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Would you do whatever Charlie asks?

Book by Scott Guy, Music by Ron Barnett, Lyrics by Mitchell Glaser

The story of the Manson Family murders, told from the perspective of the girls.

How did Linda Kasabian, the last girl to join the Family, go in thirty days, from being a sweet wide-eyed innocent, to being complicit in one of the most gruesome crimes in all of American history?

With a driving, rock score and book/lyrics which explore the psyche of girls, this story is all-too-relevant today, being a parable and warning to any of us who follows the voice of authority without stopping to question.

Awards at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018:  Pick of the FringeOutstanding Songwriting Award (ALNM);  TVolution Gold Medal Award.

One of the best Musicals I have seen at Fringe.
 - Jack Stroud

Brilliant show. Great approach to a somewhat taboo subject. Phenomenal hummable, toe tapping, memorable songs in a Manson musical, hilarious.
 - John Owen

Manson’s Girls is a chilling story made all too human through a fantastic production.
 - Lacey Pawlowicz www.haunting.net

Loved it! A thoughtful dive into the psyche of Manson’s Girls.
- Media-Geeks.com

The songwriting shines, with crafty, thought-provoking lyrics, skilled arrangements and tight harmonies
 - Carmen Balas

Cast: 3 men, 7 women Set: Unit set. Instruments: Piano, guitar, bass, drums

Manson Family ranch, July 1969.

Flower-child Zephyr introduces wide-eyed Linda to her wonderful “family”:  a half-dozen mellow, guitar-playing, free-loving hippie types.  Zephyr explains that Linda’s husband left her and a baby without a penny and Linda has no place to go tonight.  Big Patty melts when she sees Linda’s baby, but Squeaky is already on the offensive:  Charlie’s gotta approve her before she can join us.  Squeaky and Zephyr’s territorial battle is cut short by the saint-like appearance of Charlie, trailed by Sadie Mae like a disciple.  Charlie focuses on the new girl like a laser, clamping onto her ankles, calves and then thighs, feeling her energy flow through him to the rest of the family.  Linda freaks out a little and turns inward (Little Girl Lost), but Charlie’s warmth and kindness overwhelms her, so when he asks her to give him her father’s fancy expensive watch, Linda is happy that she seems to have found a new wonderful home for her and her baby.

The next morning, Charlie grills Linda, trying to see if Linda spooks when she learns that the city’s going to rise up, black man versus white man, and Charlie’s preparing his family to become an army to defend themselves against the victorious black man.  Charlie insists there won’t be any killing; killing is wrong…but Linda needs to learn how to protect herself and the family.  Linda says she’s ready to learn, and Charlie tells Zephyr that Linda has his approval.

In the intervening couple of weeks, Linda is put through a series of increasingly dangerous tests, pushing Linda at each step of the way to consult and then ignore her moral compass, always choosing “family” over her own conscience.  The first tests are fairly innocent  (Creepy Crawl) in which the girls sneak into people’s homes in the middle of the night, playing little harmless pranks on them (such as turning the paintings around, or putting a single egg on the toilet seat).  But the pranks become increasingly criminal, beginning with stealing a little food for the family, and then stealing a single five-dollar bill.  When Linda finally questions the rest of the girls, they make it explicitly clear that if she wants to be part of the family, she is not to question Charlie.  If Charlie says to steal money, then you steal money, and you’ll ask no questions.  Does Linda want to be a part of the family or not?  (Gratitude).  Linda, terrified of being on her own with her baby, goes along with the girls and swears her allegiance to them and to Charlie.

Sidenote:  Throughout the musical, each of the seven girls has a “portrait song”, sung from the bandstand, apart from the action of the storyline, presenting a particular point of view or social comment about her relationship to Charlie or family.  These songs include:  Sadie Mae (Whole Lot Outta Life), Big Patty (Color Me Red) and Squeaky (Every Day I Fall in Love).  The other song titles are integrated here into this synopsis:  Linda (Little Girl Lost), Sharon Tate (Little Girl Lost), Marioche (Help Yourself) and Zephyr (Fall Into Night).

