A Child-Like Musical About Beer?
Yes, believe it or not—but B Is for Beer is really a musical for adults and children alike, and bear in mind that it's the work of maverick bestselling novelist Tom Robbins and myself, indie singer/songwriter Ben Lee, both left-field artists who formed a deep connection on the belief that art can both seriously illuminate and playfully entertain.
Both charming and subversive — "B Is for Beer: The Musical" takes its audience, young and old, in a surprising, far-reaching investigation into the limits of reality, the transformative power of childhood, and, of course, the ultimate meaning of a tall, cold brewski.
Based on Tom's 2009 Novella, he wrote the script, and I wrote the songs (half on my own, and half in collaboration with my dear friend Michael Wells), and we are excited to see this psychedelic children's story about alcohol, consciousness and the Mystery of existence reach the stage some day soon!
We held one workshop at famed LA songwriter's theatre Largo at the Coronet, that actor/director Jon Cryer helped us make a reality.
An incredible cast of LA actors brought the script to life for the first time, spending a couple of days at my house rehearsing and learning songs/harmonies before the big event. Laura Silverman (who Tom fans will recognize as the voice who read the audio book of "B is for Beer") played our lead Gracie and was joined by Jon Cryer, Kether Donahue, Steven Weber, Paget Brewster, Cary Brothers, Alex Wyse and Sam Shelton. It was a magical event as we took stock of what our show felt like jumping off the page for the first time. We were so grateful for the time and effort our actors put in to help test the waters for our production.
Following the performance, Tom and I also did a funny and informative 30 min Q+A that is available to seen as one of the rewards for this campaign. It was such a pleasure to see how passionate Tom's fans are and how people are quite willing to take a journey into the unknown, given the right invitation. We left the experience confident that our little show, as unusual as it is, will find its place out in the world.
But as opposed to the general route of compromise, committee-decision making and pandering to financiers, whatever life "B is for Beer: The Musical" has, will be based on our commitment to the integrity, playfulness and genuine existential exploration. This is, after all, a show about THE MYSTERY of existence! Its genesis was never going to be straight-forward ;)
A show can take different routes on it journey to the stage, and after some contemplation, we agreed that following the lead of musicals like Evita, Chess and American Idiot, we should begin by introducing the songs to the world. Because we are dealing with an unconventional show, from unconventional creators with unconventional subject matter, this gives us a chance to build demand for a theatrical production within our audience, and hopefully provides some proof-of-concept for would-be producers and investors.
I began producing the soundtrack album to "B is for Beer: The Musical" shortly after our Largo reading. Some of our cast from the reading returned along with some new exciting performers like Belinda Carlisle, Paul F Tompkins, Busy Phillips and Rose Byrne.
Once again, I have been immensely grateful for the generosity of the performers, who I assure you are not getting rich off this project, but wanted to be involved from a space of genuine playfulness and desire to support the project.
We are now just about complete and ready to share this album with the world and get the Beer flowing!
By supporting the making of this album, you are helping bring Tom and my vision closer to reality - and proving that there is a demand for a child-like musical about why we alter our consciousness, and what Mystery might be lurking within our ordinary lives.
As I mention in the video above, Tom has declined to receive any money from this campaign, as he wants it to be used to support the making of the album itself and all the various performers and musicians who are taking part. Thanks Tom!
There are SO MANY excellent awards for various levels of support, from beer coozies, to signed books, vinyl, prints, and even props/costumes used by the cast at our Largo reading (Come on, I know there is someone out there who longs to strut around their house in Kether Donahue's Beer Fairy wings, wand and leather cap!)
Please support the making of this album, and help bring "B is for Beer: The Musical" onto the theatrical stage in the future.
Risks and challenges
"B is for Beer: The Musical" Soundtrack album will be released September 2018.
While we offer a VIP circle for early tickets to any staged production, we cannot guarantee when, where or if these productions will eventually take place. By supporting the album/production you are joining us in crossing your fingers and hoping for the right kind of magic to happen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)