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LYRICS BY ALISON LUTERMAN & MUSIC BY LOREN LINNARD
SYNOPSIS - Amina Thrash is an ambitious young alt-rock singer with kidney disease. She performs her signature song, ARMADILLO, as the curtain opens. Her longtime, long-suffering boyfriend Nick wants her
to take a break and receive a much-needed kidney transplant, but she does not want to postpone her triumphant world tour and storms off leaving Nick to sing A FOOL FOR YOU. Meanwhile Sam and Ted, a married gay couple and parents to two young children, are also struggling with kidney disease. Ted would like to give Sam his own extra kidney but they are not medically compatible. He and Sam and their dedicated Dr. Durga sing TRIO OF LIGHT.
Dr. Durga is trying to coordinate a kidney “chain" which will allow different donors to give to complete strangers so that their own loved one may receive a kidney. Her patient Chester needs a kidney, but his strict Jehovah’s Witness faith prohibits blood transfusions, and his wife Lucille is adamant that she doesn’t want to risk being separated from Chester for all eternity if they disobey God’s law. After a tense meeting with Dr. Durga, Lucille sings THE RULES ARE THE RULES to explain her point of view. Chester then sings IT''S A GOOD DAY (joined by Lucille on the last verse), expressing the mix of acceptance, love, and stubborn hope that keeps him going.
Durga has a one-sided phone conversation with her mother who thinks she is spending too much time on her work and not enough on her personal life in HELLO, MA. Ted and Sam, frustrated at the roadblocks they are encountering, debate taking matters into their own hands in the duet STEALING FIRE. Everyone wants something; it all feels urgent. The whole Company sings RIGHT NOW.
Part of Dr. Durga's job is to encourage organ donation. She does so with a lively presentation in the song EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO, which might double as her own personal manifesto. Sam and Ted reaffirm their love with the duet I GIVE MYSELF TO YOU, while Amina, conversely, chafes under Nick's continued attempts to get her to slow down with her solo KILLING ME WITH HIS KINDNESS. The stress is even getting to Durga who sings DON''T WASTE A BUSY WOMAN'S TIME. The first act closes with a stubborn Amina trying to reprise her signature anthem ARMADILLO, but collapsing onstage in Berlin before she can finish the final verse.
Act 2 opens with Lucille beseeching God in LUCILLE'S PRAYER. Sam and Ted grieve their losses in the duet WHERE DID MY DREAMS GO? Even the upbeat Durga has a moment where she wonders if perhaps her mother might be right after all in EIGHT HUGS A DAY. Chester weighs the possible consequences of going behind his wife's back in his solo WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
Amidst all this turmoil, a moment of harmony comes from an unexpected source: Amina, post-death, sings a duet with Nick, SOME ANGELS WANT TO FALL, which allows them to reconcile.
Finally, Chester and Lucille's religious dilemma has been solved in a creative "work-around," the kidney recipients and their donors are in adjacent operating rooms, undergoing transplants. Dr. Durga and Ted are left to nervously pace the corridor and contemplate their own legacies in the duet WILL A PART OF ME LIVE ON?
To close, the entire company sings the anthem LINK IN A CHAIN. To know oneself as "only a link in a chain" is both humbling and liberating.
Listen to one of the songs from The Chain, "Link in a Chain," performed by Raymond Bambao, Jessica Fisher, Paula Helene, Jonathan Leavy, Loren Linnard, Alex Taite, and Branice McKenzie.
Glitter and Spew
SYNOPSIS - Three linked short plays form a three-ring circus, a meditation on media exposure, shame, and personal responsibility in twenty-first century America.
In the first short one-act, A Night in Jail, the ghost of Marie Antoinette pays an unexpected visit to Samantha London, a Lindsay Lohan-esque young celebrity/actress jailed for drunk driving. During a long evening in which the doomed queen revisits her own imprisonment, they play dominoes with the prison guard and dream of escaping their fates.
The second story, Toilet Stall, features the wife, son and daughter of a prominent politician arrested for solicitation in an undercover sting operation in a Men’s Room toilet stall. His family faces the media via a satellite interview, each with their own spin on events.
In the third story, Freak, a woman who has allowed herself to be implanted with twelve embryos and has subsequently been dubbed “Dodeca Mom” by the media, attempts to justify herself to the gay clerk at Target who donated his sperm for her project and to a nosy interloper with mother issues of her own.
SYNOPSIS - Olivia Hotchkiss, 38, an elementary school teacher, and Jack Woolf, 58, a defense lawyer used to be lovers. Now Jack’s wife has kicked him out on the longest night of the year, and he has come around again to Olivia’s backyard hot tub. Throughout the long night, both Jack and Olivia argue, laugh, reminisce, lie, make love, fight, make up, confess, and come dangerously close to both murder and intimacy.
Saying Kaddish With My Sister
SYNOPSIS - Lorraine Horowitz is dying of cancer, attended by her daughter Lydia, a performance artist with pink hair. When Rahel, the long-estranged older daughter, rushes in, Lorraine dies, leaving the two younger women to work out their relationship—if they can.
SYNOPSIS - Anna-Lucy is heir to the kingdom, which is in serious trouble. the castle is infested with wombats, her Father has possibly poisoned her Mother, and her cousin Harold, the Duke of Oasis, has become entangled in a video war-game which is proving all too real. The only thing left to do is go back to the trees.