MDMx: MotherDaughterMusical

Welcome.  The musical is a work-in-progress.  So is this page.  

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MDMx: MotherDaughterMusical is a work-in-progress adaptation of our documentary film “the Story of Mothers and Daughters” into a stage play.  That’s right, not a film – a stage play;  or to be more specific, a sung-through documentary concept musical.   Which means:

  • Sung-throughmeaning no dialogue, all song; like an opera but without the operatics.
  • Concept musical such as the musical Cats (one famous example) the concept musical is a play built around a central theme or concept, and that is brought to life through many characters or vignettes;  as opposed to the more widely known “story musical”  where the characters drive the story, not a central theme or concept.
  • Documentary – meaning non-fictional theater, drawn from the real world (e.g. the plays of Anna Deavere Smith), as opposed to the fictional plays that spring from the playwrights imagination.  Vagina Monologues  is example of a stage play that is both documentary and a concept play.  In fact, Vagina Monologues inspires us deeply.  It is the single closest work to what we are proposing – also pro-woman in nature, but ours has music and of course, is about mothers and daughters, not just the vagina herself.  (One friend even suggested we call our play “Vagina Dialogues.”  We laughed, but …  No.)

30 Songs
will reveal the mother-daughter journey from cradle to grave; from babies to grandmothers; from priceless to painful;   inspired by and using the stories and language of the real life stories of the women and girls in the documentary, and structured like the documentary – taking advantage of nearly a year in the edit room learning how craft these particular people and stories into the cradle to grave emotional arc, when it should be funny and when sad; when to tell individual stories or when to have chorus like groups of story-tellers, when fast and when slow.

The Libretto – the lyrics to the songs, is nearly complete, based on the 400+ mother/daughter interviews for the TV program, an organized, transcribed treasure trove of truth-telling – revealing the most central topics, the most nuanced insights, the most dramatic situations in this all-important relationship – expressed in intimate, honest, moving, surprising, and absolutely authentic language, phrases that have always sounded like song lyrics in my mind.

So much more music to come, these are first drafts of songs, demo quality, just to give you a flavor of what the music might be like.  These are likely to be replaced by better music from a better composer.  But for now … enjoy… Certainly they are sufficient to give you a vivid sense of where we’re going!

Three songs from Act 1:
Diamond“,  “I’m Afraid“, “Second Chance

a funny song from Act 1:
She, She, She
(version 9b)
Singer: Megan McLaughlin




same material, in slightly different format – one song at a time …

(if you listened already, you don’t need this):

Individual mp3 files of songs in Act 1 excerpt above:

“Diamond”        (version 11)
Singer: Tatianna Cordoba

“I’m Afraid”        (version 12alt)
Singers: Pamela Rose, Lorri Holt, Lee Chisholm

“Second Chance”  (version 14_43d)
Singer:  Jennifer Boesing, lead; Lee Chisholm background


Second Chance

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