Things begin to spiral out of Linda’s control.  She becomes a pawn for the girls to fight over…whoever brings Linda in line is going to receive the most praises from Charlie.  Charlie and the family visit the home of a record producer who supposedly offered them a recording contract.  But it’s an actress who answers the door:  Sharon Tate, from Valley of the Dolls; Roman Polanski’s pregnant 26-year-old wife.  (Little Lamb of God)  Charlie over-reacts to Sharon’s unwillingness to help, and the girls see a Charlie they’ve not seen before:  seething, lethal.  The sound of a police siren saves Sharon’s life, as the family runs away, giggling.

Zephyr didn’t find Charlie’s behavior funny; she’s disturbed by it, and the stealing, and the girls’ decaying morals.  She asks Linda what she thinks about moving on to San Francisco or some place.  The very thought of leaving the family makes Linda sorrowful.  She begs Zephyr not to go.  Zephyr’s torn….

About this time, Charlie begins to put pressure on other family members to step up and get some money from somewhere.  Charlie’s first girl, the wily Marioche, cooks up a scheme to link up with one of the guys, Bobby Beausoleil, and intimidate a rich guy.  (Help Yourself).  But not-so-bright Bobby wants to be Charlie’s financial hero, so he goes by himself.  Things go terribly wrong, and Bobby ends up killing the guy.  Bobby prides himself on not having panicked; instead making it look like some blacks must have done it, writing some anti-white slogans on the wall.

It’s at this moment that Zephyr decides to run away, but it’s clear that Charlie can’t have a stool-pigeon out on the loose, so one of the other guys, Tex, quietly kills Zephyr.  (Fall Into Night)

When the cops arrest Bobby, Charlie decides in a panic that the best course of action now is to make it look like the blacks are committing murders all over the city (so it couldn’t be Bobby who killed the guy, see, because he’s in jail).  Charlie instructs his army of girls to go into the homes of the rich and kill them, making it look gruesome, to ensure that the riots are ignited at last (Helter Skelter).  The girls swear their allegiance to Charlie, even if it means murdering innocent people.  When Linda realizes she and her baby might suffer the same fate as Zephyr, she swears as well, and is finally accepted as a true member of the Family.

Scott Guy (book) - Scott has been actively involved as a writer and producer in both theatre and television.  He has six Emmy nominations, and over 100 produced television scripts for Warner Bros., FOX-TV, Disney, Discovery Channel, PBS, etc.   Current/recent projects:  Deaf West Theatre;  Placido Domingo; Northern Sky Theatre; Disney (musical version of Pirates of the Caribbean); Corday Productions (Days of Our Lives); Manson’s Girls for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018 and several musical webseries including Tales from a Darkening Wood.  Scott is currently the Executive Director of New Musicals Inc. where he supervises online writers’ workshops, lyric labs, and script consultations. www.scottguy.biz

Ron Barnett (music) - Ron Barnett is a composer living in Los Angeles, CA where he is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Glendale. Full length musicals, as composer: Manson’s Girls with book by Scott Guy, lyrics by Mitch Glaser, which won a “Pick of the Fringe” award and the ALNM Award for Outstanding Songwriting during the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018, A Christmas Carol with book by Barry Kornhauser, published in 2013 by Dramatic Publishing Company and When Butter Churns to Gold, which premiered in 2015 at Northern Sky Theatre in Door County, WI. Choral music published by MorningStar, GIA, and Lorenz. He is currently a member of New Musicals Inc. in North Hollywood, and was, with lyricist Greg Edwards, a finalist for the 2010 and 2012 Fred Ebb Prize.

 

Mitch Glaser (lyrics)  - Mitchell Glaser is a writer of stories, songs and software. He wrote the book and lyrics for “Thanksgiving in Ithaca” which received the Pick of the Fringe award at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival. He also received the Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting award at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival for “Manson’s Girls”. Mitch is one of the founding producers of A Little New Music, the prestigious Los Angeles based musical theater cabaret, and surreptitiously sings in the liberal art attack troop The Billionaires under the stage name Rolan Indo.

Developmental workshops at NMI and UCI Festival of New Musicals; workshop production at the Hollywood Fringe 2018 where it was named Pick of the Fringe and nominated for Best Musical.

A dash of dastardly deeds and dairy delights!

When Butter Churns to Gold

Book by Peter Welkin, music by Ron Barnett, lyrics by Randi Wolfe

A good ol' fashioned boo-hiss-filled melodrama in which innocent Constance Goodwin's family farm is in danger of falling into the hands of villainous Mr. Fouler.

