Book by Nicole Parker, music and lyrics by Jeremy Schonfeld. Direction is by the BPP’s Chad Rabinovitz, and choreography by IU’s George Pinney.
Bloomington Playwrights Project, 107 W. 9th Bloomington, IN 47401
Feb 4-6, 10-12 and 17-19, 2011
The new musical opening at the Bloomington Playwrights Project, Kissing Frogs, is a joint production with the IU Department of Theater and Drama. The musical is based on a single song, “Greta,” by Jeremy Schonfeld.
The Book Came Late
IU alumna Nicole Parker, star of MADtv and the Broadway musical Wicked, is the author of the book. “The development is—to say the least—a little unusual,” she says. “Most times a play develops from an existing novel or story or even a germ of an idea. In this case we started from just a song, Jeremy’s ‘Greta.’”
The songwriter is a friend of hers. Between them, the idea germinated organically. “Jeremy and I were working on another project just this past summer when he proposed the idea of a musical. We’ve been working on it since.”
It All Started With A Song…
“Of course we started with the song, but we had to add a twist or two to expand it into a play. Sometimes I’d suggest a scene and ask Jeremy for a song. Other times, he might come up with a song idea and then we’d work out the scene. I think I’ve seen ten full drafts of the show, and I’ll bet there will be ten more before we’re finished.”
…But The Song Came From A Book
In fact, the original song itself came from a short story. Says Schonfeld, “I was asked to contribute a song on marriage to a project and as I thought about it a short story about a woman with cold feet came to mind. ‘Greta’ is about just such a woman. Really, the song is a little mini-drama. It’s kind of complete in itself, but Nicole and I have added other characters and a couple of twists that extend and deepen the story.”
If a woman with cold feet is a pessimistic idea, “the refrain of the song is, “Things can only get better if Greta would settle down,” so you can see that it’s kind of an optimistic take.”