A CONCORD THEATRICALS TITLE

Bright Lights, Big City

Full-Length Musical, Drama  /  7f, 5m

Book, Music and Lyrics By Paul Scott Goodman

Based on the novel of the same name, this show follows Jamie, an aspiring writer stuck in fact-checking, as he hides from pain and loss by partying in the drug-infested clubs of Manhattan during the 1980s.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    7f, 5m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Adaptations (Literature)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
Bright Lights, Big City

Details

Summary
Based on the novel of the same name, this show follows Jamie, an aspiring writer stuck in fact-checking, as he hides from pain and loss by partying in the drug-infested clubs of Manhattan during the 1980s. The rock-n-roll score provides a robust sound that echoes Jamie's inner torment as he wanders aimlessly through the city's seedy party scene. After losing his wife and job, Jamie spirals out of control. Fortunately for him, the bonds of family and the promise of love are strong enough to intervene and provide a way out. Bright Lights, Big City carries the message of hope for the future, no matter what is at present.
History
WRITERS NOTES
Written By: Paul Scott Goodman

On a breezy beautiful August day way back in ’96, I stood upon the deck of a modern country house near Woodstock and banged out the opening riff of Bright Lights, Big City on my Ovation 12 string guitar. I came back to Manhattan and over the next few weeks welcomed many other songs, all directly inspired by the heightened poetry of Jay McInerney’s novel. As the tunes continued to tumble, I remember thinking, “This is very rock and roll.” So now, more than a decade later, I would like to say to whoever decides to present this piece of work: thank you for doing so, don’t change the words or the music, but in matters of acting, singing, lighting, staging, dance, tone, sound, bravado, feel free to be brave, to break barriers and attempt to give the audience something they’ve never seen before. Be fresh and inevitable. Rock and roll!
Cast Attributes
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
PRINCIPALS
4 Women
3 Men

FEATURED
3 Women
2 Men

ENSEMBLE
Ensemble can be small or large, some featured roles can double in the chorus.

CHARACTERS
Jamie - Mid 20's New Yorker reeling from a year of devastating events. Attractive and vulnerable.
Tad - Jamie's best friend, party animal, selfish, smart, charismatic.
Mother - Jaime's mother who we see as a youthful Mom and then on her death bed.
Michael - Jamie's younger brother.
Amanda - Jamie's supermodel ex-wife.
Vicky - Tad's cousin, a Princeton student, pretty and likeable.
Clara - Jamie's boss, her exterior masks marshmallow inside.
Coma Baby - A newspaper headline who comes to life in Jamie's mind.
Mary O'Brien McCann - A missing NYU student who appears in Jamie's mind.
Chuck Bean - A rambunctious 'on-the-town' reporter.
Elaine - Odeon club girl.
Theresa - Elaine's 'friend' and fellow clubbie.
Elise - 14 going on 32, club girl who Jamie meets at Odeon.
Chorus - Variety of roles (Fact Checkers, Models, etc) including featured parts (Drug Girl, Paul, etc.).

  • Time Period 1980s
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
    • Mild Adult Themes

Media

“Goodman's music is exhilarating; it convincingly evokes the sound of 1980s rock without resorting to parody, but does not sound dated. The arrangements shine."
— Tim Dunleavy, TalkinBroadway.com


"The show’s rock-music score is a tribute to what can be accomplished when one blends rock music and musical theatre, and is both fun and meaningful to listen to... for anyone interested in the progression of modern musical theatre.”
— Michael Bihovsky, Review Stream

Music

Music Samples

1. "Bright Lights, Big City" - Chuck Bean, Jamie, Drug Girl, Company
2. "Back In The City" - Tad, Jamie, Drug Girl, Company
3. "Sunday Morning 6 AM" - Chuck Bean, Jamie, Mary O'Brien McCann, Amanda, Mother, Company
4. "Coma Baby" - Coma Baby, Chuck Bean, Mother, Jamie, Mary O'Brien McCann, Company
5. "Fact And Fiction" - Clara, Jamie, Company
6. "I Hate The French" - Clara, Jamie, Company
7. "Brother" - Michael, Amanda, Jamie
8. "I Hate The French (Reprise)" - Jamie
9. "Odeon" - Jamie, Tad, Elaine, Theresa, Elise, Company
10. "Happy Birthday, Darling" - Mother
11. "Missing" - Coma Baby, Mary O'Brien McCann, Jamie
12. "To Model" - Amanda, Jamie
13. "So Many Little Things" - Jamie, Mother, Michael, Company
14. "Back In The City 2" - Tad
15. "Kindness" - Vicky
16. "Perfect Feeling" - Jamie, Vicky, Company
17. "Bright Lights, Big City 2" - Jamie
18. "You Couldn't Handle It" - Clara, Jamie
19. "My Son" - Clara
20. "Wednesday" - Tad, Jamie
21. "Camera Wall" - Chuck Bean, Amanda, Jamie, Michael, Mother, Coma Baby, Mary O'Brien McCann, Company
22. "Heart And Soul" - Michael, Vicky, Mother
23. "Brother 2" - Michael, Jamie
24. "Mummies At The Met/So Many Little Things (Reprise)" - Mother, Jamie, Coma Baby, Mary O'Brien McCann, Company
25. "Are You Still Holding My Hand" - Mother
26. "Brother 3" - Michael, Jamie
27. "Back In The City 3" - Tad, Company
28. "Stay In My Life" - Amanda, Jamie, Vicky, Mother, Michael, Company
29. "Bright Lights, Big City 3" - Jamie, Company
Full Orchestration

Keyboard I
Guitar I (Acoustic Twelve String and Electric)
Guitar II (Six String Acoustic and Electric. Also Mandolin.)
Drums
Bass (Fender and Fretless)
Keyboard II (Kit plus Percussion and V-Drums)

  • Musical StyleContemporary Broadway
  • Dance RequirementsModerate
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra SizeSmall/Combo
  • Chorus SizeMedium

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
15 Libretto-Vocal
1 Keyboard-Conductor

1 Guitar 1
1 Guitar 2
1 Drums
1 Bass
1 Keyboard 2
1 Logo Pack
15 Libretto-Vocal
1 Keyboard-Conductor
1 Logo Pack

Add-Ons

Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!

Authors

Paul Scott Goodman

Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, PSG moved to NYC in 1984. He wrote the book, music, and lyrics for Bright Lights Big City, directed by Michael Greif which was presented at the New York Theater Workshop, The Guggenheim Museum, the Prince Music Theater, Philadelphia and H ...

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