The Bloomington Playwrights Project's The Boy in the Bathroom is a quirky new musical about a young man with a peculiar, geographically located agoraphobia, by Michael Lluberes and composer Joe Maloney.
Lluberes has a long list of credits as an actor, director and writer that extend literally from Shakespeare's plays to The Chapelle Show. Of the play, he says,
"David is a twenty-four-year-old philosophy student who has a breakdown in the bathroom and just stays there. He makes a life for himself of about a year. The musical is about him being in the bathroom, and then how he comes out of it."
The Bare Necessities
Ever concerned with the practical aspects of our planetary life, we acknowledged that a bathroom did have some of the necessities, but wondered about mundanities like breakfast, lunch and dinner.
"He lives in the house with his mother, and she feeds him. In fact she creates a great recipe book of foods that can be served up flat enough to slide under the door. There's even a song about it."
Does he just stay there?
"No, without revealing too much I can say that an accident happens and a girl, Julie, comes to work for his mother. Then through a series of afternoons the girl and David develop a relationship through the door and they fall in love."
Kind of a Pyramus and Thisbe story, one thinks. "Yes," Lluberes chuckles, " but in modern-day Michigan."
Why A Musical?
"Well, I tried to write it as a play and I didn't think that it was working. Meanwhile, the composer Joe Maloney and I were interested in crafting a different kind of musical, a musical that would feel more like a play. It's really intimate, just a piano and three people, and I think that the songs are surprising. They just sort of sneak up on you. The Boy in the Bathroom does feel a lot more like a play in that way."
In the cast for The Boy in the Bathroom are Evan Mayer as David and Maddie Shea Baldwin as Julie. Mayer was in the joint BPP/IU production of Kissing Frogs and in the ensemble for IU's Hair. Baldwin played the part of a mime in the BPP's Bombshell and was in IU's Lysistrata. The boy's mother is played by BPP newcomer Lisa Kurz. BPP Artistic Director Chad Rabinovitz directs.