January 22
Peter Duchan
“Advancing art is easy…Financing it is not!”—from “Putting It Together”

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Complete playlist below; tracks in yellow were cut for time.

  1. Putting It Together, Barbra Streisand, 1985
  2. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Eurythmics, 1983
  3. Love Revolution, I Love My Wife Cast Album, 1977
  4. Make Someone Happy, Jimmy Durante, 1964
  5. I Don’t Want to Be Alone, Billy Joel, 1980
  6. If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, Sting, 1993
  7. And You Would Lie/I Will Give—from Marie Christine Original Cast Album, Andrea Frierson-Toney, Jennifer Leigh Warren, Mary Bond Davis, Audra McDonald, 1999
  8. Wherever He Ain’t—from Mack & Mabel Original Cast Album, Jerry Herman & Bernadette Peters, 1974
  9. Nobodys Side—from Chess Original Cast Album, 1984
  10. When I Was A Freeport And You Were the Main Drag, Laura Nyro, 1970
  11. Dedicated To The One I Love, The Mamas & The Papas, 1967
  12. Care Of Cell 44, The Zombies, 1967
  13. My Way, Nina Simone, 1971
  14. Katie Cruel, Karen Dalton, 1971
  15. Oh, Pierre! Breedlove, 2017
  16. Loving You Sometimes, The Outcasts, 1968
  17. (Theme From) Valley of the Dolls, Dionne Warwick, 1967
  18. Love Me - Two Gentlemen Of Verona, Galt MacDermot, John Guare, Mel Shapiro, 1971
  19. Lo Dudo, Los Panchos, 1954
  20. Don't Bring Me Down, PREP, 2018
  21. Two for the Road, Henry Mancini, 1967

     From the very start, playwright and screenwriter Peter Duchan throws down a gauntlet: “In case you were feeling like this show was getting ‘too cool,’ I came here to change everything!” Barbra Streisand’s “Putting It Together,” from The Broadway Album, really sets the tone as Peter takes us on a driving tour of a lifetime in musical theater. We begin with childhood trips in the family minivan listening to his mother’s favorites (Streisand, various and sundry ’70s-era sex comedies, the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack) but soon segue into his period of teenage rebellion, when his insistence on Michael John LaChiusa and Adam Guettel musicals resulted in a full revocation of tape-playing privileges in the car. As Peter grows up, his love and dedication to the musical as a form only deepens, in large part because of his attraction to music that is rooted in storytelling and drama.
     In discussing his award-winning musical Dogfight, for which he wrote the book, Duchan talks in depth about his process, how he came to adapt the 1991 film for the stage, and his collaboration with songwriters and lyricists Justin Paul and Benj Pasek. We discuss adaptation and interpretation and what it’s like to watch and listen to your show as it’s performed in languages you don’t understand.
     But this episode isn’t just a deep discussion of process and some delightful samples from lesser-known musicals. It also courts controversy: Best rock-and-roll album of all time? Odyssey and Oracle by the Zombies. Most authentic folk singer? Karen Dalton over Bob Dylan. Britney Spears’ vocal fry coach? Child voice actor Peter Duchan.

“I gotta give my life some sparkle and fizz…!”—from “Wherever He Ain’t”

     Peter Duchan wrote the book of the musical Dogfight, which premiered at Second Stage (director, Joe Mantello). Dogfight won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical and was nominated for five Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Off-Broadway Musical and Book of a Musical. The subsequent London production was nominated for two Evening Standard Awards, including Best Musical. Dogfight has since been performed in Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, Amsterdam, and all over the world. Other theater credits include writing books for the musicals The Illusionist (Nissay Theatre, Tokyo) and Stu for Silverton (Intiman, Seattle), as well as co-creating (with Warren Carlyle) the revue Carefree: Dancing with Fred and Ginger. He served as Script Consultant for the long-running Broadway musical Waitress and the Broadway bound musical Lempicka. Film credits include co-writing the screenplays for the feature Breaking Upwards (IFC Films) and the short Unlocked (Tribeca Film Festival). Honors: Richard Rodgers Award (for Dogfight), Robert Chesley Playwriting Award (for his play Lavender Scare), Dramatists Guild Fellowship. Graduate, Northwestern University.