I love, Love gay musicals, and this section
started out mainly because I wanted to organize
the info on recordings in my own collection.
So, the aim was to salute musicals whose central characters and plots were gay, and limited to
those that had cast recordings that were commercially released. Obviously, if nothing
from a show was ever recorded, no one can
ever hear it, and this is about music you
can hear, and collect.
don't claim that my research uncovered every show that made it onto
vinyl or CD,
basically started with the earliest musical I could determine, "The
Faggot," and went
as a matter of convention, if a musical was only of minor gay interest
did two shows that may be of interest, in August
and September of 2003 I did a fairly organized
presentation of shows from 1973 up to 1995, and of course you can still
hear those shows, which included several interviews with some of their
The Beginning --- 1973
|1973. "The Faggot." Al Carmines wrote and directed this show, which opened in May of 1973 at the Judson Memorial Church (where Carmines was minister), and quickly moved to the Truck and Warehouse Theatre in June, running for 203 performances and attracting a lot of attention. Carmines appeared in the show as Oscar Wilde and there were portrayals of Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Catherine the Great, and songs by a hustler, two leather men and a fag-hag gay bar owner. It got to the point right away, opening with "Women With Women, Men With Men." Click for more info.|
|"Rocky Horror Show." 1973 (Original London Cast) & 1974 (L.A. Cast). Yes, I suppose Frank does love Rocky, and everyone else, so I include these two recordings for that alone. And though I love it, I do not really consider this a gay musical. The cult movie, with some of the London cast members (O'Brien, Curry, Quinn, Little Nell) struck the world in 1975.||
|1974. "Let My People Come." First exception to my "gay only" rule (which is why the photo is on the right instead of the left row). It wasn't a gay musical, it billed itself as "a sexual musical." Written by Earl Wilson Jr and produced by Phil Oesterman, it was a an Off-Broadway hit, with over 1100 performances. A review of the time said: "it broke all barriers - simulated sex, orgies, lesbianism, homosexuality, simulated oral sex, bisexuality, all celebrated, all hilariously carefree." It's "gay" songs were "I'm Gay" and "And She Loved Me," and gay artist Larry Paulette, was in the cast. Click for more.|
"Laissez Venir Le Monde." Studio recording of the show, done
in Quebec, Canada, in French. No indication on the liner notes that this
cast did a live production, though I know there were productions in London
and perhaps other cities.
Click for More.
|1974. "Lovers: The Musical That Proves It's No Longer Sad To Be Gay." In 1974 Doric Wilson, and several others, formed T.O.S.O.S., which stood for The Other Side of Silence. This was the first professional theatre company whose purpose was to reflect in its works the gay experience. From their venue at The Basement Theatre, their first production, "Lovers," had several different productions over the span of a couple years. Click to see much more.|
|1975. "Fascination." Written by Michael Bottari in 1974 with music and lyrics by Michael Green and Quitman Fludd III, this twist on "Oliver Twist" opened at the Westside Gay Theatre, and then moved to the Glines Theatre, running for several months. While there was no official release of the cast album, it was recorded so I am bending the "rule" of listing this show, especially due to its early appearance in our musical history. Click for more.|
|1975. "Everyman, The Rock Opera." The recording was immediately banned from radio, and understandably so, with extreme lyrics and stage nudity galore. It was not completely "gay" but in Act 4's "The Ballad of the Deadly Sins," has three parts that are totally gay: "The Chicken Song," "Diesel Women Blues," and "Gimme Your Body." It's out on CD now, with an extensive website where you can hear and read everything, at http://www.everyheadarockopera.com|
|1976. "Side By Side By Sondheim." Well, of course Stephen Sondheim is a gay musical saint, but this show wasn't gay, except for a twist on one of its songs. David Kernan did a delightful version of "Could I Leave You?" (from "Follies" and usually sung by a woman). This was a London Cast Recording and was really a revue of songs from many musicals with Sondheim involvement.|
"Gulp!" Originally produced in 1976 and revived in 1977. John
Glines brought us a musical about the trial and tribulations of a gay
lifeguard. I cannot verify that a cast recording was ever released commercially,
and the photo shown is an ad from a gay newspaper. The New York Times
banned its advertizing, though the reviews were enthusiastic, with
The Villager commenting that it was "easy to swallow."
Click for more.
|1977. "Joseph McCarthy Is Alive and Living In Dade County." An ordinance to assure equal housing and employment for gay people in Dade County, Florida (Miami) begat Anita Bryant and her 'Save The Children' campaign of bigotry. And all that begat this musical comedy reply, made up equally of political comedy skits and songs, presented at L.A.'s Callboard Theatre. In the cast was cabaret performer and songwriter Amanda McBroom, who wrote "The Rose."|
|1978. "Boy Meets Boy." Written by Bill Solly and David Ward, this l was originally produced at the Actor's Playhouse in NYC in 1975, and recorded in 1978. It's set in London and Paris in 1936-1937, amid the controversy of King Edward's abdication so he could marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. The show is notable in that no where in it is mentioned homosexuality; the relationships are simply taken for granted. Shown are the reissue LP and reissue CD. Click for more.|
|1978. "The First Nudie Musical." Starring Stephen Nathan, Cindy Williams and Bruce Kimmel, this was Not at all a gay musical. It's been reissued several times, with bonus tracks, and the film version is now on DVD. The only reason for it being listed here is a track sung by Debbie Shapiro that lasts only 55 seconds, called "Lesbian, Butch, Dyke."||
|1979. "I Like Me Like This." I had to go to London to find the earliest recorded "lesbian musical," for a production by the Gay Sweatshop Women's Company. It dealt with several serious topics like rape and molestation, with the plot thrust being efforts to thwart the work of a TV reporter to display the "true" picture of lesbians as part of a series on "Outlaws." Click for Much more.|
|1979. "In Trousers." William Finn began his "Falsettos Triology" with a story about a confused bisexual, Marvin, who has a wife, Trina, and son named Jason. Through the play he works his way through much anguish, and finally leaves them to be with another man, Whizzer. Click for more.||
|1979. "Oh Gay!" This show ran for five months at a theatre in Rome, from October 1979 to February 1980, notable for a how in 1979 by that title. Click for More.|
|1980. "Boy Meets Boy." This production by The Out & About Theatre in Minneapolis makes this the only gay musical I know of that has two different cast albums. The show was produced and directed by Richard Rehse and it was recorded in December 1979 and released the next year. Click for more. Bill Solly is shown at right, he's released several albums of his compositions. Click for his website.||
|1980. "Spin Cycle." Written by Rick Karlin and Frank DePaul, this was the first gay-themed musical to be reviewed by Chicago's mainstream press. Plot: straight woman falls for gay man and they decide to form a cabaret act. A revival was done in 2000, and no sountracks were recorded. See large version of the programs.|
|1981. "Sparkles." Its subtitle was "The Ultimate Fairy Tale" and it opened in June of 1981 at L.A.'s Pan Andreas Theatre. Chuck Zinn produced, directed and choreographed it, and Michael Lewis is credited with the book and lyrics. It's a musical comedy fantasy, with Oz-like lessons to be learned about the joys of being ourselves. The shows Star, with the help of singing flora and fauna, help our heroes on their journey amid contrived obstacles. Click for more.|
|1981. "March of the Falsettos." The Falsettos story continues with Marvin wanting to be with his lover, Whizzer, and not wanting to lose his family. He ends up losing everyone, complicated by his psychiatrist, Mendel, eventually marrying Trina. Much of the story is of his son, Jason, dealing with having a gay father. Click for more.||
|1981. "Cleavage." What can you say about a musical that closes after one performance? That there was even a soundtrack released is amazing, and it's definitely Not a "gay" musical. But there is one song of interest to fans of this genre, "Boys Will Be Girls." Sharp listeners will recognize the voice of Jay Rogers singing it. He reappeared in 1997 in "When Pigs Fly." Listen for yourself... Also Click for More||
|1983. "Dance a Little Closer." Fairly obscure musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Charles Strouse, garnering one performance on Broadway. Two of the songs deal with a gay relationship of two minor characters, Charles & Edward (Brent Barrett & Jeff Keller). They sing the duet "Why Can't the World Go and Leave Us Alone," and later in the plot, as described by Strouse, "Faced with a probable war in which one, or both, may be killed, the lovers, Charles and Edward, feel it important to formalise their relationship and they ask the Reverend Boyle to marry them." He replies, and everyone else chimes in an opinion in the song "I Don't Know." Click for more.||
