September 2003
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Welcome to my salute to Gay Musicals, covering musicals where the central characters and plots were gay, and limited to those whose cast recordings were commercially released. This month's show covers 1985 through 1995, and please see my August show, Part One, which covered 1973 to 1984.

Playlist      

"Ten Percent Revue" - before stonewall (1987)
Interview with Tom Wilson Weinberg, about "Ten Percent Revue"

"Ten Percent Revue" - and the supremes (1987)
Interview with Cappy Kotz, writer of "In Search of the Hammer"
"In Search of the Hammer" - clothes don't make the amazon (1989)
Interview with John Karr, Co-Director of "Dirty Dreams..."
"Dirty Dreams of a Clean-Cut Kid" - dirty dreams...(1990)
"An Unfinished Song" - remember the ocean (1991)
"All That He Was" - our first christmas (1993)
Interview with Tom Wilson Weinberg, about "Get Used To It!"

"Get Used To It!" - hymn (1993)
"The Ballad of Little Mikey" - ten percent (1994)
"Cruisin'" - the evening after (1995)
"Fairy Tale" - stonewall serenade (1995)
"Most Men Are" - better not to know (1995)
"Only Heaven Knows" - without him / only heaven knows (1995)
"Whoop-Dee-Do!" - fairy bar / tough to be a fairy (1995)

Script

And, I've set up a special reference section of my site, to consolidate information on all the recorded Gay Musicals I could find, please visit those pages for a chronological display of the album covers and bonus pages of pics from many of them.
Click Here.

On this page for most of the musicals I've set up additional pages with larger pics
and much more info, so I'll direct you to "Click for More" where that's available.

"Ten Percent Revue"

"Ten Percent Revue"

"In Search of the Hammer"

"In Search of the Hammer" and its sequel, "The Return of the Hammer," were two lesbian musicals staged by Front Room Theatre, Seattle, in 1983 and 1985, respectively. The casts were reunited in 1988 to record the shows, which were released on a cassette. I've never seen the tape, but the photo at left shows the three stars, the Three Must-Be-Queers: Butchina (Cappy Kotz, who wrote the script; Thunder (Ann Rector), and Toughie (Carla Johnson). Phrin Prickett wrote the music; with direction by Patricia Van Kirk and Yolande Adams.

"Dirty Dreams of a
Clean-Cut Kid"

"Dirty Dreams of a Clean-Cut Kid" was presented in 1990 by Theatre Rhinoceros in San Francisco and was perhaps their biggest hit. This AIDS musical was written by Henry Mach, composed by Paul Katz, and directed by John Karr and F. Allen Sawyer. It is a nostalgic look back at the pre-AIDS gay life in San Francisco via musical reflections from five men anxiously awaiting HIV test results. Theatre Rhinoceros, founded in 1977, is the longest running GLBT theatre company.

Tonight's show features an interview with John Karr, who was the co-director of the show. I thought the interview was excellent, but there was more that just wouldn't fit on the show, so you can Click Here to hear the whole interview, plus another song from the show.

"Get Used To It!"

"Get Used To It!"

"Get Used To It!" Tom Wilson einberg was back in 1993 with another revue of his political songs. This show was produced by John Glines at the Courtyard Playhouse
in New York City, and also had numerous runs in various cities.

John White and Tom Wilson Weinbert, 1979

Above is a photo I took of Tom (right) and his lover John White at a 1979 concert in Norfolk, Virginia. I also interviewed Tom about his musical career for my April 2001 show, which you can visit by clicking here.

Click here for more on
"Get Used To It!"
and
also visit Tom's website

"Cruisin'"

"Cruisin'"

For a change, a musical Not about AIDS or activism, this fruit cocktail version of Loveboat was originally produced at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto, Canada. Its large cast of "weird, wacky and wonderful passengers" deal with their festivities being interrupted by a close encounter with disaster. But they persevere, pull together, and sing the finale. 1995.

"Most Men Are"

"Most Men Are" was an AIDS musical by Stephen Dolginoff, and was first produced in February 1995 at the Theatre Off Park in Greenwich Village, NYC. This recording is not a cast album, but instead a collection of highlights performed by David Gurland, Roger Seyer and Michael Patrick Walker.