A villain (boo!), a hero (yay!), a heroine (aww!), and trusty sidekicks in a romp with plenty of audience interaction. “You must pay the mortgage!” “But, I can’t pay the mortgage!” “You must pay the mortgage!” “But, I can’t pay the mortgage!” Woe-is-me! Mortgage meltdowns provide the recipe for a modern musical melodrama full of madcap mayhem.

“Uproarious parody of a melodrama.”
– Green Bay Press Gazette, Erin Hunsader

“Delectable…filled with cheeky humor…fresh theatrical delights.”
– BroadwayWorld.com, Peggy Sue Dunigan

“Irrepressibly impish…cleverly constructed.”
– Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mike Fischer

CAST SIZE: 4 men; 2 women
SET: Multiple locations
ORCHESTRATION: Piano, bass, drums
GENRE: Comic Melodrama

A villain (boo!), a hero (yay!), a heroine (aww!), and trusty sidekicks in a romp with plenty of audience interaction. “You must pay the mortgage!” “But, I can’t pay the mortgage!” “You must pay the mortgage!” “But, I can’t pay the mortgage!” Woe-is-me! Mortgage meltdowns provide the recipe for a modern musical melodrama full of madcap mayhem.

PETER WELKIN (book) is a graduate of AMDA NY and currently serves as a writer, producer, director, and sight-singing actor with the Academy for New Musical Theatre, which has recently been re-imagined as New Musicals Inc. (http://nmi.org/) This organization is dedicated to training and developing new musical writing talent as well as getting those new pieces to a point where they can be produced in the real world. Peter is also a founding member of the Academy Repertory Company and has been a part of workshopping and presenting an untold number of shows. Monday nights are almost always busy with one new musical project or another.

RON BARNETT (music) is a composer living in Los Angeles, where he is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale. Prior to this appointment, he was for ten years Resident Musical Director and Composer at the Fulton Theatre, a LORT D house in Lancaster, PA. His musical, Around the World in 80 Days, with book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay, premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in March 2007. He wrote music and lyrics for A Christmas Carol, with book by Fulton playwright-in-residence Barry Kornhauser, which received a 2001 Red Rose Award and was published by Dramatic Publishing in 2013.

RANDI WOLFE (lyrics) is an alumnus of Theatre Building Chicago’s Musical Theater Writers Workshop. Born and raised in the Midwest, Randi moved to Los Angeles in 2007. A member of New Musicals Inc. since her arrival, she is proud to be collaborating with fellow NMI members on this show. Her work includes “Mom! A New Musical” which has been performed at theaters throughout the midwest and most recently at the Chameleon Theatre Circle in Burnsville, Minnesota.

When Butter Churns to Gold was developed in association with New Musicals Inc., and Northern Sky Theatre. It received its World Premiere at Northern Sky during the summer of 2015, and was remounted by popular demand in 2016. It received its West Coast Premiere at The Great American Melodrama in spring 2017.

A fast paced musical comedy of Christmas errors, blending quick tempers, romance and the golden age of Hollywood, with a little magic.

Book and Lyrics by Chana Wise, Music by Carl Johnson

What happens when Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart, Bing Crosby, and Natalie Wood pop out of the television on Christmas Eve for the sake of two jaded holiday-haters?

Poor Monica is determined to suffer another miserable lonely Christmas Eve.  But her curmudgeonly plans are spoiled when the ghosts of Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Natalie Wood pop out of her television with more than a little Christmas cheer, Hollywood style.  The ghosts’ wholesome tidings are no match for Monica’s cynicism, so the ghosts cook up some romantic subterfuge via Monica’s annoying next door neighbor. As their plan unravels into a quick tempered, sharp witted, musical comedy of errors, Monica and the neighbor rediscover not only Christmas, but their own Hollywood romance.

“It was an awesome play. It was opening night so they served food and wine after the play. I loved it and my husband had such a good time.”

-San Diego County Goldstar reviewer

“Loved the plot! Loved the scenes set up! Great singing/acting and it was hilarious. Must see!!”

- Orange County Goldstar Reviewer

Cast: 4 men; 3 women + chorus Set: Two adjacent apartments and a small courtyard of a Hollywood apartment building Instruments: piano only - or orchestrations for 8 pieces

As the show opens, folks are busily preparing for Christmas. But neither Monica nor her neighbor Steve is in the mood for the holidays.  (Everyone’s Happy at Christmas.)  Monica, having just heard Steve complaining to Buddy about her, and Steve having just heard Monica complaining about him, each try to “stay calm.”  (Stay Calm).

