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The Middle of Nowhere


A theatrical fantasy : Songs by Randy Newman Book by Tracy Friedman

Premier - Wisdom Bridge Theater, Chicago
Prince Music Theater, Philadelphia - Opened Jun 4, 2005 - Closed Jun 26, 2005


The songs of Randy Newman are woven into a contemporary "minstrel" show with the sociological punch that has made him America's foremost musical satirist. Set in 1969, five people find themselves stranded at a bus depot in a backwater Louisiana town. As the rain pours down, their personas pour forth. There's the station's janitor, the jingoistic salesman and the GI to whom he's giving a lift, the redneck with a guitar case full of beer, and the GI returning from Vietnam. In a succession of stylized set pieces, this show-within-a-show becomes a bitter-sweet allegory of American pluralism.


4 men, 1 woman

Musical Numbers

  1. Minstral Transition
  2. Sail Away
  3. Yellow Man
  4. Sigmund Freud
  5. Political Science
  6. Lover's Prayer
  7. Tickle Me
  8. Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong
  9. You Can Leave Your Hat On
  10. They Just Got Married
  11. Marie
  12. I'm Different
  13. Simon Smith
  1. Davy, The Fat Boy
  2. Short People
  3. Old Man
  4. Song For The Dead
  5. Mr. President
  6. Lonely At The Top
  7. Roll With The Punches
  8. It's Money I Love
  9. Baltimore
  10. Old Kentucky Home
  11. Rednecks
  12. Louisiana
  13. Finale - Rain Today

Scenes and Settings

The action takes place in a bus depot somewhere on the back roads of Louisiana 1969.


clarinet db. tenor sax, keyboards, electric guitar, bass guitar, percussion