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The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals is the eleventh original online musical from Team StarKid. It is the first installment in the Hatchetfield series. It ran from October 11th to November 4th, 2018, at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. The entire show was released for free on YouTube on December 23rd, 2018. The cast album was released on December 24th, 2018 on iTunes and Amazon Music.

Summary[]

The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals is a horror-comedy show following Paul, an ordinary guy who doesn’t like musicals, and his friends/co-workers, as the world around them becomes a musical.

Synopsis[]

Act 1[]

A group of singing zombies addresses the audience, setting the scene in the tiny town of Hatchetfield and introducing the main character, unremarkable everyman Paul Matthews. ("The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals").

Paul's day begins like any other, as he works dutifully at a nondescript office job. Here, we meet his coworkers: obnoxious womanizer Ted, sweet but unstable Charlotte, and Paul's closest friend, sheepish Bill. Charlotte has a phone conversation with her husband Sam, a police officer who dismisses her many attempts at affection. Bill invites Paul to come to see a touring production of Mamma Mia! with him and his teenage daughter, Alice, with whom Bill feels he must make an effort to connect after his divorce with his wife. Paul declines, stating that he would "rather do anything" than go see a musical.

Paul goes to the local coffee shop, Beanie's, where he befriends Emma Perkins, a cute barista who shares his hatred for musicals. As he leaves the coffee shop, he is accosted by an activist from Greenpeace, who tries to solicit a donation from him. Their conversation is cut off by a rapidly approaching storm, which alarms townspeople all over Hatchetfield. Charlotte, although cheating on her husband with Ted, fears for Sam's safety; Bill's daughter Alice takes refuge with her girlfriend Deb; and a mysterious man, Professor Hidgens, reacts in awe and horror at his predictions coming to fruition.

The next morning, on his way to work, Paul encounters a group of singing and dancing people on the street, led by the Greenpeace girl he met the day before. The singers recall their past lives and express their newfound happiness through song and dance ("La Dee Dah Dah Day"). Paul, deeply disturbed, arrives at work, where Bill complains that the performance of Mamma Mia was cancelled after a meteor hit the theatre. Charlotte expresses concern about her husband singing unusually well in the shower. Just as Paul, horrified, begins to connect the dots, he is called into the boss's office. He gives excuses, thinking his boss Mr Davidson is unsatisfied with his work, but Davidson cuts him off, suddenly bursting into song to ask Paul about his objective in life ("What Do You Want, Paul?"). Scared by yet another incident of inexplicable singing, Paul runs out under the pretence of getting coffee. He arrives at Beanie's, where he confides in Emma that he is worried the world may have turned into a musical overnight. Emma, not convinced, excuses herself to sing a tip song with her coworkers Zoey and Nora ("Cup of Roasted Coffee"). After discovering that they added "a whole 'nother A section" to the choreography without her knowledge, she quits in exasperation. The customers suddenly begin to cough and choke, whereupon the baristas reveal that they have poisoned the coffee. The customers transform into musical zombies and join the baristas in song ("Cup of Poisoned Coffee"), chasing Paul and Emma out of the shop.

Paul and Emma meet Bill, Charlotte, and Ted in an alleyway, where they learn that people all over town have inexplicably begun to sing and dance. Charlotte reveals that she has called Sam, who arrives singing and dancing. He and his fellow officers, all musical zombies at this point, harass Paul and his friends until Ted hits Sam over the head and knocks him out ("Show Me Your Hands"). Emma proposes that they seek help from her biology professor, "doomsday survivalist" Professor Hidgens.

The group arrives at Hidgens' compound, where he reveals that he has been preparing for this exact doomsday scenario for decades. He tells them that the blue goo found on Sam's skull is the result of an alien invasion and ties the unconscious Sam to a chair for the group's safety. Ted attempts to convince Charlotte to abandon Sam for him, telling her to upgrade from a scumbag to a sleazeball, but she refuses. When Sam comes to, he begs Charlotte to untie him, professing his love to her through song and reminding her of their lives before their marriage fell apart. She is unconvinced, until he fakes his death, causing her to free him ("You Tied Up My Heart"). He then attacks her, ripping out her guts.

Meanwhile, the others head to Hidgens's bar, where an argument arises breaks out between Bill and Ted. Emma and Paul become closer, Emma revealing that after her sister's death, she promised herself that she would not die in Hatchetfield, whilst Paul reveals that his hatred of musicals was inspired by seeing Emma herself perform in Brigadoon in high school. Their conversation is interrupted by Charlotte, now a musical zombie as well, and Sam, who attack Paul ("Join Us (And Die)"). Just in time, Professor Hidgens returns, shooting and killing both of them.

