Last night my writing partner, Dave Shirley, and I held a staged reading for a musical play we've been working on for, cripes, about two years now. It's called B.F.E. The Town that Christmas Forgot, and it's a twisted piece of work, let me tell you. It's about a guy who stumbles upon a town in the middle of nowhere, a town named B.F.E., and soon discovers no one there knows anything about Christmas. So he tries to tell them about it.
And the comedy ensues.
First of all, Dave and I have spent the past five years writing sketch comedy together -- short-form stuff, like Kids in the Hall, Monty Python or SNL -- to perform at our own theater, Rattlebrain. Writing a full play that's one story line isn't easy for a couple of ADHD comedy writers. Add to that the fact that we're writing a musical. A what? Yes, a musical. Dave and I come up with the basic melodies and write the lyrics, then our friend Michael O'Shea develops the musical and vocal arrangements. Here's the thing:
I hate musicals.
Never been a fan. Yes, some have broken through the clutter for me, but I'd rather have a kick in the head from a steel-toed boot than go see Mama Mia. Just not my thing. But writing one? It's been fun as hell! Especially because the lyrics, like the script, are twisted. It's as much a parody of musicals as it is a musical itself, much like the brilliant Urinetown, though ours is about Christmas, not urine. Here's a sampling of lyrics from the theme song to B.F.E.:
Bum Fuck Egypt
It's an acronym you see
Bum Fuck Egypt
When you say it in reverse
Egypt Fuck Bum
That's much worse
But as much fun as we've had writing it, last night was our first public staged reading, and we were nervous as shit. We've had a very loyal fan base at Rattlebrain through the years, and they have high expectations. Plus they're used to sketch comedy for the most part.
Well they loved it. There weren't a ton of people there, but those who were laughed a lot. A whole lot. Afterward we got some good feedback, some good suggestions, but overall people really enjoyed it. So I think we may have a winner here. We'll be polishing the script over the next few months, then hold auditions and put up the show this November.
If you've been thinking, man, I really need to get out to Denver during the winter time, start planning your trip now!
Oh, and Dave and Michael are two of the most talented people I know. They both worked on the movie Hempmento with me (you can see a clip with Michael and I from the movie here). Michael did the music to that, as well as to Tom's Revenge which you can see at the same link.
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