|1984. "La Cage Aux Folles." The most famous and most successful gay musical on Broadway recreated the story from the 1979 French film, and won every Tony Award in sight: Best Musical; Director (Arthur Laurents); Book (Harvey Fierstein); Score (Jerry Herman); Actor (George Hearn; Gene Barry was also nominated); and Costume Designer (Theoni V. Aldredge). Its battle cry, "I Am What I Am" is one of the few songs from a gay musical to go on to a life of its own, being recorded by a number of artists. Click for more.|
"In Gay Company." Fred Silver wrote one of our most popular
musicals, and it started in 1974 at The Little Hippodrome in New York
and ran for 204 performances. A decade later, with many additions and
revisions, The Backlot Theatre in West Hollywood presented it, and netted
this recording, with the LP shown at left and CD reissue at right. The
songs were done in revue style, with no connecting plot, and singer Beverly
Bremers was in this cast. Click
|1984. "Xposed" is from the songbook of Dan Martin and Michael Biello, and is an incisive look at the culture, and celebrating a variety of gay sexual and emotional situations. With performances in Philadelphia, Washington DC, and San Francisco, of the 21 songs four have been released on an extended play 12" LP: "Holy Rap," "Loving," and two versions (male and female) of the most hit-worthy track, "Clones in Love." Click for the Press Kit and More. and Click Here for an interview with Dan Martin.|
|1985. "Sit On It & Swivel." A gay musical and the music is now available online..see this link. Looks like it must have been a hoot. Click for more.||
|1985. "Beauties." Not sure if this counts as a "soundtrack," but it had a 7" flexidisc. This very short film, directed by David Weissman, 7 minutes long (seems longer) has no dialogue and just a frantic instrumental through it...and you can see it on Vimeo. It stars five drag beauties, well, not beauties....||
|1987. "Ten Percent Revue." 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. Click for his website. And Click for more info.|
|1989. "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, and they were directed by Patricia Van Kirk and Yolande Adams. Click for more.|
|1990. "Dirty Dreams of a Clean-Cut Kid." Presented by Theatre Rhinoceros in San Francisco and 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. Click for more.|
|1990. "Falsettoland." Two years later in the trilogy's story, Marvin's son Jason is almost ready to be bar mitzvahed, and Marvin learns that his lover Whizzer has come down with what the audience knows is AIDS. As Whizzer dies, Marvin fights with all he's been through to realize that he has a family after all, as they rally around him. A combined version of parts 2 & 3, "Falsettos" won two Tony Awards and five nominations in 1992. Click for more.|
|1992. "Falsettos." In 1992 both "March of the Falsettos" and "Falsettoland" were combined into a double CD release, an excellent idea. And though not a new release I thought this packaging was worth a separate mention.||
|1990. "Closer Than Ever." Basically a revue of musical works over the years of David Shire and Richard Maltby, perhaps most famous for "Starting Here, Starting Now.". This one's only listed here due to one song, "She Loves Me Not," originally from their 1961 musical, "The Sap of Life." This time, according to the liner notes, a "gender shift in the third chorus has transformed it into a very modern triangle."||
|1991. "An Unfinished Song." 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.|
|1991. "Vegas in Space." Okay, this does Not belong on this page, as it's a film soundtrack. But it is so rare I had to list it. It was a science fiction/comedy film, written by SF drag queen Doris Fish, about three male space travelers who must become women in order to complete a secret mission on the all-female planet Clitoris..camp for days. See More||
|1992. "The Ridiculous Theatrical Company." Not a "gay musical" but this collection is certainly deserving of mention. Charles Ludlam (1943 - 1987), playwright, director, and actor, founded The Ridiculous Theatrical Company in NYC in 1967. He often appeared in his own plays, in female roles. As a writer he was prolific, but his most popular play by far was "The Mystery of Irma Vep." This CD honored the 25th anniversary of the company with songs from a selection of its shows. Click for CD Liner Notes.||
|1992. "Freeway Dreams." Honorary mention for this one, but if you've heard its song "The Bette Davis Chorus," even without a gay theme, that song is camp enough to qualify. Written by Wayne Moore, gay cast members included (the late) Lee Lucas and Michael Greer; and also Deborah Tranelli, Bryan Miller, and Brenda Silas-Moore. Moore wrote "My Superman."||
|1993. "All That He Was." With music by Cindy O'Connor and book and lyrics by Larry Johnson, and production by Jay Floyd, this AIDS musical originated at the Tamirind Theatre in Hollywood, and this recording was by The Way Off-Broadway And To The Left Theatre Company.|
|1993. "Elegies." Subtitle: For Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens. The original London cast of the Criterion Theatre production, this show, according to its record label's catelog, gives us "Bill Russell and Janet Hood's moving and uplifting songs portraying the reactions of a generation coming to terms with AIDS." A stand-out song is "My Brother Lived In San Francisco." A concert version by a New York cast was released on CD in 2001. Click to see the Program.|
|1993. "Kiss of the Spider Woman." The hit Kander & Ebb musical and darling of the 1993 Tony Awards, garnering Musical, Book (Terrance McNally), Score (Kander & Ebb), Costume Designer (Florence Klotz), Actor (Brent Carver, right), Actress (Chita Rivera), and Featured Actor (Anthony Crivello).||
|1994. "Kiss of the Spider Woman." and again, the "New Broadway Cast Recording" with Vanessa Williams and Howard McGillin (right) and Brian Mitchell. Williams is one of the few who could have stepped into Chita's pumps without complaints from the audiences. The songs, alas, are not particularly gay, with the possible exception of "Dressing Them Up."||
"Get Used To It!" Tom Wilson Weinberg was back 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. Click
for his website. And, Click
|1993. "One Foot Out the Door." And early Stephen Dolginoff project, a sung-through musical with group therapy as the setting. Of course (or it wouldn't be listed here) one of the characters is gay. He's dealing with his relationship with his lover...should he break up with him? You'll have to listen. Click for more.|
|1993. "No Sex." Ach, a German musical, in that language. Gee, I don't understand it, but the music sounds good, and the actors look adorable. Click for more.||
|1994. "The Ballad of Mikey." One of our better musicals, this one 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. Click for more.|
|1994. "Zero Patience." An exception to my "no movies" criteria. I include it because it's an important AIDS film. Wikipedia has a lot to say about it. I'm not sure how they could do a stage version of that number with those (literally) singing assholes, but I'd love to see it. Click for More.||
|1994. "Hello Again." Not a "gay" musical but with a couple of gay plot lines, and gay actors John Cameron Mitchell (pre-Hedwig) and Malcomb Gets. A series of ten scenes with two characters, involving a sexual encounter. Gimmick is one character rotates to the next scene, in a different time, with two of the pairings being male to male.||
|1995. "Victor/Victoria." Another one not really a "gay" musical, but certainly with plenty of gay plotting, a beloved movie classic from 1982, brought to Broadway in 1995. Revived with (of course) Julie Andrews, and well complimented by Tony Roberts and Rachel York.||
|1995. "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. Click for more.|
|1995. "Fairy Tales." 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. See www.ericlanebarnes.com|
|1995. "Most Men Are." This is 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 (pictured at right), Roger Seyer and Michael Patrick Walker. Click for more.|
|1995. "Only Heaven Knows." For this Australian musical, the book, music and lyrics were by Alex Harding, 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. Pic at right is Alex Harding. Click for more.||
|1995. "Whoop-Dee-Do!" Howard Crabtree's musicals are famous for their outrageous costumes, which compliment his humorous lyrics. A co-production of The Glines and Postage Stamp Xtravaganzas, it started in workshop performances, and made it to Off-Broadway, where it's "eight-week" engagement lasted eight months, garnering two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Musical Revue and Outstanding Costume Design. It's been performed in a number of cities, by theatre companies who are brave enough to attempt the costumes. Click for more.|
|1995. "AIDS, the Musical!" I know about this musical because three songs from it are included in the gay theatre CD collection, "Family Jewels." Composed by Robert Berg to lyrics by David Stanley and Wendell Jones, the show was originally produced in Los Angeles, but has had productions in several other cities. I believe it was released commercially but have searched in vain for several years for a copy. If anyone can help, email me pronto. Click for more.|
"In The Blood." Similarly, I only know of this AIDS musical
from the "Family Jewels" CD. Scott Miller wrote the score and
it was produced at the St. Marcus Theatre in St. Louis, opening May 5,
1995. A review described it as part gay romance, part gothic horror, part
comedy, and part steamy eroticism, as it deals with an unlikely romance
between a hematologist and a vampire in the early years of the AIDS pandemic.
