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Queer (musical)

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Queer
File:Queer (musical logo).png
Queer (musical) Production Logo
MusicDaniel Sugimoto
LyricsLulu Malaya
BookHazel Jade
Kasey Bryant
PremiereJune 2018: El Portal Theatre, North Hollywood, CA
Productions

Queer is a new regional musical, created by award-winning writer and LGBTQ activist Hazel Jade, with a book by Hazel Jade and Kasey Bryant and music and lyrics by Daniel Sugimoto and Lulu Malaya.

Inspired by private and individual interviews conducted with a diverse group of LGBTQ people, the musical unfolds the narrative of a fierce, androgynous bisexual woman Mackenzie Martinez. At the pinnacle of success in her career as an LGBTQ therapist, Mackenzie struggles with the difficulty of opening up to her wife about her bisexual identity after realizing her attraction for one of her wife's old friends. With help from the original score, the sass and wit of a charming, young black trans woman, Jessica, and her best friend who works at a custom clothing shop, River, help Mackenzie realize her queer resilience.

Following the show's conception in April 2017, the development team was assembled by 2017. The original production of Queer is scheduled to premiere at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood in June 2018 during National Pride Month, with direction by Billy Rugh and choreography by by theatrical dream team, Billy Rugh and Michelle Benton (GMCLA's He Had It Coming).

Background & Creation[edit | edit source]

File:Hazel Jade (Winter 2016 Selfie).jpg
Hazel created the musical in April 2017.

On April 27, 2017, Hazel Jade was shown a coming out video by a queer youth who identified both as non-binary and gay. This sparked an interest for a new era of LGBTQ storytelling through musical theatre, and thus she created Queer. Her mission has remained consistent: to discover the complexities of gender and sexuality. And Queer does just that! In early May 2017, the award-winning former Gospel playwright and LGBTQ activist began gathering a team of fellow LGBTQ artists to make up her development and writing team.

Within weeks of its conception, the musical had secured Kasey Bryant, Daniel Sugimoto, and Lulu Malaya to join the development team because of their shared enthusiasm with Hazel Jade surrounding #ResistMarch, a human rights and solidarity march held on June 11, 2017 in West Hollywood. By late June 2017, Billy Rugh was recruited to direct and choreograph the musical, with Michelle Benton joining him as the co-choreographer of the musical. When they joined the project, Rugh and Benton had just completed directing both He Had It Coming performed by Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles and David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars performed by Trans Chorus of Los Angeles. Sugimoto was working on We The People: A Musical Revolution when he began Queer.[1]

Development began on June 22, 2017 with the team breaking down each character and scene, one at a time. Oliver Roth, producer of the hit Off-Broadway Straight, joined the project after having a personal connection to the leading character and the overall LGBTQ plot. Brian Pendleton, founder of #ResistMarch joined the project on June 23, 2017 as an executive producer because of his personal friendship with the musical's creator and her contributions to his march.

Queer is scheduled to take the stage in early November 2017 for a staged reading; with the workshop production beginning in Spring 2018. The entire team will be actively engaged in refining the material throughout the workshop season. It was announced in early June 2017 that the production would open for its world premiere in North Hollywood in June 2018 during National Pride Month.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Award-winning playwright and activist, Hazel Jade returns to the stage with Queer, a brand new musical that discovers the complexities of gender and sexuality.

Mackenzie is a fierce, androgynous woman who advises and assists LGBTQ individuals in gaining the confidence and courage needed to disclose their identities to their loved ones. Not knowing the impact it could have on her clients and the community around her, she has yet to find that courage to be open about her own bisexual identity. However, the sass and wit of a charming, young black trans woman, Jessica, and her best friend who works at a custom clothing shop, River, help her realize her queer resilience.

Directed and choreographed by dream team Billy Rugh and Michelle Benton (GMCLA's He Had It Coming), with a book by LGBTQ activists and entertainers Hazel Jade and Kasey Bryant, and an original score by Daniel Sugimoto (Letters to Eve) and Lulu Malaya. Our family invites you to experience the LGBTQ+ community like never before in Queer, and “we hope that you might find your truth by being with your community!”

Musical Score[edit | edit source]

Due to his contributions to five other original musicals with The Zoo Theatre, Daniel Sugimoto was specifically chosen as the musical composer for Queer. In a statement from the musical's producing team, "Lulu Malaya was chosen as the lyricist because of her involvement as the membership president and chorus member of Trans Chorus of Los Angeles."

Starting by bringing to life the motifs and inspirations of the score, composition for Queer began with the musical's opening number of Proud to Be, which features a wide range of vocals. Sugimoto and Malaya's process included going to a scenic view that put them in the mindset of the characters; Malaya would then begin conceiving lyrics and singing them into her phone's voice recording. The duo would then take that recording back to their writing space and Sugimoto would begin to compose the music, and within hours, they would have completed songs. The musical numbers range in style "from electric dance pop to acoustic guitar to full orchestra band numbers, with highly personal lyrics to all of the creative team". This specific musical uses a twelve-piece orchestra consisting of keyboards, percussion, bass, guitars, reeds, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, and trombone.

Musical numbers[edit | edit source]

The musical numbers from the 2018 Los Angeles production are as follows:

Orchestra[edit | edit source]

The musical uses a 12-piece orchestra consisting of keyboards, percussion, bass, guitars, reeds, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, and trombone — with musical numbers range in style "from electric dance pop to acoustic guitar to full orchestra band numbers, with highly personal lyrics to all of the creative team".

Recordings[edit | edit source]

The premiere cast album was recorded in Month 2018 by RECORD LABEL and was released in digital form on Month 00, 2018. It was in stores as of Month 00, 2018. The album was also released on a vinyl format.

Principal Roles[edit | edit source]

Character World Premiere
2018
Mackenzie Martinez Actress TBA
Jessica Actress TBA
Gizelle Liza Adams
River Kasey Bryant
Jayden Carter Ray Vincent
Peyton Actor TBA
Fareed / Lady Tit-anium Actor TBA

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "We The People — The Zoo Theatre". The Zoo Theatre Co. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  1. Queer Administration. World Premiere of Queer: A New Musical.. Equality Theatre, Credited April 28, 2017.
  2. BWW News Desk. New LGBTQ Musical QUEER Begins Workshops Next Spring.". Wisdom Digital Media, Credited June 11, 2017

Category:2017 musicals Category:LGBT-related musicals Category:Musicals inspired by real-life events


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