 

The ghosts of Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart, and Bing Crosby explain to the ghost of Natalie Wood explain a different kind of miracle at Christmas.  (The Black and White Christmas Marathon).  The “stars” explain to Monica why they’ve come to see her on Christmas Eve.  (We’re Here For You).  Not buying that the Stars are who they say they are, Monica angrily leaves her apartment, only to be confronted with unwelcome reminders of Christmas.  (Perfect)  Separately, Judy and Natalie pull Monica aside, while Jimmy and Bing pull Steve aside in an effort to convince each that the other is secretly in love with him/her.    (Just Like the Movies Pt. 1 and Pt. 2)

 

Bing is thrilled knowing they’ve completed their assignment to bring a little holiday cheer to Monica.  But Jimmy’s no so sure the story’s over.  (There’s Gotta Be Something).  When Monica goes next door to return Steve’s cellphone, they are surprised to discover there is more than Christmas in the air.  (Smiling’s Good).  Having overheard Bing revealing they were set up under false pretenses, Monica and Steve resume their former animosity toward one another (Stay Calm Reprise).

 

Dismayed that they may have failed at their assignment to cheer up Monica and Steve, the Stars also worry that their jobs and their movies have become obsolete. (Whatever Happened?)  With re-energized help from the Stars, Monica and Steve reunite and the Stars celebrate another Christmas success (Finale).

Chana Wise (Book and Lyrics) was born and raised in Southern California and and has a degree in Theatre from University of California, Irvine. In addition to Tinseltown Christmas, and in collaboration with Carl Johnson, she has written book and lyrics for Marie Marie, (NAMT, 2014, Rubicon Plays in Progress June 2013, STAGES festival, 2011), The Coffee Quintet, a short musical film, and is currently in development on Bagels!, a new musical. Chana wrote lyrics for The Island, (book and music - Jonathan Price), which was produced by Chana also wrote lyrics  for The Max Factor Factor (Adrian Bewley - book, Joseph Blodgett - Music) which was produced by NMI and ran for five weeks at the NoHo Arts Center in North Hollywood, August 2014, and Cardinal Sins, produced by Centerstage Theatre in Federal Way, WA, In May, 2017. Chana is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild.

Carl Johnson (composer) is an Emmy Award-winning film and television composer living and working in Southern California. He has written and orchestrated numerous pieces of music for feature films, television, and stage. Carl has recorded his music with symphonies around the world, conducting in London, Canada, Japan, Los Angeles, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic. As a freelance Hollywood composer, he has written music for numerous feature films, including Piglet’s Big Movie, Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame II, and Winnie the Pooh’s Grand Adventure. Carl has also composed over 50 hours of music for numerous television projects including Animaniacs, and Batman: The Animated Series for Warner Brothers, Gargoyles and The Mighty Ducks for Disney, and Invasion America and Toonsylvania for Dreamworks.

Tinseltown Christmas was developed with the Drama Department of UC Irvine and was presented there as part of their 2010 Festival of New Musicals. Tinseltown Christmas also received its world premiere production at UCI.

Can't shoot "Oklahoma!" in Oklahoma? Well, what about shooting in....Wisconsin?

Book & Lyrics by Richard Castle, Music by Matthew Levine

An overly ambitious Hollywood location scout will do whatever it takes to get his boss to film Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! in rural 1954 Wisconsin.

A family-friendly homage to the musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Oklahoma in Wisconsin is a valentine to musical theater itself, telling the story of a location scout, desperate to use Wisconsin as a stand-in.

“A veritable Easter-egg hunt for musical lovers!”  “A high-octane musical score!”

-Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

“Infectious…Lively songs!”

-We are Green Bay website

Cast: 6 Set: unit set Instruments: Piano, bass, drums

It’s 1954, and Hollywood is ready to film a glorious widescreen movie version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical, Oklahoma! In order to capture the Technicolor splendor of the bright golden haze on the meadow, the waving wheat, and the corn as high as an elephant’s eye, the studio hopes to film Oklahoma! on location. But there’s one problem: the state of Oklahoma has too many oil wells dotting the landscape.  In true Hollywood fashion, Oklahoma needs a stand-in.

