“You better get that safety fixed on that mouth of yours.”—Colin Maitlin, .22 Caliber Mouth
Lauren Robert wowed crowds recently in an invite-only performance of the concert version of her rock musical .22 Caliber Mouth. Robert, along with her four multitalented costars, made for an amazing quintet showcasing their astonishing vocals without a hitch throughout the performance.
Robert not only composed the entire original score but she also wrote the storyline. .22 Caliber Mouth has been awarded the most prodigious prizes at the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theatre Conference as well as winning the Georgia Bogardus-Holof Award.
After being honored, Robert’s amazingly raw musical was immediately work shopped in New York. The musical was recently directed and staged by Steven Petrillo, with musical direction by Mark Fifer, and additional music and lyrics contributed by Timothy Warmen.
.22 Caliber Mouth is the story of five individuals struggling on the Lower East Side during the 1970’s. Main characters Colin Maitlin and Deanne Campino have a relationship comparable to that of punk icons Sid and Nancy. Deanne and Colin meet in Mifflin’s Bar in Manhattan and quickly become addicted to one another. The two come from questionable pasts and have nothing left to lose but their crippling secrets.
Robert made changes in the story after meeting Warmen, which included deepening the love affair between Deanne and Colin and adding depth to the plot’s hint of child sexual abuse.
Among the colorful list of characters are Ronnie, Deanne’s clueless sister played by Rita Rehn, Carmel, a cross dressing prostitute played by T. Oliver Reid, and Frankie, a drug addict played by Patrick Richwood.
Though the concert version was abridged for this performance, the storyline was not lost. The show opens with the full cast singing “Now You’ve Done It,” with a short dialogue between Frankie and Colin. Throughout the show each character is given time to shine, showcasing vocal talents in solos. From Richwood’s heartfelt performance of “Anywhere Can Be Home,” after Frankie is kicked out of Deanne’s apartment, to Robert’s performance of “Don’t Kiss Me,” after Deanne meets Colin at the bar, each performer is given a chance in the spotlight.
The show ended with the cast performing “Hold On,” as Deanne prepared to host her first party. This is said to be where the volcano of secrets is set to blow. However, we can only wait and see what the outcome is once the full show goes into circulation.