I have been a big fan of musicals for some time now. I was raised in a large family of cousins, with only two boys. This meant that essentially every family gathering involved cajoling the two of them into playing Kurt and Friedrich while we acted out The Sound of Music along with our VHS tape.
Everyone does that, right?
As I progress in my illustrious career, I realize how much those kids could have benefited from a social worker. Grieving a dead parent, acting out inappropriately…not to mention running from Nazis. That will leave a mark.
Don’t get me started on Spring Awakening. If only Wendla had attended a girls’ group, she wouldn’t have been so naive about unprotected sex and might still be with us!
I could hardly sit through Next to Normal. (Despite the fact that it is awesome.) A bipolar woman grieving the loss of her child felt a little much like a day at the office.
Les Miserables is kind of an ode to child protective services. Hey, who wants this little girl? Anyone? Let’s leave her with this random family, I’m sure it will be fine. Kids love sweeping!
The Sharks and the Jets might have avoided tragedy and many many deaths in West Side Story if there had been a community organizer doing some gang outreach work.
Of course, Book of Mormon gives us the self-care answer we all need when it comes to feelings. “Turn it off like a light switch. Just go flick. It’s our nifty little Mormon trick!” It’s not social work-y, but totally necessary.
I often listen to various original cast recordings while I’m running all over the Bronx. It keeps me going.
So of course, I got to work on “Social Work: The Musical! (If Bat Boy can be amazing with such a silly name, so can this.) I’m thinking Sutton Foster for the lead, I’m sure she’ll be happy to do it.
We’ll start with Act I:
In a blatant ripoff respectful nod to Rent, our social working lead and her coworkers leave and receive increasingly desperate voicemails.
“Will you make your court date?
It really cannot wait.
This has to go as planned,
Or they’ll request remand.
Which we all really hate.”
Run While You Work!
We’re introduced to our plucky heroine’s fast-paced world of social work while she runs away from a gang shooting, in this energetic, rock opera style opening.
Why Don’t You Call?
A heartbreaking ballad in which our main character laments people’s inability to phone when they’ll miss an appointment. “Call” will be rhymed with “downfall” liberally.
“My foodstamps are no more!
Somehow I spent them all.
Come take me to the store.
Can we get alcohol?”
Pee in a Cup? Yup Yup!
The workers gather to convince teenagers that everyone who’s anyone is agreeing to their drug test with no problem. Obviously, this is our big dance number.
This is another emotional one, in which our protagonist recalls all of the good times she had with her sensible, knitted friend, prior to losing it during a day of home visits, school visits, and public transportation.
“I’m at your building gate
But I can’t get by
The drug dealers are eyeing me
Come get me or I fear I’ll die.”
Why Don’t You Call? (reprise)
The company joins in on this one, because seriously, just fucking call.
Act II is still in the works.