The Last Smoker in America

by  Peter Melnick, Bill Russell

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  2m, 2f

A raucous, irreverent and unfiltered new musical comedy. Enter an America where the government is in your kitchen, sniffing for outlawed cigarettes!

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The Last Smoker in America

by  Peter Melnick Bill Russell

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

The Last Smoker in America is a raucous, irreverent and unfiltered new musical comedy, with book and lyrics by Tony Award® nominee Bill Russell (Side Show) and music by Drama Desk® nominee Peter Melnick (Adrift in Macao). Enter an America where the government is in your kitchen, sniffing for outlawed cigarettes! The extreme anti-smoking laws test the sanity of one suburban family. Pam is having an impossible time trying to quit. Her husband Ernie retreats to the basement to relive the rock star dreams of his youth, while their teenage son Jimmy only turns away from his videogames to explore his gangster rapper persona. Adding to the dysfunctional dynamic is anti-smoking fanatic Phyllis, the neighbor who can’t keep her nose out of everyone else’s business. This original and hilarious new musical will leave you craving for more!
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"A smokin'-hot new musical!...Catchy melodies that will stick in your head like peanut butter...The pop-rock score is terrific." – The New York Times

"A freedom-loving musical!...If critics get insulted, then the musical has proven its point: America’s just way too uptight." – Entertainment Weekly

"A lovechild of George Orwell and vintage Mad Magazine." – Show Business Weekly

"Hilarious socio-political satirical musical farce!" – Curtain Up

"Ferociously energetic!...Russell and Melnick have keen instinct for parody." – Show Business Weekly

"The songs are bright, the lyrics are goofy and the story is nutty!" – Curtain Up

"Wonderfully off the wall!" – Edge.com  

"A hysterical look into the future." – NYTheatre.com

RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER 

THE LAST SMOKER IN AMERICA: THE JOURNEY TO THE STAGE 
by Bill Russell
August 24, 2016

Videos

  • The Last Smoker in America
  • The Last Smoker in America
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes
  • Caution Smoking Smoking

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Pam and Ernie's suburban kitchen. Each of the characters has musical fantasies such as performing at a rock concert or with the Osmonds, so it needs to accommodate those.
  • Additional Features: No intermission, Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Fantasy Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Pop/Rock
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Song Samples

Prologue
0:00
How Can I Quit Now
0:00
Let the Lord Be Your Addiction
0:00
Hangin' Out in a Smokey Bar
0:00
Gangsta
0:00
You're the Only Friend I've Got
0:00
Straight White Man
0:00
Fight For The Right To Light Up
0:00
If It Feels This Good
0:00
The Last Cigarette
0:00
If Our Lungs Could Only Talk
0:00
The Last Smoker in America
0:00
I Wanna Call You
0:00
Smoking Makes Me Happy
0:00
Second-Hand Smoke
0:00
The Last Smoker in America (Finale)
0:00

Casting

2m, 2f

PAM – middle-aged, teaches English Comp at a small university while trying to take care of her family and quit smoking – neither of which is possible. She’s smart and sensitive which only exacerbates her awareness that her life is coming apart at the seams.
ERNIE – Pam’s husband, also middle-aged. He is a frustrated rocker with a spotty employment history and anger management issues. He tries to do the right thing by his wife and son despite his annoyance with them.
JIMMY – Pam and Ernie’s teenage son. His ADHD runs rampant if he forgets to take his medication which happens frequently due to his complete immersion in video games. He listens to so much rap and hip-hop he’s convinced he’s black.
PHYLLIS – a nosy next-door neighbor in her 30’s or 40’s. She is an African-American who has spent much of her life trying to be white; a right-wing Christian, anti-smoking zealot, joyous in her addiction to the Lord.

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Cast Attributes

  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

5 Piano Conductor Scores

1 Bass
1 Drums
1 Guitar
1 Gangsta Backing Track - CD

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Authors

Peter Melnick

Peter Melnick's musical Adrift in Macao, a parody of film noir written with librettist Christopher Durang, was presented Off-Broadway at Primary Stages after a successful and award-winning run at the Philadelphia Theater Company. The New York production earned Melnick a Drama Desk Award nomination for his music. Melnic ...

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Bill Russell

Bill Russell wrote the book and lyrics for the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Side Show, receiving a Tony nomination for book and sharing a nomination with composer Henry Krieger for score. He also directed that show at the Park Square Theatre in St. Paul and Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Mr. Russel ...

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The Last Smoker in America was first presented at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival in New York City. The show subsequently received its world premiere at CATCO in Columbus, Ohio, in 2010. The show was then presented Off Broadway by Andy Sandberg with Whitney Hoagland Edwards, Michael Palitz, and Stephanie Rosenberg. It was directed by Mr. Sandberg and choreographed by AC Ciulla.

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