You Can't Stop The Beat: Top Ten Songs By Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

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21 Dec 2013

3. "Butter Outta Cream"/"Fifty Checks" from Catch Me If You Can

Years before Catch Me If You Can opened on Broadway, a song from its still developmental score was making the rounds. Marc Shaiman sang "Fifity Checks" on CUNY TV's "Theatre Talk," he sang it at press events, he sang it on the Internet — I'm pretty sure he sang it at a few dinner parties. It was a wise move. It's a classic light swing like the Rat Pack would have done, and sure enough, the 50 checks of the title open up into a swell list of colorful and fun rhymes. Of course, being a great song does not guarantee something will work in a musical and, like many before it in the history of Broadway, "Fifty Checks" was cut. What replaced it was another fantastic old-school number like Sammy, Frank and Dean would have sung. Even better, "Butter Outta Cream" is a parable "story song" in the great tradition of "High Hopes" and "Artificial Flowers," so it works just as well "outta" the show as it does in context.


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