Miller also in 2000 published a book of the story. An original poster
is shown at left, and here.
|1994-1996. "Broadway USA!" Not sure if this series of albums should be included, as they are really "fake" musicals. According to the CDBaby description, "Cude & Pickens Productions created the CD musical Broadway USA with the idea of bringing to the listeners who had the time to hear the entire 60 minute program from the overture to the finale a Broadway theatre like experience." Up until Volume 5, Volume 3 was the "gayest", with songs like "I'm A Sissy," and "Coming Out." Volume 1 was from 1994, Volume 2, 1995, and Volume 3, 1996. UPDATE: Volume 4 was issued in late 2011, and Volume 5, "The Gay Edition," is just 'out.' See their website.|
|1996. "Rent." No, not exactly a "gay" music, but it features GLBT characters galore, and a soundtrack that deservedly made it famous, including the anthemic "Seasons of Love." Sadly, the show's creator, Jonathan Larson (right) died (on January 25, 1996) right before it opened. To me of special interest was cast member Anthony Rapp, who released the excellent (and lyrically gay) solo album, "Look Around," in 2001.||
"The Harvey Milk Show." The show written by Dan Pruitt, with
music by Patrick Hutchison and was originally produced by Actor's Express
(Atlanta, Georgia) in 1991, but this production was recorded in August
of 1996, by that same company, as one of the events associated with the
Olympic Games. Click
|1996. "Splendora." An Off-Broadway production of the Peter Webb book, done at the Chelsea Playhouse. Refreshingly, this is not a gay musical but a transgender one. If you can point me to a CD copy, please do). Cast includes Evalyn Baron, Nancy Johnston, Laura Kenyon, Ken Krugman, Michael Moore, Kathy Robinson, Susan Rush, KT Sullivan.|
"The Gay 90s Musical." Another musical revue coming out of Los
Angeles, this one is a little more skattered than most in that it uses
songs from a wide variety of writers who had no association with this
project, such as Holly Near, John Bucchino, Wayne Moore, and 18 others.
But the songs and perfformances are good and it's welcome to get these
recordings of them. David Galligan directed and the album was produced
by Bruce Kimmel. Click for more.
|1997. "The Last Session." A close bout with death inspired writer Steve Schalchlin to start writing his musical masterpiece. Its premise is when character Giddeon Welles is dying of AIDS and is preparing to take his own life, but first calls together old musician friends to record, unbeknownst to them, his "last session." The experience is the therapy Giddeon needed, and the audience reaps the benefits. The show's seen a number of productions across the country. Click for the website. And, Click for more.|
|1997. "When Pigs Fly." Howard Crabtree outdid his costume extravaganza "Whoop-Dee-Do" with this musical revue loosely strung together with a plot featuring a man pissed off by a high school guidance counselor who doubted he had any talent; he showed her! Crabtree died on June 28, 1996, five days after completing work on this show. Nominated for several Drama Desk Awards, it won for Outstanding Musical Revue and Costume Design. Click for more.|
|1997. "Pageant." This is the Australian Cast Recording, recorded in 1997, of the musical that originally ran in New York City (for 462 performances) in 1991. It was written by Frank Kelly and Bill Russell, with music by Albert Evans. Russell also wrote the lyrics for "Elegies." The show has been produced in a number of cities across the U.S., including Houston, where I saw it. I have not been able to determine if there was a recording released for the NYC cast production. If you know, please email me. Click for more.|
|1998. "The Boy From Oz." Ben Gannon and Robert Fox produced this Australian production honoring the life and music of Peter Allen, and of course has the nice advantage of being able to use his wonderful songs. Click for more info, and a pic of Peter's first album. The US production came out in 2003, see below.||
|1998. "Naked Boys Singing." Ya gotta have a gimmick, and this one's obvious one is a doozy. It was produced by Stephen Bates, Robert Schrock and Mark Winkler, who all contributed to the writing of the music. The original production was at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles, and it's gone on to be produced in just about every major city in the country, often more than once. Oh, yeah, the songs are very good...:) Click for more.|
|1998. "The Rainbow Room." Rick Knight (pictured at right) wrote the words and music and sings on this play about two gay men with completely different perspectives about life. The music is cabaret style and very enjoyable. Nominated for an GLAMA Award, it lost out to those Naked Boys. Click for contact.||
|1998. "A New Brain." The musical is a semi-autobiographical account of gay composer William Finn. A New Brain follows Gordon Schwinn, a frustrated composer, who gets his own fatal diagnosis and undergoes brain surgery. It explores Gordons need to create and his fear that he will lose his talent if he lives through the operation. Finn's first show since "Falsettos," it's more like the story of a composer who happens to be gay; not much overtly gay content. Click for pics from the CD.||
"The Last Session." See 1997, as this is just one of several
productions of Steve
Schalchlin's show, this time this one is the Los Angeles production and
the recording's subtitle is "The Souvenir Album"...is is very
hard to find..:)
Click for 1997 show info.
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch." It would be hard to find a more
original, and surprising hit than this one. With book by John Cameron
Mitchell (right) and music by Stephen Trask, the rock musical opened
Off-Broadway at the Jane Street Theatre on Feburary 14, 1998. The play,
and movie it spawned, went on to win a number of prestigious awards, including a Golden Globe for John Cameron Mitchell. Click for more.
|1999. "Tom Bogdan's L'Amour Bleu." The subtitle is "A Gay Celebration of Love In Song," Tom Bogdan and his cast presented this music-theatre piece for three consecutive seasons at St. Mark's Church in New York City, as part of the Danspace Project. In addition to music by Bogdan, it utilzes compositions by Ricky Ian Gordon, Dan Martin & Michael Biello, Chris DeBlasio, and others, including a charming doo wop male verison of the Chiffons song "He's So Fine." The show was nominated for two GLAMA Awards, but, alas, lost out to someone named Hedwig. Click for more info.|
|1999. "Ship In A Bottle." Plot Synopsis: "Its dark, surreal, atmospheric, poetic; the songs stunning. A musical that looks deeper into the heart than many of us have dared. A story about gay characters that simply accepts their orientation without discussing it. No dancing; no pat answers." Performed at St. John's United Methodist Church, St. Louis, MO, April, 1999, not commercially released. Book, music and lyrics by Jerrold Rabuska, www.raggedblade.com. And, click for larger pics.|
"Bed, Boys & Beyond." I saw this delightful musical at its
original venue, the Duplex, in New York City and was completely charmed
by the music and lyrics. With book and lyrics by Jeff Dobbins and music
by Alfredo Alvarez, they explore much of the gay dynamic of looking for
Mr. Right, even in department stores, and learning to be yourself. It's
played in a number of cities across the country. And, on my bonus page
for this show you can hear a 16-minute interview I got with the writers.
