West Hollywood is treating itself right on its twenty-fifth birthday. In addition to a whole bunch of capital improvements, the city is teaming up with the Cornerstone Theater Company (based in the Arts District) to create an original musical in honor of the anniversary of its founding. Librettist Tom Jacobson writes in an email to Curbed: "I'm finding myself excited about the drive for cityhood in 1984...I suspect the play will end with the vote on cityhood, much like other 'founding myth' musicals like Oklahoma or 1776."
Jacobson has been holding story circles in which he's interviewed WeHoans "including GLBTQ community leaders...West Hollywood City Council Members, other city employees, members of the Russian community, Chamber of Commerce leadership, transgendered individuals, International Mr. Leather, long-time GLBTQ residents of West Hollywood, and seniors..." He also notes: "The stories people are telling me can easily be incorporated into a storyline showing how ordinary people did an extraordinary thing: They made a city. And not just any city, but a city with progressive ideas that continue to flourish today. The cityhood effort in 1984 coincided with the early days of the AIDS crisis, when lesbians and gay men truly joined in community in the face of the plague."
Cornerstone Theater's Shishir Kurup will write the play's lyrics, and a rep for Cornerstone tells us there is a short list of composer candidates. Jacobson will hold two or three more story circles in March, with rehearsals starting in the summer, while the show will get an October premiere in Fiesta Hall at Plummer Park, which is getting its own makeover as part of WeHo's big 25 celebration.
· The West Hollywood Musical Project [City of West Hollywood]