Bill receives a phone call from Alice, who is still at school. Bill instructs her to hide until he can come to get her. Although Ted tells him it's a lost cause, Paul decides to join Bill on his rescue mission.

Act 2[]

At the high school, Paul and Bill search for Alice as Bill panics that he is to blame for her situation. Paul tries to reassure him that he's wrong, but is interrupted by Alice, now infected as well. Alice sings, telling Bill that her death was indeed his fault and he was never a good father ("Not Your Seed"). Bill, heartbroken, attempts to kill himself with the shotgun they brought to defend themselves, but Paul stops him and tosses it aside. While Paul is busy comforting Bill, Alice picks up the shotgun and shoots and kills him. Right as she is about to attack Paul, the army arrives, scaring her away and knocking Paul out.

Back at Professor Hidgens' compound, Hidgens explains the nature of the alien invasion to Emma, describing it as a hivemind. Although Emma realizes how to stop its spread, Hidgens is excited by the peace and unity of a hivemind society and decides to take the aliens' side, tranquilizing Emma. Meanwhile, Paul wakes up and is greeted by General McNamara, who works with a special unit of the US Army called PEIP. McNamara tells him that if he is able to rescue Emma, the army will have a helicopter come pick them up.

Emma wakes up, tied to a chair with Ted. Hidgens opens the gate to the compound, claiming that the only way humans will be saved from themselves is if they let the alien invasion continue. He then goes on to reveal that he has a history in musical theatre, much to the dismay of Emma and Ted. He purposely attracts the aliens by singing, including the opening number of a musical he has been working on called Working Boys, where he reminisces about his days with his friends in undergrad ("Show-Stoppin' Number"). His singing attracts the zombies, though he is now too far gone to realize this and thinks that they are his college friends Greg, Steve, Stu, Mark, Leighton and Chad. The zombies join in his song before dragging him off and killing him.

Paul arrives to rescue Emma and Ted and they immediately head for the pickup site, but the zombies catch up to them and drag off Paul. Emma tries to save him but Ted keeps running. He makes it to the pickup site and is greeted by PEIP, who have also been infected. McNamara shoots and infects Ted before beginning to sing ("America Is Great Again"). Paul and Emma manage to make it to the helicopter after Emma shoots McNamara in the arm and get on. However, they realize that the pilot is Emma's infected coworker when she begins to sing and pulls a gun on them. The resulting fight causes the helicopter to crash. A piece of rebar ends up in Emma's leg. She tells him to leave her behind and go destroy the meteor to end the invasion. He reluctantly leaves her and takes a grenade belt along with him.

Several zombies once again address the audience through song ("Let Him Come"), where they pass on the word that the star of the show, Paul, is making his way to the meteor. Paul enters the local theatre, the site of the meteor crash, and is greeted by the reanimated bodies of Bill, Ted, Charlotte, Zoey, Professor Hidgens and Mr. Davidson. They tell him that they are happy now, and that if he destroys the meteor he will also die. They ask what he wants, to which he replies that it does not matter. The zombies, however, disagree. They begin to sing, telling him that they feel there is a song in him and that he must express his feelings through song, and to his horror, his proximity to the meteor causes him to sing and dance against his will. Paul begins to switch between singing and talking, fighting for control against the infection. He manages to pull the pin on a grenade and throw it at the meteor, yelling that he doesn't like musicals ("Let It Out").

A newscast from the neighboring town of Clivesdale states that it has been two weeks since the events of the show. Emma is in a hospital in Clivesdale and is greeted by Colonel Schaffer, a PEIP agent, who has set up a new life and identity for her. Schaffer tells her that there were no other survivors, but that she will be escorted to her new life by a Ben Bridges, who Emma apparently knows well. Ben enters and reveals himself to be Paul. Emma and Paul embrace before Paul begins to sing, telling her she lost. He is joined by other zombies and they sing a medley of previous songs in the show and implore her to join them, explaining that they have finally found happiness. They tell her the ending is "inevitable" and surround and drag her off stage ("Inevitable").

Cast[]

The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals has 8 cast members. Both Jon Matteson and Mariah Rose Faith Casillas make their debut appearance in a Starkid production.

