I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road
Music By: Nancy Ford
Lyrics and Book By: Gretchen Cryer
Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
One of the most successful Off-Broadway musicals of all time, I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road was originally produced by Joseph Papp for the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater. Opening in June 1978, the show was later moved to Circle on the Square for 1,165 performances. It was nominated for Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics and the cast album received a Grammy nomination. Masterworks Broadway has recently re-released the original cast recording of the show.
Taking place in Greenwich Village in 1978, Iím Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road follows Heather Jones (Gretchen Cryer) who, on the afternoon of her thirty-ninth birthday is rehearsing for her new cabaret act. When her old friend and manager Joe Epstein (Joel Fabiani) returns from a recent trip, he discovers she has joined with two other singers (Margot Rose and Betty Aberlin), singing empowering songs about the emancipation of women. Her manager is none too pleased and wants Heather to go back to her old routine, but Heather is a 39-year-old divorcť who has decided she will make her comeback as a pop star in her own special way by supporting women's liberation.
The soundtrack of Iím Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road is fairly swift, featuring only twelve tracks, but I loved every minute of it. The songs are empowering to women and reflect the new womenís liberation movement emerging in the late 70s. The lyrics by Gretchen Cryer are catchy, powerful and sometimes elicited a chuckle or two. The music by Nancy Ford was perfect for the time in which this musical takes place.
At a time in which womenís rights are in question, the original cast recording of Iím Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road was quite a welcome surprise in my cue. I thoroughly enjoyed the songs and probably would have enjoyed the musical, had I the opportunity to see it Off-Broadway. This soundtrack is a definite happy addition to my musical collection.