Slay It With Music — Book & Lyrics by Michael Colby, Music by Paul Katz

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Musical Comedy/ 10 Characters, 4 Women, 4 Men/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: Slay It With Music is an original, six-character musical in the tradition of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Sunset Boulevard, and The Bad Seed. It tells the saga of Edna Beaucoup, a fading, forgotten Hollywood star of the 40s. Cooped up in her spooky California home — attended by Zachary, her compulsive retainer — she has been approached to make a film comeback. However, given Edna’s past, in which she was implicated in the murder of her coiffeur/lover, Zachary isn’t sure Edna should make this film: a slasher movie, Chop, Chop.

Adding to the complications, Edna’s sister Marcy, a TV star, arrives for a visit. Marcy’s soap opera Poughkeepsie has just been axed by the network, so Marcy can no longer afford to help maintain Edna’s home. Marcy also demands that Edna not make the slasher movie, because it could remind the public of past scandal. Thereupon, Edna “accidentally” breaks her sister’s leg. Marcy is forced to stay in the house, where Edna and Zachary can care for her and where Marcy reluctantly helps Edna rehearse for the slasher movie. Meanwhile, Marcy’s scoundrel ex-husband, Chad Walker, tracks her down. Desperate for money, he barges into the house and gets in a tiff with Edna. She kills him in self-defense. Marcy discovers the body, whereupon Edna locks Marcy up to keep her quiet. As Marcy vainly tries to escape, Edna marches off to start her first day of filming Chop Chop. More bedlam occurs, as Rosemarie Clinger, a movie fan, sneaks into the house. Rosemarie is viciously murdered, her screams heard by Marcy. Hours later, Edna — fired after one day’s shooting — confronts Marcy. Surprise revelations follow, resulting in the sisters’ reconciliation — but only momentarily. At curtain, the sisters are back fighting as vociferously as ever.

The first act of Slay It With Music may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button. For a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information elsewhere on this page.

Slay It With Music will kill you with laughs!” – Rex Reed, The Observer“New musical should slay them in the aisles! . . . Delightfully nutty musical. Engagingly witty score. Strong plot. Echoes movies like The Bad Seed, Psycho, and Sunset Boulevard, along with more distinct reverberations, in terms of style, of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company. The acting and singing are uniformly engaging.” – Don Nelsen, Daily News

“Merrily madcap, murderous mini-musical! . . . Reminiscent of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Sweeney Todd, and Little Shop of Horrors. Deliciously campy, gory musical romp.” – Jeanne Lieberman, N.Y. Law Journal

“Lighthearted…amusing…charming. . . . Deft, witty pastiches of 1940’s Hollywood production numbers.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Great show! . . . After seeing Slay It With Music, I can only hope that the team of Michael Colby and Paul Katz get their long due recognition and we see this production either on Broadway or in a major off-Broadway house very soon.” – Jeffrey Goodman, Parlee “Molti applausi!” – Mario Fratti, Oggi Magazine

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Michael Colby
12 Woodside Avenue
Metuchen, N.J.
USA 08840
Ph.: 732-494-2659
Playwright’s website:
Slay It With Music website:

About the playwright: Michael Colby is the librettist/lyricist of such musicals as Charlotte Sweet (Drama Desk Award nomination), Tales of Tinseltown (Coconut Grove Playhouse), North Atlantic (Show Business Award), Mrs. McThing (Goodspeed), and Ludlow Ladd (New American Theatre). He was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has written special material for numerous celebrities and Theatre by the Blind. He is a member of the BMI and The Dramatists Guild.

About the composer: About the composer: Paul Katz has written music and lyrics heard on television, stage, and radio. He is the composer of Dirty Dreams of a Clean Cut Kid, which won San Francisco’s prestigious Cable Car Award (1991) for “Outstanding Achievement in Theatre,” as well as Chicago’s After Dark Award. His other musicals include the acclaimed Seduction and The American Beat Nightclub. In collaboration with Michael Colby, he wrote the musical scores to Slay It With Music and Tinseltown. Tinseltown was showcased off-off Broadway, then presented in a revised version at the George Street Playhouse, the Gaslamp Theatre (San Diego), and, most recently, the Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami) to great success. Accompanist to such stars as Andrea Marcovicci, Marilyn Michaels, and Vicki Stuart, he was musical director/arranger for Forbidden Broadway Presents Mr. President and This Life: A Tribute to Portia Nelson, winning the prestigious Bistro Award.

Slay It With Music was first produced by Broadway Tomorrow at The Actors Outlet, New York City, in October, 1989.