Queer, From Gemini (Day 177)

Here’s a collector’s item, though I’m not sure who besides me would collect such a thing – a song that I wrote for Gemini the Musical “on spec” that never made it into the show.

When the Prince Music Theater announced they were producing Albert Innaurato’s Gemini as a musical, there was no songwriter attached to the project. I decided to pursue the opportunity, and wrote several “spec” songs to demonstrate to the Prince and Innaurato that I was the guy for the project.

I later learned that there had been a writing team working on a musical version of Gemini, and that Albert and Marjorie Samoff (producing director at the Prince) had seen it, but they weren’t convinced they wanted to work with those writers. They pursued other starrier writers, but without avail, and my patience and persistence was eventually rewarded. As for that earlier version, those writers were pretty much screwed, since it appears they had gone forward with their adaptation without entering into any sort of agreement with Albert giving them exclusive rights to the material.

In my campaign to demonstrate that I was up to the task of writing songs for Gemini, one of the scenes I decided to tackle was the moment where Francis confesses to Judith for the first time, “I think I’m queer.” Here’s what I wrote, as recorded by Leah Salamon in this demo:

I guess I should have seen it, but you’ve caught me by surprise.
Oh Francis, you can’t mean it! Yes, I see it in your eyes.
You force a grin, and tell me in a manner most sincere:
“I think I’m queer.”

This tender moment calls for some romantic repartee,
But instead, you go and wreck it with an idiot cliche.
It’s not the kind of dialog a girlfriend wants to hear.

Francis: But Judith, I think I’m queer!

Judith: What about that walk along the Charles?
We talked all through the night.
You cried and held me tight.
Wasn’t that real?
Wasn’t that a genuine connection when our bodies intertwined?

Francis: Judith, we fucked. Big deal!

Judith: I’m not the kind of girl who likes to carry on this way,
But your sudden revelation has left me in dismay.
To think I was deceived by your pathetic masquerade!
Well, you may think you’re queer, my dear,
But I think you’re afraid!

You want to keep your distance.
To live a safe existence, that seems to be your goal.
I know, commitment makes you wary,
But it isn’t very scary if you play a fairy’s role!

You’ve got to make the effort to break through your sorry shell,
Or you’re doomed to live forever in the vestibule of hell.
You may be gay, or so you say, but me, I see it clear.
You’re just a man who can’t connect, and that’s what’s really queer!

Somehow, I managed to book the gig, even though I got this moment spectacularly wrong. Eventually, I wrote another song for Judith to sing in this scene, “The Boy I Thought I Knew,” and in 2007 yet another song, called “Somebody’s Knocking,” as I continued to grope for a way to dramatize the essence of the scene. But this one is definitely wide of the target in both tone and diction. I managed to do a good deal better with my other spec song, “Trolley,” which remained virtually unchanged from the moment I first wrote it through all the various iterations of the show.

For the record, today’s the day that the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in America. Gemini is a story in which a gay character finds himself accepted and loved by his family and friends, despite his fears to the contrary, and I’m pleased and proud to see our nation take such a major step in the same direction!

One thought on “Queer, From Gemini (Day 177)

  1. Pingback: The Boy I Thought I Knew, from Gemini the Musical (2004) (Day 183) | Notes from a SAVI Savant

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