby Pickett played Harvey Appleman, William Verderber played Paulie, Katherine Wallach played Mary Lou, D. Leigh Jones played Sweet Alice, John Spike Seitz played Dr. Renfrew, Robin Bartlett played Jill McDill, Sasha von Scherler played Mrs. Champinsky, Victor Caamano played An Old Friend, and Jon Laskin played Policeman/Bartender.