golden boy

I'm mostly reconciled to the unfortunate fact that there is already another musical called GOLDEN BOY. (A fairly well-known one, that starred Sammy Davis Jr.) Actually, I've decided to embrace my unoriginal title and write a title song for the show... "Golden Boy." So that's what I'm working on these days. Maggie's going to sing it midway through the first act, and then it will probably be reprised as the closer of the whole show. Just now while typing that I had the thought that THE ALCHEMISTS had a song called "Golden" that happened midway through the first act... and was then reprised as the closer of the whole show. Aggh!

Oh well. The song is turning out really well so far. It has the potential to be my favorite of the show, if I don't mess it up. I've been looking at LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS a lot as a model of a show of a similar cast size, similar dark comedy, similar use of a backup group, similar storyline about a zero-to-hero kind of guy. It's been an interesting comparison, and I've found a lot of analogies between two plots and the various song moments. F'rinstance:

"Way Out Back And Beyond" = "Skid Row"
"Never Afeard Again" = "Grow For Me"
"Wanted Man" = "Ya Never Know"
"Little Log Cabin" = "Mushnik and Son"
"More To Me" = "Suddenly Seymour"
Seriously, I've gone through the whole show like that.

Anyway, this particular song, "Golden Boy," is "Somewhere That's Green." (Appropriate that it has a color in its title...) It's her halfway-through-act-one "I Want" song. And it's gonna be crucial to understanding her character: why she was going to settle for marrying Luther, why she's attracted to Clay, and maybe even some clues to why she betrays Clay and loses him in the end. The Golden Boy is an image that she has in her head before she ever meets Clay. And then when he comes along, she molds him (like clay) into that perfect man she's imagined.

The end of the show is going to be hard for me to write, because it's not a happy ending. After Maggie and Clay sing their act two duet, everyone will think they have to end up together. And they just don't -- I have to be true to the source material. It's harsh. As they discover in the duet, they've changed each other deeply: she's inspired in him a poetry and a bravery he never had; he's uncovered in her a sweet, vulnerability that she never showed anyone before. It's hard for me to believe what happens then. But he leaves her. And he was *her* creation! It's like a version of MY FAIR LADY where Eliza doesn't come back.

Okay, I just checked online and apparently in the original play PYGMALION, Eliza does not come back. In fact, Shaw wrote an epilogue explaining that she marries Freddy instead. Man... plays are brutal! Can musicals be that cruel?

Musings Past