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A CONCORD THEATRICALS
Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy
Book and Lyrics by Bill RussellMusic by Janet Hood
Unexpected Joy is the story of three generations of female
singers, long-held family tensions, and a week together where
change is in the air.
JOY – A baby boomer of great warmth and exuberance. She is a folk/rock star from the late sixties and beyond. An off-beat bohemian who has always marched to the beat of her own drum, she is at a major turning point after losing her songwriting and life partner.
RACHEL – Joy’s daughter, who rebelled against her parents’ hippie- musician, free-love lifestyle and married a televangelist on whose show she frequently sings. She has kept her distance from her mother and is sincere about her faith and raising her daughter in it. She always tries to personify the joy Jesus has brought into her life.
TAMARA – Rachel’s daughter, who has just graduated from high school. She has started writing and performing her own music, which she won’t share with her mother because it’s not at all what her parents feature on their TV show. She adores her grandmother and dreams of being a professional musician. Like all teenagers yearning to break free; she can be snippy with her mother.
LOU – Joy’s “unexpected” girlfriend. An African-American blues and R&B singer who records on an independent label. An unapologetic lesbian and activist, she wants Joy to marry her partly to make a political statement. She is outspoken, sometimes outrageous, and eager to call it like she sees it.
“An outstanding new musical… strikes quite the unexpected chord. Go see this show!” – Theater That Matters
“Will make audiences jump with Unexpected Joy!” – New York Stage Review
“Pulses with energy, love, humor and compassion. A welcome reminder that discovering a new musical is one of the great joys of theatre.” – Show Showdown
“Rousing… light-hearted fun that takes a well-meaning look at issues that divide modern American families.” – CurtainUp
“Sweet, funny and very entertaining!” – BroadwayWorld
Unexpected Joy - Promo
Unexpected Joy - Sneak Peek
Unexpected Joy - Meet the Creatives
Bill Russell received Tony Award nominations for the book and lyrics of the original Broadway production of Side Show (1997). The critically praised revised version played the La Jolla Playhouse and the Kennedy Center and received an acclaimed Broadway revival in 2014 and a L ...
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