Click for more.
|2000. "Cowboys!" Wings Theatre in New York City produced this gay wild west musical, with familiar plots from a number of westerns tossed together. Okay, it wasn't Broadway, but still good entertainment. Clint Jefferies wrote the book and lyrics and the music was by Paul L. Johnson, with direction by Jeffery Corrick. Click for more. This was also released (why, I don't know) as a live recording.||
|2000. "Miss Folk America." A Faith Soloway comedy creation, with well-known lesbian folkies completing the cast: Catie Curtis, Kris Delmhorst, Mary Gauthier, Jennifer Kimball, Meghan Toohey and Merle Perkins. There's even a DVD..:) Click for more.||
|2000. "The Wild Party." Set in the Roaring Twenties, this is the story of one wild evening in a Manhattan apartment, and I list it for a wonderful song by one of the guests..."An Old-Fashioned Love Story," (as sung by Alix Korey). See this link and this one, from the man who wrote the book, lyrics and music, Andrew Lippa.|
|2000. "Out On Broadway." New Line Theatre in St. Louis first produced this revue in March of 1996, and it's been revived by them a couple times. Recorded in October of 1996, the CD was not released until 2000. It features songs from a number of hit Broadway shows. Songs include: "I Am What I Am," "One Boy," "We Kiss In A Shadow," "Children Will Listen," "But Not For Me," "Bosom Buddies," "Cell Block Tango," "Not A Day Goes By," and a great song that should be in a musical, Fred Small's "Everything Possible."|
|2000. "The Full Monty." The Broadway version of the 1997 surprise UK hit movie. Music and lyrics by David Yazbek, and book by Terrance McNally. It's only claim to gay musicaldom is the duet characters Malcolm and Ethan sing, "You Walk With Me," which is the most beautiful and touching moment in the show.||
|2000. "Prodigal Son." Another Aussie musical, originally performed at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, was written by Dean Bryant (book and lyrics) and Matthew Frank (Music). It's won a number of Australian theatre awards, and a New York production (just called "Prodigal") was mounted in 2002. In this version of the Biblical story, the prodigal son returns home and his family deal with him being gay, as he deals with figuring out who he is. See 2003 for the NYC version, "Prodigal."|
|2001. "Dirty Little Showtunes." Okay, I'm cheating on this one, it's never been commercially released, but I have a recording done by Theatre New West, in Houston, and it's a crime that this show is not on CD. So I wanted to at least document its existence. Tom Orr conceived and wrote the very, very witty parody lyrics to a number of songs we're all familiar with, from Broadway, to movies to pop. The songs are often naughty and gay, yup, this one should be commercially released.||
|2001. "The Producers." Mel Brooks brought his old story to Broadway and hit it big, with the help of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. It won a record 12 Tony Awards, and I think the price of the CD is worth it alone just to hear "Keep It Gay," led by Gary Beach. So, no, it is certainly not a gay show, but Beach's character and that song make it delicious.|
|2001. "Elegies For Angels, Punks & Raging Queens." This is the New York Concert Cast Recording of the 1993 London show. It was written by Bill Russell and Janet Hood, and was released on the Fynsworth Alley label. Click for Bill Russell's website.||
|2001. "Elegies For Angels, Punks & Raging Queens." And, at the right is the 2001 London Cast Recording. Not sure why they felt they needed to redo the 1993.|
|2001. "Portraits: A Musical Revue." Little-known musical by upstate New York writer Mark Alan DeWaters, featuring a large cast with a number of lyrically gay songs that are both moving and entertaining.|
|2001. "Bourbon Street." Another obscure and not particularly noteworthy musical, of only 13 songs. Book and lyrics by Hiram Edwin Taylor and music by Irvin "Deck" Decker, recorded live June 12, 2001, in New Orleans.|
|2001. "Jesus Has Two Mommies." More zanieness from Faith Soloway (see "Miss Folk America," 2000) and it's also available on DVD. This one also is blessed with Catie Curtis in the cast. See Faith's site||
|2001. "Closer To Heaven." Sometimes more pop than musical theatre, this London show's book was by Jonathan Harvey, but it gets far more attention due the score being written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, aka the Pet Shop Boys. The cast recording was committed to CD as the show ended its five-month run, and boasts probably the least informative liner notes in years.|
|2002. "Kooky Tunes." A revue gay tunes of the kooky variety make up this show, first seen at NYC's Eighty-Eights in 1998, and then in 2002 at Don't Tell Mama. Keith Thompson wrote the words and music and is joined by Jay Rogers (who worked on Howard Crabtree's "Whoop-Dee-Doo" and "When Pigs Fly"), Perry Payne, Vanessa A. Jones and Patrick DeGennaro. Click for more.|
|2002. "War Bonds." Premiered at Theater for the New City, NYC on April 4, 2002. Written and Directed by Barbara Kahn with Music by Jay Kerr. Featuring Shanara Gabrielle, Andi Hogan, Kate Roe, Tracey Silver and Eileen Sullivan. "War Bonds" was inspired by the long-neglected stories of women in the military during World War II, especially women pilots and army recruits, and the problems faced by lesbians among them. It is a love story that shows how two women, scarred by their wartime experiences, find a new life with each other after the war. Click for more.|
|2002. "Pinafore!" Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles, that brought us those Naked Boys, came back with a gay take on the Gilbert & Sullivan classic "H.M.S. Pinafore." Adapted and directed by Mark Savage, it grew out of a reading series he curated called Queering the Classics, and the inspiration was born to go the whole operetta G&S route. Click for more.|
|2002. "The Big Voice: God or Merman?" Written and performed by Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu tell their live stories with humor and wit, about how a Catholic from Brooklyn met a Baptist from Texas, work their way through religion and theatre, with theatre being the winner. Click for their website. And, Click for more.||
|2002. "The Pink Files." (Australia) Staged in October 2001 at Adelaide's Feast Festival, "The Pink Files" tells the stories of Adelaide men and women who dared to live the gay life through decades of social, cultural and legal oppression. With music and lyrics by Sean Peter and book by Ian Purcell, the script was developed from oral histories recorded in the 70s and the show charts the progress of gay culture from the 40s through the 70s.||
2002 & 2003. "Taboo." The original London Cast Recording of Boy George's story, through his music, with book by Mark Davies and direction by Christopher Renshaw.