Actor (*) Character
Jaime Lyn Beatty Charlotte, Nora, Deb, Jaime's Hatchetfield Citizen, Jaime's PEIP Soldier, Colonel Schaffer
Jeff Blim Mr K. Davidson, Man In A Hurry, Sam, Jeff's Hatchetfield Citizen, General John McNamara, Greg
Corey Dorris Bill, Corey's Hatchetfield Citizen, Stu, Corey's PEIP Soldier
Mariah Rose Faith Casillas (Credited as Mariah Rose Faith) Melissa, Zoey, Greenpeace Girl, Alice, Doug, Mariah's PEIP Soldier, Nurse
Lauren Lopez Emma, Smoke Club Girl, Donna Daggit, The Hatchetfield Bee
Robert Manion Professor Hidgens, Hot Chocolate Boy, Dan Reynolds, Robert's Hatchetfield Citizen, Robert's Hatchetfield Cop, Robert's PEIP Soldier
Jon Matteson Paul Matthews
Joey Richter Ted, Danny, Joey's Hatchetfield Citizen, Joey's PEIP Soldier, Rod

(*) Bold names denote the actor's onstage Starkid debut

All characters can be found here.

Creative Team[]

Crew Member Job
Matt Dahan Music Direction
Ilana Elroi Sound Design, Engineering
Paul Gabriel Stage Manager
Nick Lang Producer, Director
Corey Lubowich Scenic Design, Producer
Sarah Petty Lighting Design
Amy Plouff Scenic Charge
Brian Rosenthal Sound Design
June Saito Costume Design
Jade Svenson Wardrobe/Deck Hand
Matt Dahan Keyboard 1
Josh Fleury Bass
Sam Johnides Guitar, Keyboard 2
Ryan McDiarmid Drums

Songs[]

Act 1 Song Sung By Duration
The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals Ensemble 4:05
La Dee Dah Dah Day Greenpeace Girl, Homeless Man, Ensemble 3:17
What Do You Want, Paul? Mr. Davidson 3:11
Cup of Roasted Coffee Nora, Zoey, Emma 1:38
Cup of Poisoned Coffee Nora, Zoey, Ensemble 0:33
Show Me Your Hands Sam, Ensemble 2:24
You Tied up My Heart Sam 3:35
Join Us (And Die) Charlotte, Sam 2:01
Act 2 Not Your Seed Alice, Ensemble 3:23
Show Stoppin Number Professor Hidgens, Greg and Stu 5:19
America Is Great Again General McNamara, Ensemble 2:11
Let Him Come Ensemble 0:38
Let It Out Paul, Ensemble 3:27
Inevitable Paul, Ensemble 2:57

Critical reception[]

The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals received generally positive reviews from local and online publications.

Awards[]

The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals received fifteen nominations in twelve categories at the 2019 BroadwayWorld.com Los Angeles Regional Awards. It was nominated in every category for which it was eligible, that is to say, every local (non-touring) musical category. It won in every category except three. Every actor in the musical was nominated for their performance except for Jeff Blim. Every nominee in the category Best Featured Actor in a Musical was from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2019 BroadwayWorld.com Los Angeles Regional Awards[1][2] Best Musical - Local Nominated
Best Leading Actor in a Musical - Local Jon Matteson Won
Best Leading Actress in a Musical - Local Lauren Lopez Nominated
Best Featured Actor in a Musical - Local Robert Manion Won
Corey Dorris Nominated
Joey Richter Nominated
Best Featured Actress in a Musical - Local Jaime Lyn Beatty Won
Mariah Rose Faith Nominated
Best Director of a Musical - Local Nick Lang Nominated
Best Choreography - Local James Tolbert Won
Best Musical Director - Local Matt Dahan Won
Best Scenic Design - Local Corey Lubowich Won
Best Costume Design - Local June Saito Won
Best Lighting Design - Local Sarah Petty Won
Best Sound Design - Local Ilana Elroi and Brian Rosenthal Won

Trivia[]

  • Parts of TGWDLM are inspired by the 1999 comedy Office Space.[3]
  • One night, Jeff Blim ran offstage making alien noises because he got sick
  • In multiple shows including the Youtube version, Robert as Hidgens fails to put back the syringe so he tosses it off-stage
  • In Lah Dee Dah Dah Day, Joey was supposed to draw a smiley face with a ketchup bottle from the trash, but they cut it due to staging problems
  • The opening song was significantly cut down and originally involved a human train
  • Robert fell off-stage during his coffee shop scene multiple times
  • For a performance that Lauren could not participate in, Nick Lang played Emma
  • At least one audience hesitated to get up at the end of the show due to the fourth-wall breaking
  • In the Youtube version of the show, Jeff sang "Steve" instead of Paul during Let Him Come, leading to a noticable edit of that part
  • In at least one performance, the hat Jeff wears as Sam to hide the blue brain fell off too soon
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