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
email: Ludlow29@aol.com
Playwright’s website:
http://www.michaelcolby.com
Slay It With Music website:
http://hometown.aol.com/
ludlow29/slayitwithmusic.html

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.

North Atlantic — Book & Lyrics by Michael Colby, Music & Lyrics by James Fradrich

North Atlantic

Musical Comedy/ 7 Characters, 4 Women, 3 Men, Chorus/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: North Atlantic is an affectionate multi-level spoof of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals — set in Eskimo land. With South Pacific as its closest touchstone, this family musical features elements reminiscent of the entire Rodgers and Hammerstein catalogue. Set somewhere in the mysterious North Atlantic, it takes place sometime after World War II. It tells how Honey Snodgrass and Melanie Fong, members of the Iowa branch of the Teaching Corps, find romance, bigotry, and a dream ballet in this exotic region.

“Not only the best of the three musicals I saw last week. It was the best of the year.”
– Henry Hewes, former President, New York Drama Critics Circle

Winner of the Show Business Award for “Outstanding Production of the Year.”

The first act of North Atlantic 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.

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
email: Ludlow29@aol.com
Playwright’s website:
http://www.michaelcolby.com

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: James Fradrich assisted the orchestrator of the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, The Secret Garden, and the first national tour of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. He has played engagements with several symphony orchestras, and was arranger and musical director for the hit off-Broadway musical Boy Meets Boy. Other off-Broadway productions as musical director and/or arranger have included Carnival (Equity Library Theatre), Gift of the Magi (Players Theatre), Babes in Arms (Playwrights Horizons), From Brooks with Love (Harold Clurman), and Man With a Load of Mischief (The Production Company). He has served in the same capacity on several regional productions and toured as pianist/arranger on I Am an American (for USO) and as pianist for Columbia Artists Management with The First Gilbert & Sullivan Quartet. He is a graduate of Lawrence University and was Archivist/Concert Librarian/General Musical Consultant for Rodgers and Hammerstein.

North Atlantic was first produced by the Gene Frankel Theatre, New York City.

Delphi or Bust — Libretto by Michael Colby, Music by Gerald Jay Markoe

Delphi or Bust

Musical Comedy/ 8 Characters, 4 Women, 4 Men/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis:
A musical satire of Greek mythology and epic adventure, written in the style of Greek allegory, except that most of its characters are original inventions.

Taking place in Ancient Greece, Delphi or Bust revolves around Candora — a young prophetess whose truthfulness gets on everyone’s nerves. She ends up competing with a pair of lovely and loony aspiring seers — Zircony and Nebula — to become the new Oracle at Delphi. Along the way, she is romanced by both a narcissist (Asphodel) and a dashing Cyclops (Cy), and almost murdered by Hernia, the Greek Goddess of Inner Disorder.

The first act of Delphi or Bust may be read by clicking the Read It Now button. For a complete reading copy, please see the contact information on this page.

“A DELICIOUS MUSICAL ROMP. Colby’s witty and pun-filled books and lyrics are in the style of Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter. All members of the cast have show-stopping numbers.” – Victor Gluck, Backstage

“VILLAGE VOICE THEATRE CHOICE: A witty spoof of Greek myths, invoking the incisive anarchy of Aristophanes and the Marx Brothers.” – Laurie Stone, Village Voice

“IDEAL ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. A charming musical celebrating Greek mythology and the very act of story-telling, performed by an appealing cast. Delightful fun.” – Martin Denton, nytheatre.com

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Steele Spring Theatrical Licensing
3845 Cazador St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 739-0413 / fax (818) 232-9158
http://www.steelespring.com

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: Gerald Jay Markoe studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, receiving Master and Bachelor of Music Degrees. His musicals include Charlotte Sweet (Drama Desk nomination), Delphi or Bust, Happy Haunting, and Ludlow Ladd. In addition to his theatre scores, he is the widely acclaimed composer of numerous CD’s which have topped the New Age best-seller charts. These include Music From the Pleiades, Music of the Angels, Zen Meditations and Celestial Mozart Volumes I and II.

Delphi or Bust was first produced by AMAS Musical Theatre, NYC in December, 1998.

Babes In America by Carole Clement

Comedy-drama/ 7 Characters, 3 Women, 3 Men, 1 either gender/ Full Length, Two acts

Synopsis: (From NewYorkTheatre.com): “Babes in America is a new play by Carole Clement about a woman named Liz Small who is suffering from information overload. An obedient wife and mother of two, Liz finds herself confronting the absurdities of the Information Age — ‘information overload and experiential underload.’ Struggling against the inertia of her own values, she must move beyond the expectations of others while avoiding the ‘Siren Song’ of new technology.”

(From www.offoffoff.com): “We’re in a perfect little suburban housing complex where the husbands go out to work and the wives stay home and scan stacks of newspapers into their computers, so their children will never be information-deprived for the rest of their lives. Liz Small (Kate Lunsford) — who’s slightly out of her mind as a mom, forcing her two kids (Alexandra Leeper, Ryan Paulson) to continue their babyhood well into their teens — is the first to crack. She starts to spiral down to reality and wonder whether scanning all day long is really the way to educate the family.