Rosie O'Donnell spent $10 million on a Broadway (revised) version (right) that lasted for 100 performances, ending Feb 8, 2004.
|2002. "Convenience." A "sung through" musical with book, lyrics and music by Gregg Coffin, dealing with a 26-year old man trying to come out to his mother, while she is trying to tell him about her potential fiance, and both trying to break down walls they built many years ago. The Geva production (Rochester, NY) issued a 2-disc CD. I was able to interview Gregg while he was in Houston for the production at Stages Theatre. Click to hear that interview, 23 minutes.||
|2003. "The Sissy Show." Subtitle: The Transgender Musical Revue. Music by Katherine Harvey, lyrics by Harvey and Christine Howey. This is perhaps the first all transgender musical, and I had such hopes that it would be good. But it is a very low budget production (the CD comes in a slim-line case with cover sheet xeroxed onto typing paper). I used to have a link here to their site, but it's gone, so click for the info I grabbed from there at the time. Click for More.|
|2003. "The Broadway Musicals of 1964." Part of a series of live performances, this one captures the spirit of 1964, with a cast including Tom Andersen, Liz Callaway, Barbara Fasano, Alix Korey, Sharon McKnight, Craig Rubano, and doing drag personas, Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand and Richard Skipper as Carol Channing. Ya gotta give chops to a musical that includes a dash of drag. Click for more.||
|2003. "Elegies, A Song Cycle." Another William Finn musical, with Betty Buckley...need I say more? Oh, yeah, one of the songs is called "Mark's All-Male Thanksgiving," gotta love it.|
|2003. "Prodigal." See the notes for 2000's "Prodigal Son," only this version was presented by the York Theatre Company in New York City, with a short run that began in February 2002. The CD (as was "Kooky Tunes") was released by Jay Records, who is rapidly amassing a very nice catalog of those harder to find old and new shows and performances.|
|2003. "Not Me." Apparantly a very shoestring production with a limited run, at Upstairs at Rose's Turn, in NYC in May 2003. It starred Hector Coris (in photo, right), who wrote the lyrics. Music was by Paul L. Johnson (photo, left), and they had the backup help by two cuties, Mickey & Tripp. Interesting tracks are "Terrible Homosexual" and "In Heaven (The Sing Nothing But Showtunes)." See www.hectorcoris.com||
|2003. "A Man of No Importance." Based on the 1994 Albert Finney movie of the same name, it tells the tender story of Alfie Byrne, a bus driver living in 1960's Dublin. A passionate fan of Oscar Wilde, Alfie is determined to stage a version of Salome at his church, despite the objections of church authorities. In the process of fighting for the play, Alfie is finally forced to confront his own sexuality and take a stand in the world. the songs are the story, and it evolves slowly. "Love Who You Love" is a stand-out song in the production.|
|2003. "Zanna Don't." The CD for this NYC production. Its features our 'Queer Eye For The Straight Guy' culture maven Jai Rodriguez. Very "out" and pleasant material, some of which may remind you of a gay version of "Grease." Click for the website. And click for more .||
"Avenue Q." In the musical "Avenue Q," Muppet-like
puppets drink, swear, have sex and surf the Web for porn. There's even
a fussy puppet that loves show tunes and has a not-so-secret crush on
his roommate. Take that, Bert and Ernie. Click
for the website.
|2003. "Radiant Baby." As you might guess from the title font, this project is a salute to Keith Haring, who died in 1990, the phenomenal artist and social activist. Music and lyrics by Debra Basher and Stewart Ross and produced Off-Broadway, with an unreleased cast recording (though copies exist). See CastAlbums.org link for more.|
|2003. "The Boy From Oz." In September the US version of the Aussie musical opened, starring Hugh Jackman, who generally got good reviews, though the box office was not stellar. It's the Peter Allen story...quiet, please, there's a diva on stage. Right, Isabel Keating portrays Judy Garland and Hugh Jackman is Peter Allen. I saw it in June 2004, on the day before Jackman won a Tony for it.|
|2003. "Rudolph the Red Hosed Reindeer." Another zany show from Chicago's Hell in a Handbag Productions. This one's been performed a number of times over the years as those North Pole misfits just keep coming back for more. See their site.||
||2004. "Pyrates." The true story of the pirates of the Caribbean, in the tradition of Three-Penny Opera and Oliver! set in 1720 Jamaica. Featuring real-life lesbian pirates Anne Bonney and Mary Read, pirate captain Calico Jack Rackham and gay hairdresser Pierre Devlin. Joining the pirates on their last voyage are an escaped slave, a Sephardic Jewish refugee from the Inquisition in Europe, and assorted brigands and rogues. Book and lyrics by Barbara Kahn, music and musical direction by Jay Kerr, the team that produced "War Bonds" in 2002. Click for more.|
|2004. "108 Waverly." Come meet the gentlemen of 108 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village. Robby and Chris are a modern-day gay couple trying to find common ground. Matthew and Brian are in love, but the year is 1928 and they lead hidden lives. Both couples have issues and a lot more in common. They share the same apartment... 70 years apart. This Dan Clancy musical has been performed around the country. More|
|2004. What's not to like about an Aussie musical that has a song called "I Shave My Balls"? Meet Joe Thompson. Joe is about to embark on a search for love and companionship, although, by his own admission, it's a search he's finding daunting. Find out more here or here.||
|2005. "Breathe." Hailed by critics for celebrating the human spirit Breathe is an award-winning collection of 7 short musical stories that celebrate gay and lesbian life. Breathe officially premiered in 1999 at the Bailiwick Rep in Chicago where it ran for 10 weeks and won the After Dark Award for Outstanding New Work. In March 2003 Breathe was produced by SNAP! Productions in Omaha where it received 8 TAG Award nominations. It was written by Dan Martin (Composer) and Michael Biello (Lyricist). Click for info.|
|2005. "Ain't We Got Fun." This offbeat original musical extravaganza takes place in a Chicago Prohibition Era Speakeasy, and focus on the timeless theme of two boys in love. They dance, sing and kiss - while fighting all the obstacles that keep them apart and that includes a stock market crash, a gaggle of gangsters, bootleg alcohol and the closet. For his musical, Mike McFaden has unearthed a treasure trove of little known, foot tapping tunes from the 1920's including "Gay Love" and "He's A Good Man To Have Around". I've heard a preview version of the CD, and it surely does capture the spirit of the music; hope I get to see the show itself. Visit the site or click for more.|
|2005. "Songs From An Unmade Bed." I found this soundtrack refreshing with highly original and clever lyrics. Written by Mark Campbell and performed by Michael Winther (right), the original production opened at the New York Theatre Workshop in May of 2005, and is worth checking out, if only for the song "The Other Other Woman."||
Your Problem." Another musical comedy revue by Hector Coris (see
"Not Me," 2003). Opened June 2005 with a number of runs through
the next year. Performers in pic are Suzanne Adams, Eric Martin and
Hector Coris. Includes songs: "If We Were Gay Married," "Fleet
Week," "There's a Pansy in the Garden" and 21 more. See
|2005. "Trolls." An affectionate look at the present, and past, world of a group of gay men who have gotten...horrors...older. Written by Bill Dyer and Dick DeBenedictis, this soundtrack is a bit hard to find, but worth the effort. Click for more.||
|2005. "Fleet Week: The Musical." I'm beaking a rule listing this one, as no soundtrack was issued, though a few song files escaped. The cast got good reviews, but the script, by Mac Rogers, not so much. Sounds like its ship sank, weighed down by cliches. Ran for one week at NYC Fringe Festival. Click for More.|
|2005. "Hair: The Actor's Fund of America Benefit Recording." No, not a "gay" musical, but a classic one nonetheless, with many gay overtones. They all remain in this benefit performance, this time with many openly gay & lesbian performers, like (in no particular order) Lea DeLaria, Jae Rodriguez (he gets to do "Sodomy"), Harvey Fierstein, Charles Busch, John Tartaglia, Christopher Sieber, Billy Porter, Darius de Haas...all these along with other favorites, like Adam Pascal, Gavin Creel, Annie Golden, Liz Calloway, and, oh yes, Jennifer Hudson. Click for more.||
|2006. "Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story." Composer/playwright Stephen Dolginoff does not shy away from bold material, such as making a musical out of the story of gay killers Leopold & Loeb. You'll also find by him on this listing "Most Men Are" and "One Foot Out the Door." Click for more on "Thrill Me" and "One Foot Out the Door"||
|2006. "Play It Cool." From the CDbaby description: "Once again, one lyricist collaborating various composers comes up with a winner. Mark Winkler's Play It Cool is a musical that takes film noir as its ambience." It's set in Hollywood, and had a run in Los Angeles recently. The show is about gays and lesbians in the repressive 1950s where expressions of same-sex affection had to be guarded. This is the Los Angeles cast recording.|
