Diamond – a song for the MotherDaughterMusical


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.

  • Sung-through – meaning no dialogue, all song; like an opera but without the operatics.
  • Concept musical – like with the musical Cats, as one famous example, the concept musical is a play built around a central theme that is brought to life by the stories of many characters;  as opposed to the more widely known form, the story musical, where central characters give life to the play; they are the story and there may or may not be a central organizing concept or theme.
  • Documentary – meaning documentary theater, a play drawn from the real world rather than a playwrights imagination, like the work of Anna Deavere Smith.  Also, like Vagina Monologues, which is both documentary and a concept play.  In fact, Vagina Monologues is the single closest work to what we are proposing,  but with music and of course, all about mothers and daughters, not just the vagina.  (One friend even suggested we call our work “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.


“Diamond”        (with another singer! version 11)
Singer: Tatianna Cordoba

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