 

A location scout, desperate to save his job, tries his best to turn a Wisconsin Inn into a movie set, and the poor family gets caught in the middle of his ambitions.

 

 

STINGS, a new musical comedy, was commissioned by Northern Sky Theater and will have its world premiere there in the summer of 2020. OKLAHOMA IN WISCONSIN, his 1950s-style family musical, enjoyed its world premiere at Northern Sky Theater in 2017. THE ANGEL OF PAINTED POST was selected by Stephen Schwartz for the ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theater Workshop in Los Angeles. His comedy song Mr. Whiskers was a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition in 2020. Other projects include book & lyrics for the vampire musical BLOODLINE, and lyrics for the L.A. Latino Theater Company production of L.A. CARMEN. Richard’s shows have been featured in the L.A. Stages New Musical Festival, and his songs have been performed at A Little New Music, a showcase of new musical theater writers, at Don’t Tell Mama in NYC, and with the Hexagon Revue in Washington, DC. Richard holds a degree from the USC School of Theater and has studied at the Songwriting School of Los Angeles. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and New Musicals Inc.

Matthew Levine (music) has been a songwriter for decades, winning a batch of awards and publishing contracts. His score for LOVE STINGS (his third musical with partner in rhyme, Richard Castle) premiered at Northern Sky Theater in 2020. His score to OKLAHOMA IN WISCONSIN was heard at Northern Sky in 2017. His music for THE ANGEL OF PAINTED POST was featured in Stephen Schwartz’s ASCAP/DreamWorks Workshop. He wrote the music to Mr. Whiskers, which was a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition in 2020. Matthew’s choral music has been performed on every continent, and his string quartet, “The Prophet of Shiraz” won the Louisa Stude Serofim Award at the University of Houston, where he received his undergraduate degree. He has collaborated with Grammy and Tony award-winning writers, and recently created the sound design for Debra Ehrhardt’s one-woman show SHAME ON ME! Matthew is a member of ASCAP and New Musicals Inc. He lives in Los Angeles.

Oklahoma in Wisconsin was developed for Northern Sky Theatre in Wisconsin, and after having been featured as part of the 2015 STAGES Festival of New Musicals, it will receive its world premiere at Northern Sky in the summer of 2017.

Book and Lyrics by Scott Guy; Music by Kevin Mathie

Based on true events on board the yacht of William Randolph Hearst, this vaudeville musical dramatizes the colorful characters who wanted Charlie Chaplin dead.

Cast: 9 Set: multiple locations Instruments: Small vaudeville band

The Plot to Kill Charlie Chaplin is a vaudeville based on true events which lead up to a murder which took place onboard William Randolph Hearst’s yacht. We follow the machinations of everyone who wanted Chaplin dead, including: the Newspaper Mogul himself; and Hearst’s Boot-Licking Corporate Toady; a Spurned Woman; a Rival Studio Head; and most of all, the gold-diggin’ Movie-Star Mistress Marion Davies, who never meant to fall in love with Hearst, and whose fascination with Charlie Chaplin dooms everyone.

Kevin Mathie is a Los Angeles-based composer, music director, and pianist who has more than 25 years’ experience working in the music industry. For film, he specializes in orchestral and hybrid-orchestral music (i.e., orchestral music combined with electronic instruments such as synths and guitar). He also composes for musical theater and incidental music for plays.  His compositions have been featured on the television networks SHOWTIME, CBS, TNT, and others, and has also been used in film, television, radio, and live theater.  As a music director, he has been the Music Director for more than 100+ musical productions.  He is a member of ASCAP and the Society of Composers and Lyricists. He is also a member of the HTI Collective.

 

Scott Guy has been actively involved as a writer and producer in both theatre and television.  He has six Emmy nominations, and over 100 produced television scripts for Warner Bros., FOX-TV, Disney, Discovery Channel, PBS, etc.   Upcoming/recent projects:  Disney (musical version of Pirates of the Caribbean); Corday Productions (Days of Our Lives); and Manson’s Girls for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018 (Pick of the Fringe).  Scott is currently writing multiple episodes for three different musical webseries:  The Ghosts of Stowell Hill, Tales from a Darkening Wood, and The Last of Its Kind.

Featured in 2019 Stages Musical Theatre Festival.