In the summer of 2016, our whole family got hooked on Hamilton. For me, the experience revived my teenage love of musicals, and reminded me of how powerful an art form musical theater can be.
I decided to write a musical about our 2005 move to the farm. (For more on this decision, see my post Why Write a Musical.)
My family was game. So in 2016-7, I wrote the book, lyrics, and music for Happy If Happy When, with music arranged and orchestrated by Geoffrey Gee. This musical, loosely based on our experience, tells the story of two artists and their five children who pursue a dream of rural life, only to find out that the farm they buy has its own ideas of what it wants from them.
We performed Happy If Happy When as a family, with all seven of us playing versions of ourselves. We had our premiere in July 2017 at the Fort Salem Theater in nearby Salem, NY, with generous support from the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council.
In 2018 we all performed our musical as part of two New York City theater festivals: the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, located in LA TEA of The Clemente Theatre (July); and the New York New Works Theatre Festival founded by Gene Fisch, Jr., appearing in the Acorn Theatre, Theatre Row on 42nd Street. (September). During the Planet Connections Festivity, Happy If was nominated for Most Outstanding Music and Lyrics, and Most Outstanding Supporting Actress (Kyra Gee). During the NYNWTF, Happy If was awarded a third performance.
The whole family performed for a third time in New York City, in a limited run Off Off Broadway at the Gene Frankel Theatre, December 27-30, 2018, fully produced by RINA TEE Productions. We enjoyed Christmas morning at home, rehearsed Christmas afternoon, and left first thing in the morning of the 26th for NYC!
Six months later, in the summer of 2019, The LaMothe Gee Family recorded a cast album containing 18 original songs, produced by Kimerer and Geoffrey, again with generous support from RINA TEE Productions.
Our CD is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube, as well as other streaming services.
On the heels of Happy If Happy When, I was looking for another topic for a musical and kept coming back to a longtime philosophical crush — Friedrich Nietzsche. I had written a book about him, a number of articles about him, and decided he needed a musical as well. By the end of 2019, I had a first draft of the book, lyrics, and melodies, but with the pandemic, it took a bit longer to flesh out the music.
In the spring of 2021, Geoffrey and I hosted a living room reading, and in August 2021, Nietzsche — The Musical appeared in the form of a staged reading with the generous support of the Fort Salem Theater and the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council.
Geoffrey and I are hard at work on the next incarnation of this musical and can’t wait to share it with you.
Stay tuned for more information!
Visit www.nietzschethemusical.com or follow us on Instagram @nietzschethemusical
Photos from the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Awards Ceremony. Kyra was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical, and Kimerer was nominated for Outstanding Music/Lyrics in a Musical. While neither of us won, we appeared as the final performance of the evening, singing a rousing rendition of “Richer Am I”!
REVIEWS from our Planet Connections performances!
Outer Stage: All in the Family
Words4Music: The New “Bradys” but Brilliant!