The Story

"In Trousers" is about a man named Marvin who has a wife, Trina (though we do not know her name in this play), and a son, Jason. He tells the antics of his relationships with girls in the past including his high school sweetheart, his wife, and his high school English teacher, Miss Goldberg, who let him play Columbus in the school play. He then returns to the present telling us that he wants to be with men, not women, but does not know what to do because he has a family and does not want to desert his responsibilities or lose their love. In the end, he leaves his family for his gay lover, Whizzer Brown.

"March of the Falsettos" is about how Marvin deals with his "family." He wants to be with Whizzer, but he does not want to lose the affections of his ex-wife and son. He wants them all to be one big happy family. In the middle of all this, Marvin's psychiatrist, Mendel, is moving in on Trina, who he eventually marries. Marvin loses everyone in his frenzy not to do just that, which brings to mind a line from Nine: "It's finding you have no one, when you try to have them all." Faced with this reality, he tries to talk to his son, who has been trying to deal with the fact that his father is gay, and gives him some fatherly advice that he must march to his own tune. In the end he has at least salvaged his relationship with Jason.

"Falsettoland" takes place two years later. Jason is almost ready to be bar mitzvahed, and is worrying about which girls to invite. Two other characters are introduced in this act, Charlotte and Cordelia, the lesbians from next door. Marvin and Whizzer get back together and Marvin finally learns to love unselfishly and unconditionally. At this point, Whizzer is struck with a horible, life-threatening disease, which the audience knows is AIDS. As Whizzer dies, the audience sees that after all that Marvin has been through, he will lose what is most precious to him. Marvin's "family," however, consisting of the other characters in the show, gather around him and by being there, offer their love and support.

The History

"In Trousers" was written, book, lyrics, and music, by William Finn and was orchestrated by Michael Starobin. "March of the Falsettos" and "Falsettoland" were written by William Finn with book by James Lapine and orchestrations by Michael Starobin.

"In Trousers" opened at Playwrights Horizons in 1979. It was directed by William Finn and the orchestration and musical direction were by Michael Starobin. It starred Chip Zien as Marvin, Alison Fraser as Trina, Joanna Green as his high school sweetheart, and Mary Testa as his teacher, Miss Goldberg. A cast recording was made on Original Cast Records and is now available on CD as well as on album. There are two versions of "In Trousers" depending on where you look. This is because the original was rewritten in 1985. The new version opened off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre on March 26, 1985. It starred Stephen Bogardus as Marvin, Catherine Cox as Trina, Sherry Hursey as his high school sweetheart, and Kathy Garrick as his teacher, Miss Goldberg. It was produced by Roger Berlind, Franklin Levy, and Gregory Harrison and directed by Matt Casella. The musical direction was by Roy Leake, Jr., set design by Santo Loquasto, lighting by Marilyn Rennagel, costumes by Madeline Ann Greneto, and sound by Tom Morse.

"March of the Falsettos" opened at Playwrights Horizons in 1981 under the artistic direction of Andre Bishop. It was subsequently produced in New York by Warner Theatre Productions, Inc., Coth Enterprises, Ltd., and the Whole Picture Co., Ltd. It starred Michael Rupert as Marvin, Alison Fraser as his wife, Trina, James Kushner as his son, Jason, Stephen Bogardus as his lover, Whizzer, and Chip Zien as his psychiatrist, Mendel. It was directed by James Lapine, set design by Douglas Stein, costumes by Maureen Connor, lighting by Frances Aronson, and stage managed by Johnna Murray. Michael Starobin was orchestrator and musical director. A cast recording was made on DRG Records Incorporated.

"Falsettoland" opened at Playwrights Horizons on June 28, 1990, again under artistic direction of Andre Bishop. It subsequently moved to the Lucille Lortel Theatre on September 16, 1990 to be produced by Maurice Rosenfield and Lois F. Rosenfield, Inc., with Steven Suskin in association with Playwrights Horizons and by special arrangement with lucille Lortel. It starred Michael Rupert as Marvin, Faith Prince as Trina, Danny Gerard as Jason, Stephen Bogardus as Whizzer, Chip Zien as Mendel, Heather MacRae as Dr. Charlotte, and Janet Metz as Cordelia. It was directed by James Lapine, set design by Douglas Stein, sostumes by Franne Lee, lighting by Nancy Schertler, sound by Scott Lehrer, and stage management by Kate Riddle. Michael Starobin was orchestrator and musical director. A cast recording was made on DRG Records Incorporated.

"Falsettos", the Broadway production, opened at the John Golden Theatre on April 29, 1992. It starred Michael Rupert as Marvin, Stephen Bogardus as Whizzer, Chip Zien as Mendel, Jonathan Kaplan and Andrew Harrison Leeds (Wednesday and Saturday matinees) as Jason, Barbara Walsh as Trina, Heather MacRae as Charlotte, and Carolee Carmello as Cordelia. It was directed by James Lapine and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler. Alecia Parker was the associate producer. The set design was by Douglas Stein, the costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting by Frances Aronson, and sound design by Peter Fitzgerald. Michael Starobin again was orchestrator, but Scott Frankel was musical director.



appreciated from http://www.eden.rutgers.edu/~aholub/falsettos.html#target2

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