From the minds of Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers), David Schmoll (Boom Chicago) and Kevin Scieretta (The SecondCity) comes the Austin premiere of BIGFOOT, THE MUSICAL. Produced by ColdTowne Theater and Austin SketchFest, this exclusive six performance run is only the second production of this musical comedy that premiered at the Majestic Repertory Theatre, in Las Vegas in 2018.
It will be directed by ColdTowne Theater’s Executive Producer Dave Buckman (The Second City, Boom Chicago) and ColdTowne Theater’s Artistic Director Will Cleveland (UCB New York). Musical Direction will be provided by Ammon Taylor (The Paramount Theater).
The musical comedy offers the origination story of America’s most famous mythological creature. You’ve heard the myth and legend…but do you know the man? In the perpetually economically depressed town of Mud Dirt, the perpetually ill Francine is the mother of an eight-year-old boy who has the body of a fully grown adult. Due to a glandular problem brought on by radioactive waste buried nearby, the boy continues to grow larger and larger through the years and is covered by hair. As the town’s mayor drives Mud Dirt into bankruptcy with his alcoholism and gambling, he uses the overgrown Bigfoot as a scapegoat and turns the citizens into an angry mob that pursues the youngster into the woods…and into infamy.
“I wrote Bigfoot because I wanted to have a good time,” said Ruffin. “I wondered if I could write a musical where every song was a party, and I think I did. Bigfoot is a musical about never losing hope even when things are terrible, even when you’re all out of money and friends, and everyone hates your guts. It’s a good time musical about hope.”
Amber Ruffin has written for Late Night with Seth Meyers since 2014, becoming the first African American woman to write for a late-night network talk show in the U.S. In addition to writing for Late Night, Ruffin also appears on the program, and her segments “Amber Says What” and “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” are both wildly popular. She will also be handling the 10th Annual Austin SketchFest performing a one woman show and will be in attendance on opening night!
BIGFOOT, THE MUSICAL
May 25 – June 29, 2018
Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.
A NOTE FROM WRITER DAVID SCHMOLL
Amber and I worked together at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, and shortly after she left Boom, she emailed me and asked if I could help her put some songs together for a show she was working on (King Of Kong: A Musical Parody). Because she was in LA and I was still in Amsterdam, and there was a 9-hour time difference between two people who were already pretty busy, we ended up doing it all by email. During the course of developing those songs, we sort of fell into the system of writing that we’ve used for everything we’ve worked on going forward, including Bigfoot:
She sends me a video of her talking about the song idea, and what style of music she has in mind. Then she sings the lyrics acapella. I watch the video and transcribe, as best I can, the melodies I hear into Logic, and from there I figure out what key the song should be in, and what chords should accompany the melody. Then I send her a rough draft of (usually) just piano, bass and drums, so she can check to see if I got the melody right, and if the chords I chose feel right to her.
After that, there’s usually a bit of back and forth to get the melody and chords locked down. Then I start arranging and orchestrating the song. I send her a rough cut, she sends me some notes, I refine the arrangement based on her feedback, send it back, and so on, until we have a complete song.
A big part of the reason why we work well together is because there’s a huge amount of mutual respect; each of us looks at what the other does as something completely impossible that surely must involve some type of sorcery. Our creative strengths and skill sets fit together quite nicely. Musically speaking, Amber’s the brain and I’m the brawn. She always has the initial idea – and often, by the time she makes that first video, she can already hear the finished song in her head. My job is to figure out what she’s hearing, and make that into something tangible that everyone else can hear, too. During that process when the song is developing is where the magic happens; we inspire each other and bring out the best in each other. Also, we’re both a little crazy, so that helps.