Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Case Study No. 0980: The Librarian (Cupcake the Musical)

I've Got a Crush - duet from CUPCAKE: A NEW MUSICAL
Lifeguard: David Keck Librarian: Hallie Brevetti from CUPCAKE: A NEW MUSICAL Lyrics by David Reiffel, Music by Michael Wartofsky, Book by Bradley Seeman

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Tags: Hallie Brevetti David Keck Michael Wartofsky David Reiffel Bradley Seeman Cupcake Cupcake Musical Cupcake A New Musical new musicals duet duets comic songwriting berklee emerson boston
Added: 5 months ago
From: mwartofsky
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[scene opens with a man and a woman singing]
LIFEGUARD: Maybe it's stupid, maybe it's insane ... but a sugar-coated Cupid is swimming in my brain! And it's gotten so the cries for help of people as they drown, just pass in one ear and out the other.
[he shrugs]
LIFEGUARD: I think of Tom when I'm surfing, Tom when I'm working out ... though the fact he might be straight remains a lurking doubt! I could say I love his cupcakes, but that would be half a lie! I've got a crush on Tom, oh my.
LIBRARIAN: Infatuation has never been my style. I provided information with gusto and a smile ... but lately, questions at the reference desk on the scandals of Summertown, just pass in one ear and out the other.
[she rubs her neck and smiles]
LIBRARIAN: I think of Tom when I'm reshelving, Tom when I'm logging on ... I write my blog and secretly it's Tom I'm blogging on! I could say I don't love his baking, but that simply isn't so! I've got a crush on Tom, oh no.
[she gets a concerned look on her face, as the lifeguard shakes his head]
LIFEGUARD: I've never seen him at the gym ...
LIBRARIAN: He's in a hurry when we meet ...
BOTH: He doesn't know he's the dream I've prayed for ... but did it once occur to him, that he could have me at his feet? Maybe, at last, I'd know which team he played for! I think of Tom when I'm getting naked, Tom when I'm getting dressed. I show symptoms of obsession and I'm clinically depressed, it's a recipe for disaster! But I may as well admit, I've got a crush on Tom ...
[they suddenly stop and both look at each other]
BOTH: Oh shit.
[they look around, confused]
LIBRARIAN: Shiii-iii-iiit ...
[they look away]
BOTH: Oh shit.



CUPCAKE is a flirty love-letter to Summertown, a free-spirited seaside resort where every mouth waters for Tom and his irresistible cupcakes.

But rookie Officer Stone, looking hot in his spotless uniform, is on the prowl: the law clearly states that street sales of food are taboo. The locals, especially the hunky Lifeguard and the sexy-nerdy Librarian, relish Tom's contraband cupcakes and help their adored baker boy avoid arrest. Meanwhile the ruthless Real Estate Agent (who bears a remarkable resemblance to the Tourist, the Judge, and the Captain of the Women's Softball Team) intends to seal her own sweet deal.

If anyone is going to get their hunger satisfied, they'd better hurry: this is Summertown, and the short, short season is almost at an end.


* TOM (Grant MacDermott) - Makes the best cupcakes anyone has ever tasted
* OFFICER STONE (Mark Linehan) - Sworn to uphold the law ... even if no one wants him to
* THE LIBRARIAN (Hallie Brevetti) - Smart enough to know a good baker when she sees one
* THE LIFEGUARD (Max Sangerman) - Wants everyone to have a good time (especially himself)
* THE REAL ESTATE AGENT (Karen MacDonald) - Happy to find everyone that perfect spot to settle down ... well, for the summer, anyway
* THE TOURIST (Karen MacDonald) - Has never seen a place like Summertown, but he looks kind of familiar ...
* THE CAPTAIN OF THE WOMEN'S SOFTBALL TEAM (Karen MacDonald) - Loves cupcakes (almost) as much as softball. But why is she a dead ringer for the real estate agent?
* THE JUDGE (Karen MacDonald) - Can barely control her courtroom ... and could pass for the real estate agent's sister.

The Creators

* Book: Bradley Seeman
* Music: Michael Wartofsky
* Lyrics: David Reiffel
* Producer/Director: Guy Ben-Aharon



Cupcake. Book by Bradley Seeman. Music by Michael Wartofsky. Lyrics by David Reiffel. Produced and directed by Guy Ben-Aharon. At Club Cafe Boston, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA, through June 24.

This new musical (receiving its world premiere) is theater's equivalent of a "summer movie," a fact highlighted by the director/producer, Guy Ben-Aharon: "The musical celebrates all that is summer and fun." And, in fact, the cast of five brings plenty of energy to this task; if you are into youth and good looks, you're getting all you can digest.

But I admit I missed the two ingredients that transform a work of convincing craft into a work of convincing art: surprise and surprise's twin brother, leaps of the imagination. Is the cupcake-baker straight or is he gay? Does he have a legal permit to sell his cakes? These are the basic questions Cupcake raises. Now I grant it's all done charmingly. But does celebrating "all that is summer and fun" excuse all that is omitted here? If you are the type of theatergoer who yearns for a more engaging, more honest take on Provincetown in summer and on the high drama of ANY relationship - straight or gay - this musical will leave you full but not filled.

As for the songs in Cupcake (accompanied by Michael Wartofsky, their composer), I found myself asking what they contribute to the story. Do they add more than simply calories? But then what can you expect from a story in which the protagonist is a cupcake? - that is, a fit, strapping, young baker? The exception is the song "I've Got A Crush" - sung by the Lifeguard (Max Sangerman) and the Librarian (Hallie Brevetti) - which shows the level of intensity to which music and lyrics could have been taken.

There are a couple of nice directorial/design touches: principally the love-scene in which Tom the baker (Grant MacDermott) and the Librarian (Hallie Brevetti) stand in front of (as opposed to lying down on) a beach-towel.

As I said, if you're into pastry, this evening is for you.

But if you expect something more filling, then I'm afraid you'll have to wait for this creative team's next baking session; the ingredients, the talent, are obviously there.

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