I HEAR AMERICA SINGING
A MUSICAL IN ONE ACT
Book, Lyrics, Music: Daron Hagen
Three old Juilliard school chums — a composer named Robbie, a singer named Roger, and Roger’s ex-wife, a singer named Rose — reunite at Robbie’s request to perform for financial backers a revised version of I Hear America Singing, a musical that, two decades earlier, established Robbie’s career on Broadway. Roger’s alcoholism has stalled his career and ended his marriage; now he’s living with his ailing mother in Milwaukee. Based in Chicago, Rose has been performing on the road for years. She’s thinking about changing her life. Robbie lives in Manhattan on the Upper West Side (where the show takes place). Robbie, who is “between hits,” views this show as his comeback. Rehearsing, the three reminisce, debate the past, and experience epiphanies that the composer describes as “revolutions of the heart”. “This revolution,” Robbie tells them, “consists of reconnecting with your earlier selves, embracing personal reinvention, and rekindling old love.” The show’s score does the same thing by taking old songs and making them new, and providing new songs that revisit old tropes.
Version 1: Robbie plays onstage piano
Version 2: Robbie fakes onstage piano; accompaniment is performed by an offstage accompanist
Version 3: Robbie plays onstage piano; offstage pit orchestra (fl.cl.bn.hn.vln.bass.pft.drms)
Version 4: Robbie fakes onstage piano; offstage pit orchestra (fl.cl.bn.hn.vln.bass.pft.drms)