young rube

“Young Rube” with Steve Liebman and Mana Allen.

Yes, I write musicals. Mostly books to musicals, with the music and lyrics penned by my good friend Matty Selman. I started with Jass (all mine) then joined Matty for Steeplechase, Young Rube, and Slow Dance With A Hot Pickup. (We are now working on a fourth: La Dottoressa, based on the life of Maria Montessori.) Matty’s music and lyrics are so wonderfully old-fashioned and at the same time so brilliantly new. I dare anyone to listen to Rube and not come out humming, a gift to an audience that is sadly too-often neglected nowadays. (I do sound a little fogey-ish on this score, pun intended.) I think what I love about writing books for musicals is the almost mathematical challenge of it all, of seamlessly (or not) stepping into an entirely different way of telling a story, mid-sentence. With musicals, as with music, it’s all about structure, and that is why the anal gods invented them.