“She has another idea — go outside the cookie-cutter house and see what’s out there.

“‘I think I could learn from experience!’ she imagines.

“‘Even if you could, says her skeptical hubby, who hopes to achieve a totally electronic existence, ‘do you realize how long it would take? Your whole life!'”

Character and production notes

“An often-inspired comedy about a gated-community family on the edge between going totally digital and pulling the plug on their technological rat race . . . .

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Carole Clement
8371 Villa Marina Court
Mentor, Ohio
USA 44060-2039
(440) 209-0634
clement@ncweb.com
About the Playwright: Carole Clement lives in the Cleveland area and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Cleveland Playwright’s Salon, and past President and Director of Development for the International Centre for Women Playwrights.Among the competitions that have recognized her works are the Sundance Film Festival, Jane Chambers Competition, Last Frontier (Edward Albee) Competition and the Eugene O’Neill Competition.When not writing, Clement is probably gardening, pumping iron, ballroom dancing, or digging on archaeological expeditions.Babes in America was premiered by the Breakaway Theatre Company at Theatre for the New City, New York City in September, 2001.

Babes In America gets off plenty of clever lines, poking fun at gated communities, homeowners’ associations and the bright electronic future . . . . It takes on [its] big subject with wit, imagination and a strong sense of purpose.”
– www.offoffoff.com

This Blood’s For You by David W. Christner

Comedy/ 9 Characters, 5 Men, 4 Women (with doubling)/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: (from the Detroit MetroTimes): “Charlie James is sentenced to death for killing a cop. To him, life is a joke and death is a joke. Maybe that’s why this play has been labeled a dark comedy. But comedy isn’t its real purpose; it’s just what’s on the surface . . . .

“Humor is how Charlie deals with a life gone bad, and it’s how he deals with the many people around him who all of a sudden want something from a dead man walking. And what could they possibly want from a man who apparently has nothing? His body, of course. Christner utilizes This Blood’s For You as a tool to not only deal with the ethical implications involved with capital punishment, but with organ donation as well, and the interaction of the two.”

“Playwright David Christner uses the rich material of organ harvesting as a marvelous monkey wrench in This Blood’s For You, a powerful and thought evoking commentary on capital punishment. This intriguing vehicle . . . will make you laugh, and it will make you think. Dark comedy at its best.” – Key West Citizen

“[Charlie’s] quick-witted dialogue sounds as if Noel Coward was an American career criminal with 10 days left to live . . . . Everybody gets something in This Blood’s For You, and you will too. But like the characters in the play, it might not be what you expected. Check it out.”
Detroit MetroTimes

“Go and you’ll laugh after almost every line. Playwright David W. Christner has put together an upbeat play with a strong central character.”
Room Magazine (Windsor, Ont.)

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
David W. Christner
585 Indian Corner Road
Saunderstown, RI 02874-2120
E-mail: playwright43@gmail.com

About the Playwright: David W. Christner was born in Sweetwater, Tennessee and raised in a small farming community in southwestern Oklahoma. He received a BA and an MA from the University of Oklahoma. Two plays of his Vietnam Trilogy — The Wall and Bui-Doi: The Dust of Live — have been recognized in national playwriting competitions, and The Walk, Red Hot Mamas, The Babe, The Bard, and the Baron, The Bitch of Baily’s Beach, Ezra and Evil, and This Blood’s For You have also been finalists or winners in national/international playwriting competitions. His plays have been produced throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia. Mr. Christner is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Inc., the Theatre Communications Group, and is published by The Dramatic Publishing Company.

This Blood’s For You was first produced at the Key West Theatre Festival, Key West, Florida in October 1997.

Red Hot Mamas by David W. Christner

Comedy/ 7 Characters, 4 Men, 3 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: (from Between the Lines [Detroit]): “Abby and Dan are a successful married couple whose children are grown and out of the house. The peace and solitude they enjoy, however, abruptly changes when Abby invites her newly widowed mother-in-law, Sarah, to move in with them. In a classic case of one-upmanship common amongst in-laws, Sarah immediately phones Claudia, Abby’s mother, to tell her the good news. Not to be out maneuvered, Claudia masterfully applies the guilt routine with Dan, and before you know it, both mothers-in-law have packed their belongings and moved in with their now beleaguered children.

“The first act regales the audience with the problems that ensue once the widows stake their claim to the newly combined household. The second act reveals what happens when the former enemies find their common ground and become every parent’s worst nightmare, but with a twist: instead of their children running wild and carousing late into the night, it’s their parents who are behaving badly. Or are they?”

“A hilarious new comedy.”
Between the Lines (Detroit)

“Will trigger nostalgic laughs and shudders over matters maternal.”
Providence Phoenix

“Brilliantly funny.”
The Morning Sun (Qualicum Beach, B.C.)

“Christner’s witty and adult-oriented script has created characters who are sympathetic and believable, yet never caricatures that are there simply to be laughed at.”
Curtain Calls (Detroit)

“Christner has a real gift for clever dialogue in which a play on words can get bounced between two or more characters in bouts of witty repartee.”
Detroit Monitor

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
David W. Christner
585 Indian Corner Road
Saunderstown, RI 02874-2120
E-mail: playwright43@gmail.com

About the Playwright: David W. Christner was born in Sweetwater, Tennessee and raised in a small farming community in southwestern Oklahoma. He received a BA and an MA from the University of Oklahoma. Two plays of his Vietnam Trilogy — The Wall and Bui-Doi: The Dust of Live — have been recognized in national playwriting competitions, and The Walk, Red Hot Mamas, The Babe, The Bard, and the Baron, The Bitch of Baily’s Beach, Ezra and Evil, and This Blood’s For You have also been finalists or winners in national/international playwriting competitions. His plays have been produced throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia. Mr. Christner is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Inc., the Theatre Communications Group, and is published by The Dramatic Publishing Company.

Red Hot Mamas was first produced under the title Family Matters by the Canberra Repertory Company, Australia in 1999 and received its professional premiere at the Detroit Repertory Theatre in June, 2002. Since then it has been seen in India, Russia, Canada, Italy, and Ghana.

Two Wheel Tricycle by John Chambers

Dark comedy/ 6 Characters, 2 Men (with doubling), 2 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: Set on a municipal tip (or dump), Two Wheel Tricycle is a hard-edged drama shot through with dark humour. Trawling through consumer waste, the characters are all searching for something — to sell; to do up; to give their lives meaning — as well as maybe a trike for their kid. As they return day after day, the barriers between them come down and they discover they have more in common than they first imagined. But they are themselves surplus to requirements in a consumer society, and eventually the chap from the Council has to do something about them.

“A thoughtful, satisfying, finely wrought work of art.”
– The Guardian

“Powerful and ambitious.”
– City Life

 

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and Professional Rights:
John Chambers
E-mail: artistan38@tiscali.co.uk

About the Playwright: John has had some 40 plays premiered in his native North West of England — ranging from a Number One tour to fringe. He has written for most Reps in the region and was Arts Council Resident Dramatist at Manchester LTC and Resident Writer at M6 Theatre. His plays have subsequently been performed around the UK and as far afield as Australia and the US. He’s also written over a hundred hours of TV drama, as well as plays for radio.

Two Wheel Tricycle was first produced at the Contact Theatre, Manchester, England.

The Three Musketeers by John Chambers

Comedy-Drama/ 11 characters, 8 Men, 3 Women (extras casting possible)/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: This epic full-length romp, suitable for a family audience, captures the spirit of Dumas’ classic without slavishly lifting it line by line. It follows D’Artagnan’s quest to become a musketeer against the background of royalist and religious plotting and power struggles — with more than a few laughs on the way. Whilst playable by 3 f and 8 m, there is scope to use more actors.

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
John Chambers
E-mail: artistan38@tiscali.co.uk

About the Playwright: John has had some 40 plays premiered in his native North West of England — ranging from a Number One tour to fringe. He has written for most Reps in the region and was Arts Council Resident Dramatist at Manchester LTC and Resident Writer at M6 Theatre. His plays have subsequently been performed around the UK and as far afield as Australia and the US. He’s also written over a hundred hours of TV drama, as well as plays for radio.

The Three Musketeers was first presented by the Library Theatre Company, Manchester, U.K., in July, 1988.

Robin Hood and the Raven’s Revenge by John Chambers

Comedy/ 9 characters, 5 Men, 4 Women (double/extra casting if desired)/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: Written for a family audience, with plenty of humour and some added twists to the traditional story. It intertwines the favourite elements of the Robin Hood legend with less known myths, such as the witch Mother Maudlin and an evil Raven and equates Robin with the English folk-lore figure, The Green Man.

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
John Chambers
Email: artistan38@tiscali.co.uk

About the Playwright: John has had some 40 plays premiered in his native North West of England — ranging from a Number One tour to fringe. He has written for most Reps in the region and was Arts Council Resident Dramatist at Manchester LTC and Resident Writer at M6 Theatre. His plays have subsequently been performed around the UK and as far afield as Australia and the US. He’s also written over a hundred hours of TV drama, as well as plays for radio.

Little Ms. Loony was first produced by the Real Life Theatre Co., Manchester, in Oct. 2009.

Little Ms Loony by John Chambers

Comedy-Drama/ 5 Characters, 1 Man, 2 Women/ 2 non-gender specific/ One Act, 20 minutes

Synopsis: We meet Jane as she is strapped into a straightjacket. She’s a young high-flying teacher in a High School, where her husband is Head. The shrink has to determine whether Jane is mad — or is it the world she lives in?

“A thought-provoking tragi-comedy.” – City Life

 

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
John Chambers
Email: artistan38@tiscali.co.uk

About the Playwright: John has had some 40 plays premiered in his native North West of England — ranging from a Number One tour to fringe. He has written for most Reps in the region and was Arts Council Resident Dramatist at Manchester LTC and Resident Writer at M6 Theatre. His plays have subsequently been performed around the UK and as far afield as Australia and the US. He’s also written over a hundred hours of TV drama, as well as plays for radio.

Little Ms. Loony was first produced by the Real Life Theatre Co., Manchester, in Oct. 2009.