|2006. "[title of show]". This much acclaimed musical has music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and a book by Hunter Bell. It documents its own creation by two Broadway fans, who want to enter the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and struggle to complete the show in three and a half weeks, and their two actress friends. The actors are also the writers and characters of the musical. It ran 102 performances on Broadway.|
|2006. "Le Cabaret des Hommes Perdus." From France, and in French. Per the Wiki translation "The lost men Cabaret tells the story of a young gay porn movie star, a young provincial named Dick Teyer, which leads him into a box drag queen of the slums of New York to escape a gang of thugs. By his physique, he became a porno celebrity." ah, lost in translation; and it's also on DVD.||
|2006. "Muscle-Man VS Skeletonman" ...which takes place in the mythical land of Queerternia, and you can go from there, see more.|
|2007. "Twist." With NYC and L.A. productions, there's no soundtrack released yet, so I'm taking liberties at listing this show, but several songs have been available at its regular and myspace sites. It's been described as a goth, pop-rock, queer musical, weaving Victorian erotica, dark comedy and gender bending. What's not to like?|
|2007. "Bare." For my vote, the best gay musical in years, it captured me immediately with its voices, spirit, story and of course, music. Written by Damon Intrabartolo and Jon Hartmere, you can hear a fascinating interview with Damon on the February 2008 edition of QMH.||
|2007. "Over the Rainbows." And why shouldn't Durham, NC, have its own gay musical? Here's the plot: Henry, a gay man with delusions of grandeur, attempts to transform a somewhat crude but physically irresistible straight mechanic into his metrosexual ideal with catastrophic consequences. Michael Penny did the music, lyrics and book, enough to fill two CDs. Check out the MySpace page or what I've collected, Here.||
|2007. "Bash'd a Gay Rap Opera." Created by Canadians Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow, this hip hop musical about gay marriage and gay bashing has had a number of successful runs since its debut, winning a NY International Fringe Festival Award and GLAAD Award, among other acclaims. See this site.||
|2007. "I Was a Teenage Homo." A creation of Jeff Scott & Bill Fagan (right), this show ran for six weeks in Los Angeles. Based gayly on the schlocky 50s movie "Teenage Werewolf" updated to 1978. Check out their website.||
|2007. "Loving Repeating." Ah, a musical about Gertrude Stein, done by Stephen Flaherty ("Ragtime"), and you immediately realize how apt the title is, that is, if you are at all familiar with Stein's writing style....a style of repeating key phrases, again and again. The liner notes say the show evokes the "story through music the way that Stein might have written it."|
|2007. "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Musical." Way, way Off-Broadway for this one, Sydney, Australia, and if you have seen the movie (which you probably have or it is unlikely you would even reading this) then you already know the music. But this time it's the cast actually singing all those hit songs we know and love...face it, lip-syncing on stage in a major prodution would not cut it.|
|2008. "Mom, I'm Gay." This musical comedy has been around a few years, since 1987, and just now they are releasing its CD. It's the story of one mother's vain pursuit to find a husband for her lesbian daughter, taking on homophobia with songs in a variety of styles. And the small cast of characters includes a drag queen, who gets a starring number with the song "Dash of Sugar." Wilhemina A Paulin wrote, produced and directed the show, and plays "mom." Visit their site or Click for More on mine.|
|2008. "Oh My Godmother!" I'd love to see this show live, it sounds irresistible. From their site: Start with Albert, a love-struck gay teen in San Francisco. Toss in a homophobic Stepmother, a drag-loving 'Godmother', the reigning queens of Castro Street and their adopted son Prince--whos questioning his own sexuality--and youll begin to get an idea of why this show has been greeted by gales of laughter, sold out houses and critical acclaim. Music and lyrics by Ron Lytle. Visit their site or Click for More on mine.|
|2008. "1918: A House Divided." Written by Barbara Kahn (see "War Bonds," 2002) and Allison Tartalia, this musical draws a number of political parallels between New York City during World War I and the present day, but the LGBT relationships are central to the plot. Click for more.||
|2008. "Were the World Mine." A film festival favorite. Armed with a magical love-potion and empowered by dazzling musical fantasies, a struggling teen turns his narrow-minded town gay. IMDB page. Not a full "musical" but with several songs involving the film's plot.||
"Fancy Boys Follies." Mainly the creation of David Pevsner,
who also contributed to the hit shows "When Pigs Fly" and "Naked
Boys Singing." Among the naughty ditties, picture Jim J. Bullock
(right) singing "Pain in the Butt," which I won't describe further,
you can't make me. No commercial release but a four-song demo is in circulation.
Click for the Program.
|2008. "Gay Bride of Frankenstein." According to their website, "Gay Bride of Frankenstein" is a pop/rock, fairy tale musical that follows the exploits of four high school friends on one fateful Halloween night. The show has a couple runs in Portsmouth, NH, where this soundtrack was recorded, and are hopes for other cities. And hey, they have merch at their site, who doesn't need a "GBOF" t-shirt?||
"Orlanding the Dominant." More of a queer performance piece
than a "gay musical," this is a very avant guarde gender blending
take on Virginia Wolfe's "Orlando," acted and sung by the Vienna
female drag group Sissy Boyz. Best track is "Have I Always Been a
for clip video and Sissy
Boyz site, (do google translate).
|2008. "Glory Days." After a very short Broadway run (17 shows is short), the CD was released the next year. Music by Nick Blaemire, book by James Gardiner, it's the story of four best friends getting together a year after high school graduation. The plot moves ahead when one of the characters (played by Jesse JP Johnson) comes out, and the other three reconcile their feelings about that for the remainder of the show. I think this one is excellent. See More.|
|2008. "Perfectly Normal Boy." By composer-lyracist Paul Bruce, first produced Off-Broadway in 1999, and released on CD in 2008. It tackles the subject of "any and every gay man's life, in 30 musical numbers or less." The soundtrack available for download boasts 21 tracks, and three can be heard on youtube. Sections of the show are titled: Birth and Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence, First Love, The Bar Scene, The Moments We Choose to Forget, and Growing Old Gracefully. Quite charming, actually.|
|2009. "Big Gay Musical." Movie soundtrack and for the plot I'll skip ahead to the end, using text from the website: "after musical numbers with scantly clad tap dancing angels, a retelling of Genesis, tele-evangelists, a camp that attempts to turn gay kids straight, and a bunch of showtunes, everyone realizes that life gets better once they accept who they really are. And they are just the way God made 'em." Attactive cast, including Broadway Boy Marty Thomas. Written and co-directed by Fred M Caruso. It's on DVD also, and Marty Thomas does a terrific & way over-the-top Jenifer Holiday-ish number.|
|2009. "My Big Phat Gay Musical." From the CDbaby page: "an off-color musical comedy about a gay singer/songwriter who just happens to wait tables with his best friends, a dancer and an actress. When a mysterious hot guy shows up at the restaurant, everyone is caught off guard and soon they come to realize that he may be more than just a pretty face! Chockfull of original music by John Paul Sharp, this production is a shockingly funny and endearing self-portrait of the life of the artist himself." More information at John Paul Sharp's website.|
|2009. "My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding." Canadian singer/songwriter David Hein, along with his wife, Irene Carl, wrote the music from this apparently fun romp, which has been well-received in cities across America. It's semi-autographical, as he Does have two lesbian moms. His site is http://www.davidhein.net/ and see some CD scans Here. And there's a charming interview with David Hein on Youtube. and another, here.|
|2009. "Our Country." Per a press blurb: "Our Country, a new musical with music and lyrics by Tony Asaro and book by Dan Collins, confronts a dilemma head on. Tommy Dautry (Justin Utley) has it all - a great voice, a hit love song, and, oops, a boyfriend." Can you have success and also be true to yourself, goes the old cliche. Utley lends the star power, as he's a recognized recording artist. See the website, and a review.|
|2009. "C'Est La Guerre!" This is the 15th anniversary cast recording of this musical, with music and lyrics by Michael Ogborn. It's been primarily a Philadelphia production, and the show's subtitle is "Songs From the War on AIDS." Therefore I hesitate a bit at including it on this page, as a "gay musical," as if gay = AIDS, but gay elements are of course included in the lyrics, in particular in the songs "Sister's Will" and "New Soldier's Song, and the finale "Soldiers in the Sky." See the composer's website at www.michaelogborn.com.|
"Yank! The Musical." When I write this, Feb 2010, this is brand
new, and no soundtrack release yet, but I've heard it and it's excellent.
