Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn
An exceptional revue of composer/lyricist, William Finn's, most beloved songs.
Show Essentials
5
Roles
PG13
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn is a tribute in the form of a revue, typically performed by a small group of singers and a pianist. Showcasing more than twenty songs from the repertoire of writer and composer, William Finn, this is a compilation of Finn's finest. Selected by Rob Ruggiero, Make Me a Song includes distinctive, often hilarious and emotional songs from Finn's career, spanning more than 25 years.

Make Me a Song is constructed in three parts. The first section showcases Finn's range of styles and his storytelling abilities. The second part is a "Falsetto Suite," concentrating on songs from that series, and the final section culminates in four carefully selected songs that form what Rob Ruggiero calls "Finn's Cycle of Life." The following is the order of the songs as they are presented in performance:

"Make Me a Song"
"Heart and Music"
"Hitchhiking across America"
"Republicans, Part 1"
"Billy's Law-of-Genetics"
"Passover"
"Only One"
"Republicans, Part 2"
"I'd Rather Be Sailing / Set Those Sails"
"Change"
"I Have Found"
"Republicans, Part 3"
"You're Even Better Than You Think You Are"
 
"Falsettoland Suite: Falsettoland Intro"
"Falsettoland Suite: Four Jews in a Room Bitching"
"Falsettoland Suite: Tight-knit Family / Love Is Blind"
"Falsettoland Suite: Trina's Song / March of the Falsettos"
"Falsettoland Suite: Year of the Child"
"Falsettoland Suite: The Baseball Game"
"Falsettoland Suite: Something Bad Is Happening"
"Falsettoland Suite: Falsetto Coda"

"All Fall Down"
"Republicans, Part 4"
"Stupid Things I Won't Do"
"That's Enough for Me"
"I Went Fishing with My Dad"
"When the Earth Stopped Turning"
"Anytime (I Am There)"
"Song of Innocence and Experience"
"Bows / Heart and Music – Reprise"
Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Small (Up to 10 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: None

Character Breakdown

Man 1
Characters range from a gay Democratic politician to a pessimistic cynic and a man who has recently lost a loved female from his life.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: F2
Man 2
Characters range from a gay hitchhiker who recently discovered love, to a man who reminisces on good times fishing with his father.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Woman 1
Characters range from a Jewish woman relishing the thought of a Passover feast to a woman who longs to comfort a loved one far, far away.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: G3
Vocal range bottom: F3
Woman 2
Character range from a wishful Professor to a woman who has experienced severe financial woes throughout her life.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Pianist
Provides accompaniment for the show and joins in from time to time to comment on or aid in the storytelling.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 60
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: F2
Full Song List
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Mister, Make Me a Song
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Heart and Music
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Hitchiking Across America
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Republicans Part One
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Billy's Law-of-Genetics
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Passover
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Only One
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Republicans Part Two
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: I'd Rather Be Sailing/Set Those Sails
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Change
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: I Have Found
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Republicans Part Three
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: You're Even Better Than You Think You Are
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Falsettoland
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Four Jews In a Room Bitching
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Tight Knit Family/Love is Blind/My Father's a Homo
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Trina's Song
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: March of the Falsettos
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Year of the Child/The Baseball Game
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Unlikely Lovers
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: All Fall Down
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Republicans Part Four
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Stupid Things I Won't Do
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: That's Enough For Me
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: I Went Fishing With My Dad
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: When the Earth Stopped Turning
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Anytime (I Am There)
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Song of Innocence and Experience
Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn: Finale

Show History

Inspiration

Make Me a Song is a revue that features the music of Tony-winning composer, William Finn (A New Brain, Falsettos, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee).  Two song cycles of the composer had been released previously (Infinite Joy and Elegies: A Song Cycle). However, Make Me a Song is the first to be conceived by someone other than Finn; it was put together by Rob Ruggiero, a Connecticut-based theatre director.

Ruggiero constructed the revue in three parts: the first part is sort of a pastiche of the various styles of Bill Finn's music and storytelling, the second part is the "Falsetto Suite" and the third part is the emotional center of the piece, including a section called "Finn's Cycle of Life."

Productions

Rob Ruggiero mounted the premiere of Make Me a Song at the Hartford theatre company, Theatreworks (where he served as associate artistic director), in the summer of 2006. The musical then moved to New York City for an Off-Broadway run at New World Stages, playing from October 30, 2007, to January 6, 2008, with 54 performances under its belt. Shortly thereafter, Make Me a Song moved across the pond to the New Players Theatre in London, where it ran from March 6, to April 6, 2008.

Trivia

  • The licensing for Make Me a Song includes casting for the original production: two male singers, two female singers, and a pianist who also sang. However, in London, the musical expanded its casting to three male singers, three female singers and a pianist who was much less of a performer.

Critical Reaction

"The songwriter is notably irascible, but this songfest should leave him tickled. In a word, it's Finntastic. ...Equal parts hope, joy, spring and laughter is what we get in this uproarious and moving soundscape of the world as seen by William Finn."
– Variety

"A treat for fans of Finn's music or those just being introduced to the composer/lyricist. ...Includes joyous songs about love, humorous takes politics and songwriting, and touching remembrances of family and loved ones who have died. ...[Finn] marries intelligent, tender and witty lyrics with delightfully interesting melodies and beautiful harmonies. Mr. Ruggiero has chosen strong material that showcases the composer and his songs in an entertaining collection."
–  Talkin' Broadway

"A carefully constructed... production that gives Finn's rich material its due. ...Nobody on Broadway writes with so much unabashed passion. ...What truly distinguishes this revue is the chance to hear some lesser-known Finn songs. Yes, some of the composer's best known songs are missing from the revue, but it's the mark of this composer's output that everything here is worthy of inclusion."
– TheaterMania

"William Finn is the Walt Whitman of show tunes: a stubbornly unique composer and lyricist whose vibrant, idiosyncratic voice – always personal but rarely merely so – finds potential for transcendence amid the haphazard zigs and zags of the everyday. ...Witty, wistful, jaunty, sad, neurotic and brave all at once: Such are the contradictory impulses that animate Finn's work. He contains multitudes and, in his own offbeat way, he's one of the musical-theater greats."
– TimeOut New York

"Make Me a Song is funny, touching and full of tunes that will be stuck in your head the next morning. But as light-hearted as the show is, it examines life as it is, not just as we'd like it to be."
– Isthmus

Connect

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
MAKE ME A SONG
(100%)
The Music of William Finn
(66%)
 
Conceived by Rob Ruggiero
(66%)
 
Produced off-Broadway by Junkyard Dog Productions and Larry Hirschhorn
Originally produced at Theatreworks in Hartford, CT
(10%)
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK10
PIANO VOCAL SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING