Friday, February 24, 2012

Rated P For Parenthood Talkback

Rated P For Parenthood is a new musical of vignettes about being a parent from birth to college (watch one of them in the video above). On Tuesday night, I attended a blogger night for the show, which opens on February 29. Everybody, not just the bloggers, was invited to stay for the talkback with creator Sandy Rustin, composers/lyricists Dan Lipton and David Rossmer, and the cast--Courtney Balan, Chris Hoch, David Josefsberg, and Joanna Young, each in multiple roles. The talkback was in not only for the audience to learn more about the show, but for the creators to hear what was working and what wasn't. It always refreshing when creative teams value feedback from the audience and this show in particular seems to be really utilizing talkbacks, which they've had throughout the process, beginning with the reading 18 months ago. Here's what we discussed:

The show's origins: Rustin has two little boys. On the oldest's first day of pre-school, she wrote what would later become "Prayer for Ellie," which you can actually listen to here. This gave her the initial idea, and she began to write more sketches about parenthood, eventually signing on her college friend Lipton and Rossmer.

Improv inspiration: The creators come from an improv background and though the show is fully scripted, Lipton says they were trying to bottle that spirit into the show.

Changes to the musical: The show used to include birthday numbers between vignettes to alert the audience about the age of the child, but they decided the audience didn't need these cues. Bravo for trusting the audience.

Soccer coaches: In one scene in the show, moms take their kids to soccer practice and lust after the British soccer coach. This was actually inspired by Super Soccer Stars in Manhattan, which is apparently full of young British coaches. I will keep this in mind if I ever raise kids in Manhattan.

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