From their website:
the story of Stu, a scared Midwestern kid who gets drafted in 1943, and
who like most guys spends Basic Training wrestling with
fears of if he can make it in the Army. But unlike most guys, Stu also
falls in love with a fellow Private, a handsome All-American guy named
|2010. "La Cage Aux Folles." This won the 2010 Tony for Best Musical Revival. Featuring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge (Tony for Best Actor). Harvey Fierstein joined the cast in Feb 2011, which sounds to me like he should have been cast originally. See the website.||
|2010. "Boys Will Be Boys." Poor Ishmael Gonzalez suffers from Gay Attention Deficit Disorder, a condition that renders some gay men unable to stay focused on any trend for more than a few weeks. His friends skip to the rescue with a delicious musical fun-raiser to benefit his plight. The revue is so successful that the friends are taking it on the road with a Round the World in 80 Gays tour to raise more money for the cause. See this page|
|2010. "Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens." This show has become quite the evergreen, this time recorded at a one-night benefit performance in Belfast, and is billed as the Original Northern Irish Cast.|
|2010. "The Kid." Bending my rule here, as the show did not record a cast album, but you can hear one of the songs (sung by Cheyene Jackson) at this link and also hear composer Andy Monroe and lyracist Jack Lechner talk about it. Based on a book by Dan Savage, it tells of he and his partner Terry going through the trials and tribulations of adopting a baby. The show won numerous awards and nominations and I encourage a visit to its Wiki Page for much more information. The show changed quite a bit during its journey, and its website is gone, but there is a bit more info on This Page.|
|2010. "My Big Gay Italian Wedding." Ah, the digital age has reached us, with this show being only released as mp3s, and only five of them, two of which are remixes of two others. So, while this is definitely a gay musical, in the released form it is an abreviated one. The show has been successful, with lots of talent coming in and out of the cast and (as of June 2012) is in its second year Off-Broadway. Cast member and writer Anthony J Wilkinson is shown at right. See the program and website||
|2011. "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," the Broadway Show. Yes, it's a hit show, but nothing new to report here. See their website for more.|
|2011. "Marry Me." In the works since 2009, and inching its way to a full show, listed here as full soundtrack demos can be heard on the site, at www.MarryMeMusical.com|
|2011. "Vice Palace." In the 70's in San Francisco the Cockettes produced several musicals, overflowing with camp and drag queens. This is a restaging of the Scrumbly Koldewyn & the late Martin Worman. Big shoes are to be filled in the role of Divina, as it was done with Divine and Mink Stole, but Leigh Crow is more than up to the task. Click for More.||
2011. "Little House on the Ferry." Set in Fire Island, this show had a limited run in Nov 2011, and that cast included Colton Ford, no doubt for eye candy. Pleasant music, and they are selling the soundtrack on a Flash Drive, with the playbill, photos, and lots of extras, very cool. Click for More.
|2011. "Soho Cinders." From the Dress Circle site: Cinderella re-imagined - is a modern musical fable with a story centered around the complicated love life of prospective Mayoral candidate James Prince, his fiancée and his law-student lover, Robbie - who`s paying his college bills in a somewhat unorthodox way. A satirical comedy with a catchy contemporary new score from Stiles and Drewe. This one-night-only concert was recorded live at the Queen's Theatre (London) on October 9, 2011.|
|2013. "Fag Heaven - The Musical." All written by Dick Turner, this is a musical about male prostitutes in Baltimore, Maryland. It takes place somewhere between approx. 1955 and 1980. That is, pre-Aids, pre-internet. It is composed of spoken sections followed by songs in various styles. It is influenced by the Wizard of Oz, the book "City of Night" by John Rechy and Prokofieff's Peter and The Wolf. See the site.|
|2013. "Upstairs." A musical tragedy about the 1973 arson fire at the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans, Louisiana that killed 32 people, nearly all of them gay men. This most deadly crime against LGBT people in U.S. history remains unknown to many, its victims lost in obscurity. But the stories of the victims and survivors are provocative, heroic, and profound, and they deserve to be known. This musical tells just a few of those stories. New Orleans premier June 2013. See the website.|
|2013. "Chance." Written by Richard Isen, starring Richard Hefner (a gay psychologist), Ken Lear (a rent boy) and Randy Roberts as "The Lady." See their website.|
|2013. "Rent Boys the Musical." Slim but perhaps pleasant musical, with the right eye-candy. The seven songs you can hear on the website average about two minutes each, so this is not deep material. Book/lyrics by David Leddick, music was by Andrew Sargent.|
|2013. "Kinky Boots." A smash, Smash hit, winning mountains of awards, with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, and a stellar performance by Billy Porter.||
|2014."Bully the Musical." Actually, it never had a stage performance, went directly out as a 2017 film, and I think a pretty good one. It's a dramatic musical about a young man driven to suicide after repeated bullying in school, and his town in the wake of his death. And Aaron Alon does it all: book, music, lyrics, and arrangements. It is a Houston production and I got to interview Aaron, and two of the actors (Brad Goertz and Amanda Passanante) on Queer Voices on KPFT on 8/19/13. Click to hear it. and visit the website.|
|2014. "Drive." Written by Andy Monroe. An unexpected romance leads 5 characters down roads they could never have anticipated in this deeply human and contemporary musical set entirely in the front seat of a car. This show won the BMI Jerry Bock Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theatre. And you can hear many of the song at the show's website, and also link to the script. See the composer's site AndyMonroe.com|
"Boy Crazy." A gay show with music by Trevor Cushman and John
|2014. "Waiting in the Wings." A CD and a DVD, starring Jeffrey A Johns and Adam Huss, with some name additions: Lee Meriwether, Christopher Adkins, Sally Struthers and Shirley Jones. A small town musicals actor and a stripper get sent to each other's auditions and though mis-cast try to make it work, with a soundtrack full of songs. Their site.|
"Love Quirks." A new musical of unconventional devotion exploring
the trials and tribulations of love. Four characters, straight and gay,
experience the frustrations and perils of dating and relationships in
Songs by composer/ lyricist Seth Bisen-Hersh and a script by Mark Childers.
Songs on YouTube.
|2015. "Fun Home." A huge Broadway hit, the production won five awards at the 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It's adapted from the Alison Bechdel's book. Show site.|
|2015. "A New Brain." A re-imagining of the 1998 musical story of gay composer William Finn, starring Broadway darling Jonathan Groff.||
|2015. "Witches Among Us." Book by Rick Karlin, music by Scott Free, it was called the Witch Revolution Musical. Check out its website.||
"The Boy Who Danced on Air." A Charlie Sohne and Tim Rosser
musical, about Afghani men who take in boys to train them to be dancers,
but instead use them for sex...and two of the boys fall in love, struggling
against the backdrop of power and violence. And there's a website.
"LUBE" is a gay-themed musical. The lyrics and book were written
by Jack Turner, and the music was composed by Brandon Bowerman. It's a
Boy meets Boy, Boy loses Boy story that includes a few twists along the
way. Its set in modern times (2014) at a fictitious high school
in Amarillo, Texas.
