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Steve: A Docu-Musical: 10 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2014 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 1, 2014

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Ten Questions. Ten Answers. And One Big Decision: Rock, Paper, Or Scissors?

steve: a docu-musical

Steve: A Docu-Musical

Colin and Steve have never met. Colin, a twenty-something musician living in Brooklyn. Steve, a retired Australian who writes eccentric lyrics, books and countless emails to Colin. Over the last five years, they have written over 100 songs together… and passed over 6,000 emails between them.

Show Times:

  • Sat 2/22 @ 2:05pm
  • Sun 2/23 @ 6:50pm
  • Thurs 2/27 @ 8:40pm
  • Mon 3/3 @ 7:05pm
  • Sun 3/9 @ 3:40pm

Answers by Colin Summers (Writer and Performer)

1. Your tag line is out there on postcards and press releases so we know the PR version of what this play is about.  But when you talk to your family and friends, how do you explain the show to them?

CS: Five years ago a man named Steve contacted myself and my friend Andrew looking for musicians to turn his lyrics into songs. Together we’ve done over a hundred songs, and in the email account I set up specifically for Steve there are over 7,000 email exchanges between us. The show explores our unlikely relationship.


2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink.  What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?

CS: I hope they are discussing the songs, but also I hope they are discussing a few different themes. I’d like to think my show says something about what it means to be an artist and the nature of identity in the age of the internet.

3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?

CS: Character absolutely drives the show. The entire piece is a slow discovery of an amazing personality.

4. In rehearsals, read-thrus, or prior incarnations, what’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you (or the team) the most proud?

CS: I was at a comedy event where I had previously done STEVE material, and this guy came up to me and introduced me to his wife. He said to his wife… “Do you remember I told you I went to a comedy show last month and I cried? This is the guy. What he does with his friend Steve is amazing.” For me, that is a really cherished compliment.

5. Let’s fantasize for a moment. Let’s take the “off-off” off. Imagine this show is on Broadway. Would that change the production itself?

CS: Of course, a larger budget would change the production a bit. I think we could get a really striking set and probably pull off a few cool things with lighting, but it’s been designed to be easy to pull off on a shoestring budget. I think the biggest change would be that I’d fill out many of the songs with more orchestration.

6. Taking that one step further – after paying everyone what they’re worth of course, what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless thing you would spend money on if there was no constraints?

CS: Steve himself has had a number different ideas about how I should perform his songs live. I think if I had a huge budget I might be able to pull off a few of his requests.

7. Is there a scene, a moment, a gesture … anything at all in the show that you anticipate may get a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?

CS: There are so many. My show often rides the line between comedy and tragedy so sometimes an audience will think certain parts are really funny and other times, the same moment will feel much more somber.

8. What’s your favorite line from the show?

CS: My favorite line…Steve reacting to internet haters… “Why be as bitter as a quince? Hard astringent and bitter…why not just enjoy my clock?”

9. Is the world of this play sustainable outside a theatre? In other words … do you think people live the way the characters do? Would you want a world where they do?

CS: My show is documentary style theatre so yes… it’s a direct reflection of real life, edited to make a compelling 60 minutes of theater.

10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?

CS: The obvious choice here is Steve himself. I’d be very shocked because he lives so far away, and has not seen the full show.


Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH

In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?

CHALLENGES:  I’ll take on Boogie of the Apes.  The title of their show made me laugh.

THROWS: Throw rock obviously… always throw rock.






Thanks STEVE: A DOCU-MUSICAL for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2014 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially ROCK in any and all challenges.  You may win, you may lose – who knows! This is how it works in the crazy world of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH!


For the rest of you don’t forget to check out STEVE: A DOCU-MUSICAL !


Feb 22, 2:05PM
Feb 23, 6:50PM
Feb 27, 8:40PM
Mar 03, 7:05PM
Mar 09, 3:40PM
UNDER St.Marks | $6.00 / $10.00


Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 8th Annual FRIGID New York Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) February 19-March 9. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at or by calling 212-868-4444. 


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