Entertainment » Theatre

Broadway Bound? 'Lube: A Modern Love Story'

by Stacey Blanchet .
Monday Jul 25, 2016

Dreams, dreams and more dreams. How can you tell someone that they are climbing an uphill mountain and may never see the other side? Do you tell them that or do you catch a ride on their magic carpet and fly with them?

We all have dreams that are public or very private deep in our heart. Many involve the entertainment industry in one way or another. So many flock to Hollywood for show business and New York is where you want to be for respect and theatre. Novelist Jack Turner is setting out on a mission to bring his musical www.lubemusical.com|"Lube: A Modern Love Story" to the bright lights of Broadway. Yes, this is entertainment but it has heart. He is on a mission as a gay man himself to bring positive role models to gay youth and tell them that you can live happily ever after.

Q: You are a sci-fi novelist. Why did you switch to musical theater and how hard is it to write a play?

It's not fair to call me a sci-Fi novelist. I wrote two musicals before I ever published my first book! Still, I have five books published, while neither of my musicals has been produced.

I approach the task of writing a musical by starting with the music. Of course I have some general idea of the plot, and I like to figure out where I need to express the emotions that a song evokes. I write the name of the songs first, and then flesh out the lyrics. Next, I write the book around the lyrics, and then fill in with additional songs. I always write more music than needed, since it's easier to cut a song than it is to write one. The level of difficulty is based on how well one writes. I think I write pretty well, so I haven't found it exorbitantly challenging.

Q: Why do you believe "Lube: A Modern Love Story" should be on Broadway?

While it's impossible for me to be impartial, first and foremost I think "Lube: A Modern Love Story" is a really great show. It has sympathetic characters placed in interesting situations. The lyrics are witty and the music is fabulous.

Further, "Lube" has a message: "Just love yourself; the rest will fall in place." This musical is one more, albeit important, voice in a chorus - or perhaps a cacophony - of voices expressing their support for gay youth. Suicide rates for teens in general are high, but for LGBT youth, those figures shoot up dramatically.

But "Lube" doesn't just tell gay youth that "It Gets Better." It tries to send a message to every person out there that life is difficult enough for an isolated teen, whether he or she be straight, gay, bisexual, or questioning, without adding to their misery. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. It might make some individual feel better temporarily to take their rage, their hatred, and their frustrations out on someone else, but ultimately they are only giving themselves more misery. Karma, if you want to call it that...

Q: There is a process for which play writers get their plays seen. Are you in that process and is it as hard as you'd thought it would be?

Yes to both. I am in that process with the help of my very talented creative team. This is the first time I've done this: My first audition, my first rehearsal, my first recording. It's frustrating, at times, but fun. We're still in our infancy, and who knows? Ultimately it may be too hard to get "Lube" to Broadway. Only time will tell.

Our next step is to hold a public reading of "Lube" on October 1st, 2016, 7 pm, at San Diego's LGBTQ Center.

Q: "Lube: A Modern Love Story" conveys the universal message "Love yourself." What sets "Lube: A Modern Love Story" apart from others and why should the public get behind it?

People express this sentiment in different ways. The "It Gets Better" Project closely aligns with what I'm trying to accomplish. Even with countless celebrities sending that signature message, teen suicide rates are at epidemic proportions. More teens commit suicide in the US each year than all the mass shooting deaths combined by a factor of 2 or 3. I don't want to lecture on the topic, but the national figures are cause for grave concern.

One of the reasons I wrote "Lube" was to provide positive gay role models in a fun and entertaining manner. The musical includes gays, lesbians, straights, bisexuals, and a drag queen or two. No, "Lube" is not a be-all and end-all cure for gay suicide, but it's one way of trying to reach that target audience and, perhaps, provide some relief, some hope, some sense of what could lie ahead for an individual to help convince them to stick around for a while.

Ultimately, one must ask: "What does "Wicked" or "Hairspray" offer, and why did the public get behind them?" I think the answer is that they are just a lot of fun. That's my intention and I hope audiences will find that "Lube: A Modern Love Story" is exactly that.

Q: Do you believe you can have your musical accepted without a trial run somewhere to show that audiences are responding to it?

No, I don't believe it, and it's not what I'm trying to do. It takes a long time for a play to make it to Broadway. Even if "Lube" was the best musical ever, it would take years to open there. The road we'll take after the reading is a bit hazy.

A lot depends on how well received the reading is. I submitted the play for production at The Diversionary and the La Jolla Playhouse. The Diversionary has declined to produce the show, but I suspect that "Lube" is too "big" a show to fit in the small space at The Diversionary. I haven't yet heard back from The La Jolla Playhouse, but should we get accepted, we'd really be on our way. I remember watching "Thoroughly Modern Millie" there before it opened on the great white way. If they also decline to produce the show, things get a bit more complicated.

What is your ideal situation for "Lube: A Modern Love Story"?

1) [Find a] LGBT Celebrity [to emcee the first reading]. 2) Hold a very successful first reading of the full script, complete with all the music recorded and played at appropriate points in the script. 3) The La Jolla Playhouse informs me that they would like to stage the play. 4) We get offers from other theaters around the country to stage the musical. 5) "Lube: A Modern Love Story" opens on Broadway and is a smash success. 6) Everyone associated with the play wins a Tony Award!

This is a long journey. For most, it never happens. There will be setbacks, heartbreaks and a time when it all seems hopeless. But, for the dreamers, this is when they shine the most. A deep belief in themselves and their project sustains them when most throw in the towel. I for one want to take that magic carpet ride to the light of Broadway. Who is going to join in?


  • Anonymous, 2016-12-22 17:25:57

    Gay Musical Theater on its way to the shiny lights of Broadway from CA? Sounds fabulous! Does anyone know where we can see this show before it premiers on the east coast? They must be showing it somewhere! I don’t want to pay Broadway prices!

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