More info Here and Here and Here.
|2016. "Fellow Travelers," is McCarthy era opera, so gay life is very much in the closet. It was composed by Gregory Spears to a libretto by Greg Pierce, based on Thomas Mallon's 2007 novel Fellow Travelers. Wiki link and a few clips can be seen on YouTube.|
2017. "Everybody's Talking About Jamie." Music by Dan Gillespie Sells (frontman of the group The Feeling) and book and lyrics by Tom MacRae, inspired by the 2011 BBC3 documentary "Jamie: Drag Queen at 16." See this link.
|2017. "Zombie Bathhouse." "A self-pitying gay DJ with an ostentatiously proud mother fends off the towel-wearing undead after regulars in an occult group cause a zombie outbreak at a Steamworks."....well, that's what one review said. A rock musical very well produced by Chicago artist Scott Free. Zombie Bathhouse|
|2017. "As the Matzo Ball Turns." This is a musical adaptation of the book by the same title by Gene Duffy. The musical follows aspiring actor, Jozef Rothstein, as he navigates through the Land of Make Believe (Hollywood) in this modern day Wizard of Oz tale. Short clips can be heard on their CD Baby page.|
|2018. "The Prom." The musical follows four long-ago famous Broadway actors as they travel to the fictional conservative town of Edgewater, Indiana, after reading about a lesbian student who was not allowed to bring her girlfriend to high school prom. They want to help, but mostly they want to soak up the good press and be relevant again. Soundtrack released Dec 2018. Wiki Info. Show Site. 7 Tony nominations, no wins. Composer Matthew Sklar, Lyracist Chad Beguelin. Soundtrack on Amazon.|
"The Boy Who Danced on Air" Off-Broadway Cast Album -- released
September 21st on Broadway Records. Featuring a new single performed by
India.Arie and a foreword by Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once on This Island,
|2018. "A Letter to Harvey Milk." Per Broadway Records: San Francisco. 1986. What could Harry, an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher have in common with Barbara, his young lesbian writing teacher at the senior center? When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone from his past whos dead, he writes to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. Barbara is stunned. Harrys letter evokes life-changing revelations that neither could have foreseen. This musical deals with issues of friendship and loss, the grip of the past, and the hard-won acceptance set in motion by the most unexpected people.|
|2019. "A Strange Loop." Michael Jackson. From Amazon: Usher is a black, queer writer, working a day job he hates while writing his original musical: a piece about a black, queer writer, working a day job he hates while writing his original musical. Michael R. Jackson's blistering, momentous new musical follows a young artist at war with a host of demons - not least of which, the punishing thoughts in his own head - in an attempt to capture and understand his own strange loop. At least for now, the songs are on YouTube, starting here.|
Links of interest:
|1959. "The Nervous Set." I add this one sort of as a footnote. The Tommy Wolf-Fran Landesman musical ran for 23 performances, and it includes the somber "The Ballad of the Sad Young Men," which became a cabaret standard, with noted cover versions by Anita O'Day, Roberta Flack, and Shirley Bassey. A revival of the show was done in St Louis in 2004, see poster and LP at this link. The song was originally recorded by Rod McKuen, in 1958, on his LP "Alone After Dark."||
"The Committee," Broadway Revue, 1964, with "gay content"!
Not a musical.
There was a gay sketch, "Bar Scene," in this revue, that ran for 7 weeks on Broadway. The show featured only one name I knew, Hamilton Camp, who was not in the sketch. It originated in San Francisco in April 1963 and this is Very early gay humor on vinyl. Yes, it's stereotypical humor but not hateful. You know, a straight man wanders into a gay bar and a queen tries to pick him up. Hilarity ensues...well, not hilarity. Of course I recorded the relevant track for you. LP enlargement on This Page.
|1967. "In Circles." No, not at all a "gay musical," though the credentials are certainly here. With words by Gertrude Stein, and produced by Al Carmines, who created what I consider the very first recording of a gay musical, "The Faggot," in 1973. As I own the LP I could not resist sharing it with you, Click Here.|
As wonderfully summarized at the site musicals101.com, Rene Auberjonois played the first openly gay character in a Broadway musical, though his Sebastian Baye was a hateful caricature. That was in 1969 in "Coco," starring Katherine Hepburn, and he got a Tony Award for the role. In 1970 "Applause" with Lauren Bacall gave us the first likable gay character, hairdresser Duane played by Lee Roy Reams. The show was also the first to have a scene in a gay bar. Neither of these could of course be called "gay musicals."
|Also see the excellent paper by Bud Coleman presented at an ATHE Seminar in 2008, Theres A Place for Us Are GLBT People Included in Us? Click Here: http://www.athe.org/files/pdf/08ConfColeman.pdf|
You might also check out this promising resource:
Lauren Bacall & Lee Roy Reams
Above, a fuzzy video of the gay bar scene from "Applause"
Okay, while I don't want this to be a commercial for this book, if you've gotten this far on this page you would probably enjoy it.
for the Boys
Why do gay men love musical theater? In Something for the Boys, John Clum gives the reader a thoughtful and entertaining tour through a world of divas and brassy overtures. Looking at the allure of Merman and Carol Channing, the lives of Noel Coward, Cole Porter and Lorenz Hart, the homophobia of Rogers and Hammerstein and the mixed musical signals of Stephen Sondheim, Clum shows a world where life is larger than life, a world where life is fabulous.
Gay Musicals, by JD Doyle
What is a "Gay Musical" and why do we care? Well, I produce a radio show and website called Queer Music Heritage, with an aim to preserve gay and lesbian music culture. And by using the term "Gay Musical" I immediately have to define myself. Musicals have always been a big part of our culture, to the point of it being stereotypical. But I'm not talking about musicals like "Chorus Line," or "Dreamgirls," "West Side Story," "Follies," "Gypsy," "Cats," "Cabaret," or on and on, even though many may have had a gay sensibility, or gay writers behind them. Being a purist, I'm talking about gay musicals where the central characters and plots were gay, and I further limit my focus to those that had soundtracks that made it onto vinyl or CD. Otherwise, only a few get to share the experience. In the early years, recording them didn't happen very often, as the productions were generally low budget affairs, far removed from even being off-off-Broadway.
To put things in perspective, the first non-musical gay play to have a soundtrack was "Boys In The Band," and that wasn't until it was made into a movie in 1968. It didn't take all that much longer for a gay musical to make it to vinyl. My research indicates the honor of being first happened in 1973, and goes to a musical called "The Faggot." It got a lot of attention then and its first run lasted over 200 performances. It featured a large cast of men and women, and songs by a hustler, two leather men, a fag-hag bar owner, and included the characters Oscar Wilde and Bosie, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and Catherine the Great. I think we can safely say the plot was not memorable.
But that started our "Gay Musicals" history. Not many of them attracted much mainstream attention, with "La Cage Aux Folles" being the huge exception. Others that stand out, in quality, for me were "Boy Meets Boy," "In Gay Company," "Ten Percent Revue," "Get Used To It," "The Ballad of Mikey," "Fairy Tales," "The Last Session," "Bed Boys & Beyond," "Songs From an Unmade Bed," "Bare," and audibly and visually, "Naked Boys Singing." You could probably do a thesis on how gay rights have progressed over the years, citing particular musicals, and this is of course a history worth preserving.
To mention just one topic, as life inspires art, gay or otherwise, the 90s brought us a number of musicals dealing with AIDS: "Falsettoland," "All That He Was," "Elegies," and one I don't quite classify as a "gay musical" but need to mention just the same, "Rent." And over the years "our" musicals captured, I guess, the same elements as musicals in general: finding love, losing love, sex, politics, life in times of war and trials, etc. To which we add: coming out, dealing with homophobia, gay marriage and more. And, have you ever heard of "Straight Pride"? That's where we have it all over those "other" musicals, as gee, we're just a bit more fabulous.
[ A few years
ago the director of a musical in London asked me to write the introduction