A Musical Nearly a Decade in the Making
Friday, July 25, 2008; WE41
Art is war, and war has casualties. "The stuff I've thrown away from this show," marvels composer Paul Scott Goodman, "three, four musicals' worth, easy."
Goodman and his wife, actress and director Miriam Gordon, are the force
behind "Rooms: A Rock Romance," an original musical that opens
Director Scott Schwartz, who has been helping the couple refine the piece since 2003, says the show's gestation is not unusual. "Musicals are complicated," he says. "You can talk and theorize," but with butts in the seats, everything changes. A six-show workshop run at the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival, followed by two readings in October 2006, helped the team diagnose and correct problems in the 90-minute show's last third. "It wasn't until we got it in front of an audience that we could really finish it," Schwartz says.
"Rooms" follows Goodman's own late-'70s-to-mid-'80s flight path -- from Scotland to London to New York City -- but there's a wrinkle and a romantic twist: The female character, Monica (played by Natascia Diaz), is based on him ("a little Jewish boy from Scotland, walking around in my flared trousers and my sweater"), and the male character, Ian (Doug Kreeger), is based on Goodman's working-class, Catholic songwriting partner at the time.
As a teen in
Goodman and Gordon, who have collaborated on several shows, met waiting
tables at O'Neill's, a restaurant near
The two are involved in separate projects. Goodman is tinkering with
"Alive in the World," a musical he's writing "about life and
And Gordon is working on "Not for Better," a show about divorce.
There's a pause.
"I'm not collaborating on that," her husband interjects dryly.
Their show might have taken nearly a decade to find its tempo, but in this moment, his timing is perfect.
Rooms: A Rock Romance MetroStage,