"Whoop-Dee-Doo"


Singer/songwriter Tom Wilson Weinberg in 1985 put together a revue of his songs at the Arlington Street Church in Boston, and it eventually spread to over 50 productions across the country. The songs were intended to entertain, but pack a political punch, and dealt with many aspects of gay society and struggles. At left is the original cassette, and to the right is the reissue CD.

"Ten Percent Revue"

stars of "In Search of the Hammer"

"Dirty Dreams of a  Clean-Cut Kid"

Click for more on "Dirty
Dreams Of A Clean-Cut Kid"

"All That He Was"

Another AIDS musical was "All That He Was" from 1993. With music by Cindy O'Connor and book and lyrics by Larry Johnson, and production by Jay Floyd, this show originated at the Tamirind Theatre in Hollywood, and this recording was by The Way Off-Broadway And To The Left Theatre Company.

"All That He Was"

"The Ballad of Little Mikey"

"Ballad of Little Mikey"

"Ballad of Little Mikey" cast

"Ballad of Little Mikey" cast

Click here for more on
"The Ballad of Little Mikey"

"Fairy Tales"

"Fairy Tales"

below, the recording of the
"Fairy Tales" CD; right, Eric
Lane Barnes and
click for his website

"Fairy Tales"

"Only Heaven Knows"

"Only Heaven Knows"

"Whoop-Dee-Doo"

Howard Crabtree's musicals are famous for their outrageous costumes, which compliment his humorous lyrics. "Whoop-Dee-Doo" started in workshop performances, and with the help of a grant from The Glines, made it to Off-Broadway, where it's "eight-week" engagement lasted eight months, garnering two 1995 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Musical Revue and Outstanding Costume Design. It's been performed in a number of cities, by theatre companies brave enough to attempt the costumes. Crabtree had even more success in
1997 with "When Pigs Fly," another costume romp with clever music.

Click for more on
"Whoop-Dee-Doo"

 

"Ten Percent Revue"

Above, CD reissue, and to the right
another graphic for the show

Click for more on
"Ten Percent Revue"

"In Search of the Hammer" cast

"In Search of the Hammer"

Click for more on
"In Search of the Hammer"

"Dirty Dreams of a  Clean-Cut Kid"

"An Unfinished Song"

"An Unfinished Song"

From 1991, "An Unfinished Song" was an AIDS musical written by James J. Mellon that ran at the Little Red Schoolhouse, and the Provincetown Playhouse in New York, and also travelled to The Tiffany Theatre in Los Angeles.

"An Unfinished Song"

"The Ballad of Mikey" from 1994 is one of our better musicals. It is subtitled "The Birth of an Activist," and is set in the 80's, following the title character's journey, as one reviewer put it, "out of the closet, through the tearoom, and into gay activism and romance." Written by Mark Savage, it was first presented at Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles. In the liner notes, the writer comments that in taking the "write what you know" advice, he wrote a production number set in a men's room. And it's a gem.

Mark Smity

Mark Smith plays "Mikey"...
note the legs behind him seem to have their pants pulled down

"Ballad of Little Mikey" cast

Above, Jay Forman, Andy Steinlen,
Mark Smith, Wayne Moore & Jon Phillip Alman, from the "Ballad of Little Mikey" cast, photo by Robert McGarity, courtesy of Wayne Moore

Eric Lane Barnes wrote the music and lyrics for his revue, which opened at the Bailiwick Art Center in Chicago in January of 1995. Performed in a number of cities, the songs are excellent and vary from humor to poignancy. Barnes is now Assistant Artistic Director of the Seattle Mens Chorus, and his new works somehow find their way into their performances.

Eric Lane Barnes

"Only Heaven Knows."
For this Australian musical, the book, music and lyrics were by Alex arding, and the cast recording includes cabaret singer David Campbell. It was originally produced in 1988 and the story is set in Sydney during World War II, where the two main male characters meet and become lovers. The CD issue of the 1995 cast Recording also includes several bonus tracks. David Campbell on his own has also released two excellent cabaret CDs.

"Whoop-Dee-Doo"

Click to go to Part 1 of my tribute to Gay Musicals