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Idol - the Musical

Musical. Music and Lyrics by Jon Balcourt, book and lyrics by Bill Boland. Concept and additional book and lyrics by Todd Ellis

45th Street Theatre, Off-Broadway - Opened and closed 12 August, 2007 (47 previews, 1 perf)


The lights fade up on a silhouetted statue. Robed members enter slowly, as if in a procession, and begin to circle the statue. When the cloth is stripped away the audience realizes this is a fan club for Clay Aiken!

Emily, the leader of the group, takes the members through the meeting's traditional schedule and agenda. We are introduced slowly to the different members of the group: JD, who is a jock that wants to get out of the small town, Connor, a nerdy pianist who seems to have trouble fitting in, Cicada, the human dictionary who gets in everyone's way, Kodi, the theatrical ham who never ceases to make an entrance, Cass, the gothic masochist who spends more time poking pins into her doll than paying attention at the meeting, Alex, the tough tomboy who constantly tries to avoid Duncan, and Duncan, the goofy "cowboy" who is constantly after Alex's attention.

As the meeting progresses the members share their discontent with living in a small town, and reflect on life outside. An unexpected guest appears as the meeting continues. Adrienne, Emily's sister, has returned from her audition for American Idol (though unsuccessful) and tries to play it off as if she is a big star-to-be that has the know-how to whip the hapless group into shape in time for a competition coming to town: to be the opening act for Clay Aiken's new tour! The group decides to create a song and dance number that will knock Clay's socks off, but it cannot be completed with the discipline and focused required in all rehearsals.

JD is practicing basketball after the meeting, and happens upon a pole in the garage that the club uses to gather. Slowly he morphs from a basketball playing hip-hop dancer to a pole-dancing male stripper wannabe. Kodi, Cicada, and Emily enter and catch him in the act, almost speechless, but laughing it off, nonetheless. Shortly after, Alex and Duncan enter in a fight once again (as always), with Duncan pleading for Alex to give him a chance and let him take her out on a date. JD admits to the group that he didn't get the basketball scholarship he claimed he was rewarded, and instead has different plans for his future.

Connor is home working on the music to the song he is writing for the group to perform. While at home, Cass enters behind him unannounced and catches him at the piano with his pants down (a way of relaxing while practicing, he claims). The tension between the two is evident, and it is clear that there are shared feelings from both sides, however neither is strong or brave enough to take a step towards admitting it. When the two are almost about to kiss, Adrienne interrupts the romance, and Cass leaves to go to rehearsal. Adrienne gives Connor some new music she says she wrote as a backup to the act they are already working on, and demands he play it for her to practice. Connor is stunned and has realized that Adrienne is planning the act to sabotage the group's chances of winning so that she can steal the spotlight. She laughs, and tells him it's too late and the others will think he was in on it with her. She leaves to go run rehearsal, and Connor is left wondering what to do.

At rehearsal, the group practices the mundane, cheesy number for the last time. Adrienne and Connor enter during the rehearsal and the group soon realizes what has been going on, and blames Connor for double-crossing them. They leave one by one, and it seems like the group of friends has fallen apart. Adrienne leaves Connor to himself, enjoying her success as she exits the garage.

Emily is passing her time working on a clay bust of Clay's head, and begins to believe that it takes on all too real of a likeness to her idol. When Alex, JD, Kodi and Cicada return to the garage in hopes of remaining friends, they share their disbelief that Connor could do something like this to them. They all take turns bashing Idol's most popular judge, Simon Cowell, and ultimately tell him in their minds that he doesn't matter and neither do his harsh statements.

Meanwhile, Cass (who took Connor's "betrayal" the hardest of all), is sitting alone with her doll, while Connor is at home drowning his sorrow and lamenting about the loss of the one girl he ever loved.

Graduation day has arrived, and Emily throws away her clay bust, deciding she's better off without a crazy obsession. Kodi enters, with less than a flair, and Cicada enters with him, slightly softer in tone and appearance than usual. One by one the group is reforming, as Duncan and JD return as a jock and stripper, respectively. Included in this rebirth of the group is Alex, who has cleaned the grease off her clothes and cleaned up her hair. Cass enters and amazes all with her gentle girl-next-door appearance. She has removed the dark makeup and black clothes and returned to the way she was before she decided to be monochromatic. Last to return is Connor, who has become a suave, smooth talker in hopes of winning Cass and his friends back.

The group has now made amends, but Adrienne returns having won the competition. She reveals the entire contest was a joke and that the prize was simply to sing in a commercial for Clay's new brand of chicken. Disappointed, Adrienne apologizes to her old friends, and the group gets ready to graduate. As they go off into the world they are now ready to face whatever life has in store for them, knowing they will always have each other, and that being who they really are is more important than putting up a facade.

Musical Numbers

  1. Opening: Idolize - Company
  2. The Meeting - Emily, Company
  3. Small Town Blues - Company
  4. 15 Minutes - Company
  5. Discipline - Adrienne, Company
  6. Chip'n'Dale Days - JD, Duncan
  7. Prima Donna, Fabulous - Adrienne
  8. Quakin' for Aiken - Emily, JD, Duncan, Cass, Alex, Cicada, Kodi
  9. Prima Donna, Fabulous (reprise) - Adrienne
  10. Burnin' Hunk of Clay - Emily
  11. Simon Says - Alex, Cicada, Kodi
  12. Distance - Cass, Connor
  13. Burnin' Hunk of Clay (reprise) - Midge
  14. Family of Misfits - Connor, Company
  15. Finale: Realize - Company
  16. 15 Minutes (reprise) - Company