1M, 1W, 4 chorus members who play humans, aliens, and talking animals. Written in collaboration with composer Nathan Leigh. Workshopped at The Playwrights Realm in New York City.
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Sweet Vapor, a sci-fi punk musical, takes place in an alternate past, a dystopian version barely recognizable – if you look closely enough – as the early 1980s. Here, though, an alien convoy has crashed into the planet. The chemicals onboard have had an odd effect, turning animals into sentient beings, and now that everyone can talk, no one likes what anyone else has to say.
These changes have sent society, already teetering on the edge, into a tailspin. The economy is stagnant. Drug use is rampant. The struggling and destitute have turned to a deadly drug called vapor in increasing numbers. Over the course of one night two teenagers from broken homes, Susan and Sidekick, become friends as they navigate the city to make money and get back home, dodging aliens and birds and rats and wombats who might be friendly or eat them without warning.
In stories, you slay monsters. In this one, there are no heroes to help you survive. Sometimes, though, navigating a dangerous world helps you learn to rely on other people for the first time. Sometimes you’ve got to confront a monster or two to learn what it means to be human.
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“Sweet Vapor” (title track), music by Nathan Leigh lyrics by Christopher Wall.