Happy Songs About the War, set to debut in January '08 at Sixth@Penn in Hillcrest, is a one-man musical being developed by singer/songwriter J.D. Boucharde and local theater maven Leigh Scarritt.
"It started as a concept album about the war in Iraq that I rewrote as a stage show," says Boucharde. "Then, my wife and I bought a house, and our new next-door neighbor was Leigh Scarritt.... This name meant nothing to us, but everyone we spoke to seemed to go ga-ga when we mentioned her."
Scarritt is a Tony Award--nominated actor, playwright, director, composer, and choreographer with a long history at Sixth@Penn.
"So I brought it over for her to read.... She liked it and immediately offered to direct, free of charge. She immediately sold Sixth@Penn owner Dale Morris on it and -- bam -- without even blinking, I'm workshopping my first drama production."
Though he scripted the show, Boucharde says, "I definitely didn't write it; it came through me. My name's at the top of the page, but it's no more mine than any of my songs, and this even less so; it was more like vomiting than writing."
Boucharde appears August 29 at Humphrey's Backstage music venue as part of a "Peace Concert" that features Hargo and Randi Driscoll.