by Joel Paley, Marvin Laird
Full Length Musical, Comedy / 1m, 6f
"A spoof that has enough absurd plot twists and multiple identities to fill several old movies.... The fun comes from the sheer brazenness!" - The New York Times
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Revised in August 2015 to reflect the 2015 Off Broadway production.
Eight-year-old Tina Denmark knows she was born to play Pippi Longstocking, and she will do anything to win the part in her school musical. Anything includes murdering the leading lady! This aggressively outrageous musical hit garnered rave reviews during its long Off-Broadway run.
"A spoof that has enough absurd plot twists and multiple identities to fill several old movies...The fun comes from the sheer brazenness!" - The New York Times
"Hilarious...It is beyond praise!" - New York Daily News
"Wild amusement." - New York Post
"A demented pleasure. Cheery, cheeky burlesque humor that evokes Your Show of Shows." - New York Newsday
"Merry mayhem...Malicious, delicious and a total joy." - New York Observer
"Brilliant." - USA Today
"A wonderfully smart and funny send up of every Broadway brat from Gypsy to The Bad Seed...loaded with campy wit and charm." - Variety
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Staff Picks: RUTHLESS
by Courtney Kochuba with Annette Storckman
November 11, 2014
- Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
- Time Period: Contemporary, 1960s, 1950s
- Setting: An era reminiscent of the 1950's and 60s.
- Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
- Musical Style: Classic Broadway
- Vocal Demands: Moderate
- Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
- Chorus Size: No Chorus
- Drag performance
- Features Children
- Local Celebrity Cameo
- Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
- Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
All the characters (With the exception of Fredrick, who makes a surprise entrance at the end of the play to speak the final line of dialogue) are females. The show can be performed with an all female cast, though the role of Sylvia St. Croix originally was, and is often performed, by an actor in drag. Ultimately, the show can be mounted with any combination of male and female actors.
The same actor can play both Louise Lerman and Eve, although this is not necessary.
The role of Tina Denmark can be played a youngster or an adult. The show is effective either way for different and valid reasons. At the Triad Theater in New York City a thirteen-year-old actress and the author (a man in his fifties) played Tina in alternating scenes, appearing together on stage for a few well-chosen and crucial moments.
Music Material Rental Packages
8 Piano 1/Vocal Scores
1 Piano 2/Vocal Score
Ruthless! was first presented at the Players Theater in New York City on May 6, 1992. Directed by Joal Paley.