Pizza Boy; a new musical, extra cheese.
About the Project
I wrote the book to a new, completely original musical called Pizza Boy: a new musical, extra cheese. I collaborated with the composer Brandon Scott Grayson, who wrote the music and lyrics. It’s a tragicomedy that follows a former serial killer, who has changed his ways and become a pizza delivery boy for a girl. After finishing writing it, we produced the show right here, in Cedar City UT, on February 15, 16, and 17 of 2018. We had a full cast, a full design and creative crew, a live pianist. We were contracted with the Off the Cuff Comedy venue for our space, and rehearsed for 6 weeks. Our future goals are to get it licensed and produced regionally. My particular job was writing the story. I wrote the situations and events, and then laid out the groundwork for songs to be written into the piece. My collaborator then went to work on that. I also assistant directed the show, designed the set, and I managed the fundraising and budgeting. Overall, the work was almost half and half between writing and producing.
Writing for musical theatre, specifically in original works of musical theatre, is essential for the longevity and development of the art form. Original musicals are works of musical theatre that are not based on any existing materials, ie. books, movies, tv shows. The show was a landmark at least in our school, because it’s the first time students wrote an original musical and produced it. The last musical written on our campus was Lend Me a Tenor: the Musical, which had a successful regional life, played on West End, and now has eyes on Broadway.
What Did We Learn?
At the end of the day, we didn’t actually learn much about writing a musical. We learned things that don’t work, we understand better now how to do it efficiently, but what we’re looking for here wasn’t to take a class, it was to do our work. And we did our work, very successfully. We learned that you need rehearsal time, lots of it. You also need actors who can come to play and learn and memorize music and lines incredibly quickly. Getting a new song a week before we open quickly. We also need to trust ourselves and take advice with a grain of salt. A small piece of advice almost ruined our show because we cared too much about what other people said. But at the end of the day, we followed our gut, and didn’t regret it.