THE STORY

Act I

 

Scott Morland is having his first success as Happy Loman in a regional production of “Death of a Salesman”.  He has not done well at auditions and is determined to change that . I’m Happy. Gayle Winters, a top agent, sees and loves his performance and has Scott meet her colleagues.  She sees him as the fresh face for a new TV series.  The Next Big Thing.  Scott screws up the audition so Gayle warns him that he must play the Hollywood game.  You’ll Never Work In This Town Again.    

                        

Scott considers other professions,  but realizes acting is his only love. What Am I Gonna Be When I Grow Up?.  He meets his friend Jerry and tells him Gayle has gotten him another chance.  This time he does everything right and gets the part!  

An Actor’s Audition.

 

The TV pilot doesn’t sell but Gayle believes in him and Scott is determined to get a feature film.  Gayle arranges a meeting with A list Producer/Director Malcolm Stevens who is looking for a new star.

 

Scott meets Tara Bronson at a preview of her new movie – Directed by Malcolm.   They leave together and don’t meet Malcolm.  I Usually Say.  Scott, Tara and Jerry fantasize about how wonderful 2001 will be.  This Is Gonna Be Our Year.  Scott and Tara get to know each other.  Tara is cautious.  I’m Afraid To Get Into The Game.  Scott gets a phone call and leaves her.

 

The call is from Gayle and they spend the night together.  She is excited about embarking on a casual affair with him.  Fool Of The Year.

 

All the characters meet accidentally at a very un-Hollywood greasy spoon in a farcical mix up.  Malcolm is intrigued by Scott and agrees to hear him read.  

 

At Malcolm’s home the reading is a hit, but there are strings attached.  Things Are Seldom What They Seem.  The part of a lifetime is Scott’s if he agrees to go with Malcolm to St. Barts for ten days. Scott is enraged and repels Malcolm’s advances.  Outside he realizes that this part could make him an international star.  I’ll Be The Guy.  He goes back inside.

 

Curtain

 

Act II

 

It is 2010.  Scott is a super star and Jerry is his Producer.  They perform at a benefit where they kid their enormous success.  Famous In The Industry.

 

Tara, now Scott’s wife, sings about her life with Scott and their two children. It Never Rains In Malibu.

 

Scott, Tara and Jerry have a smash hit film. Jerry and his wife are off to Paris. Gayle and Scott talk about new projects.  He would like to play a super hero who helps people. Lost  Lives. Gayle finds she is still in love with him.  Forever Friends.

 

Scott is told he is being blackmailed by two massage therapists who claim he hired them for sex.  Scott vehemently denies the accusations insisting he is straight.  His agents warn him that his life will change significantly if he is even perceived as gay.  Nothing Will Ever Be The Same.  They decide Tara must give a press conference supporting Scott.  Scott confesses to Tara but insists that he was doing research for his acting.  He loves her.  He is not gay.  She reluctantly agrees to the press conference.

 

Tara and Gayle rehearse for the press conference and Gayle shares that research shows that Scott has slept with Jerry’s wife.  That revelation is too much for Tara and she tells him the marriage is over.  Time On Our Side.  Scott vows to win her back.

 

Scott is desolate, guilty and ashamed.  Gayle tries to console him.  Tara takes their children away from the publicity.  Scott is alone.

 

Jerry returns and he and Scott have a violent confrontation which turns to a physical expression of their long-denied love. It Must Have Been You All The Time.

 

Scott and Jerry contemplate the pros and cons of coming out.  Scott is confronted by all the people in his life saying he must make his choice. Great Scott.

 

Scott is ready to choose. For The Rest Of My Life.

 

Curtain

 
 

TESTIMONIALS

A contemporary musical with brilliant lyrics telling a powerful story about a vulnerable young man confronting what he's willing to sacrifice to guarantee a successful career.

 

- Eduardo Garcia

Former Chair, Arts Advisory Board,

Princess Grace Foundation

A tuneful, funny contemporary musical with a heart full of love!

- Leila Martin,

Orignal Madame GiryPhantom of the Opera

I think it's a big winner!

- Ronny Whyte,

Cafe performer and Composer- Lyricist.

The Next Big Thing displays biting wit and human sympathy.

William Nowels,

Novelist and Biographer

The show is terrific... words, music and every production participant perfectly chosen... wonderful musical theatre. Extremely memorable songs, from blues to ballads, rap and jazz.

- Gail Tirana,

Hunter College

The Next Big Thing beautifully explores how our needs, desires, and ambitions shift with time and experience...and what we do to stay true to ourselves. The brilliant book, music, and lyrics stay with you long after the curtain goes down.

- Nina Garcia,

EdD, LCSW, Director

The Next Big Thing is a show that is ready for prime-time. (Read More)

- Jess Levy

CEO, Axelrod Performing Arts Center

PRODUCTION STILLS

 
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Larry, as he is known, retired as professor of theatre at Brookdale Community College where he directed over 100 shows including 32 musicals. He directed and was instrumental in creating two original musicals that were performed in New York City: Show Business Family and Reach for The Stars with Donna McKechnie. He directed the tri-state premiere of Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposo's A Wonderful Life. Larry was one of the first people to teach Musical Theatre as a college course, which later became a weekly radio show on Brookdale's WJBD. In his spare time, he has written nightclub concert acts saluting various Broadway composers. Larry's favorite leading lady is his wife and muse, Laurie, whom he directed in She Loves Me, The Night Of The Iguana, The Miracle Worker, Same Time Next Year, A Streetcar Named Desire, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe and their final show at Brookdale, Long Day's Journey Into Night. Larry opened the Axelrod Performing Arts Center with his production of Sondheim's Follies. Larry loved working with others on new musicals, so he decided to write his own. In collaboration with composer, Gerald H. Bailey, The Next Big Thing is the result.

 (Book/Lyrics) 

J. LAURENCE LOWENSTEIN

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“Jerry” has been involved with over two hundred productions as an actor, director, musical director, and composer. As an actor, he has worked with Orson Bean and Jane Withers in Bye Bye Birdie, Jane Powell in Brigadoon and Leonard Nimoy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In addition to his work on The Next Big Thing, he has written music for Courting (The Live Theatre), The Enchanted Island (The Peripatetic Task Force) and The 51st Ward (Theatre Building Chicago). His recent musical, Parasol, was a semi-finalist in the Moondance International Film Festival, a finalist with The Chicago Musical Theatre Company, a finalist in the 2017 NYC Women’s Work Festival, and a finalist with the 2018 Pallas Theatre Collective. Alegrías y lágrimas (Happiness and Tears), a play with songs based on the immigrant experience, was recently performed in May and June of this past year at Gorilla Tango Chicago.

(Composer)

GERALD H. BAILEY