I Should Just Blow This Whole Town!

We are having such fun working on Sweet Potato Queens. It's really everything I want in a piece of theatre, big laughs, big heart, and big ideas. It's a show like Hands on a Hardbody or Bonnie & Clyde, that surprises you with its depth and insight.

Dramatically, it's incredibly well crafted. We start the show by meeting the Sweet Potato Queens, and learn about their philosophy of life. Then we flashback, and most of the show is an origin story. Along with Jill, the Boss Queen, we meet three other Queens, and we come to understand why each of them needs the SPQs as much as Jill does.

Too Much Tammy has issues with food and body image. She's drowning in the clich├ęs and expectations of our culture, and feels absolutely powerless. Floozie Tammy just might be a sex addict, finding her self-worth by sleeping with a lot of men, trying to fill a hole in herself that the SPQs will eventually fill. Flower Tammy is a complete innocent, trapped in a very abusive relationship, feeling fully out of control of her life.

Along with Jill and her feelings of hopelessness and restlessness, these four women find their relief -- their cure -- in the world of the Sweet Potato Queens, where they are in control of their lives, of their men, of their appearance, of their sexuality. The SPQs are a flamboyant and entertaining way of reclaiming their lives, despite the rules of Polite Society.

It's interesting that in the show, we learn about the SPQ Worldview first, and only then do we meet the women individually and understand why and how desperately they needed the SPQs. It's not a story of whether or not they will find healing -- we know they will -- the story is about how they get there. In many ways, Jill's story follows the classic Hero Myth.

Ultimately, Jill DOES what the show itself prescribes -- she learns to do what makes her heart sing. The existance of the show itself is the point of the show!

But I've also realized that though this show is about these four women becoming Sweet Potato Queens, to some extent, those are some of the reasons people find comfort in the theatre. Like the Queens, actors take on a new persona, which often contains bits and pieces of their real selves, and live in an alternate reality for a while. Performance is healing. Sharing is healing. Laughing is healing.

Part of the great fun of working on this show is that I'm in contact with the whole writing team as well as Jill Conner Browne. They're all so psyched we're doing the show, and some of them are coming to see us. They've all been incredibly friendly and supportive. Here's a video Jill sent us:



This is going to be such a fun -- and healing -- ride! For more info, click here.

Long Live the Musical!
Scott
Official Spud Stud

P.S. To buy Sweet Potato Queens tickets, click here

P.P.S. To check out my newest musical theatre books, click here.

P.P.P.S. To donate to New Line Theatre, click here

2 comments:

Jill Conner Browne | February 8, 2024 at 3:34 PM

BIG KISS SMACK ON THE MOUTH! Cannot WAIT to be there!!

Debra Lueckerath | February 8, 2024 at 4:04 PM

This is going to be too cool for school. I can hardly wait. This show is the perfect match for New Line Theatre.