Back to the Future - SYNOPSIS

2021 West End
Back to the Future the Musical - SYNOPSIS

Act One

In Hill Valley, California, 1985, Marty McFly visits scientist Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown's house and finds a pre-recorded message, playing on a large amplifier, telling Marty to meet him in the parking lot of Twin Pines Mall later past midnight. After destroying the amplifier while playing his electric guitar, Marty walks through town and dreams about being a successful rock artist, while a man named Goldie Wilson runs for mayor ("It's Only a Matter of Time").

When Marty's band audition is rejected ("Got No Future"), Marty's girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, comforts him ("Wherever We're Going") but they are interrupted by fundraisers for the restoration of the town's clock tower, which was damaged by lightning in 1955. Marty, with a flyer on the clocktower in hand, heads home to find his father George being bullied by his boss, Biff Tannen. George discourages Marty from chasing big dreams, his brother Dave explains his job at a burger restaurant and his mother, Lorraine McFly, discourages his sister, Linda, from dating and talks about how she first met George and kissed him at a school dance as Marty laments his family's state ("Hello, Is Anybody Home?").

At the Twin Pines Mall parking lot, Marty meets Doc who unveils a time machine made from a DeLorean and explains how he built it ("It Works"). However, due to inadequate protection while loading plutonium into the car's reactor, Doc is afflicted by acute radiation poisoning and starts dying. Marty jumps in the car to seek medical help but accidentally hits 88 miles per hour (142 km/h), sending him back in time to the day Doc conceptualised time travel in 1955. Ditching the car in a barn, Marty wanders to the town square where the citizens of Hill Valley celebrate the town ("Cake"). Marty witnesses his teenage father get bullied by Biff and his gang and tells him to stand up for himself. When he accidentally reveals then-diner employee Goldie will become Mayor of Hill Valley, Goldie is inspired and encourages George to also increase his self-esteem ("Gotta Start Somewhere"). Marty later finds George spying on teenage Lorraine from a tree ("My Myopia"), but is knocked unconscious when George falls. Hours later, Marty wakes up in Lorraine's bedroom. Lorraine falls for Marty who tries to fend off her advances ("Pretty Baby").

Marty finds his way to Doc's house and convinces a younger Doc that he came from 1985 by revealing his knowledge about Doc's Flux Capacitor. Finding the car, Doc worries that Marty will be stuck in 1955 forever. As Marty despairs ("Future Boy"), Doc states that a bolt of lightning could power the time machine and both he and Marty make use of the information on Marty's flyer to use the lightning bolt. Marty reveals he encountered both of his parents when Doc warns him against meeting anyone in history, causing Doc to instruct him to get George to meet Lorraine. At Hill Valley High School the next day, Lorraine tells her friends about the boy she tended to, while Biff and his gang hear rumors about Marty and plot to get rid of him and Marty himself tries to evade both people ("Something About That Boy").

Act Two

Doc Brown dreams of the social, technological, economic, and political advances of the future ("21st Century"), waking up as Lorraine invites Marty to the school dance to which Marty reluctantly accepts. Marty visits George to boost his self confidence and dance abilities in preparation for the dance ("Put Your Mind to It"), running through the plan for George to win over Lorraine as well.

While planning to use a wire running from the clocktower to send the lightning to the DeLorean, Doc looks to the scientists throughout history, longing to be famous while noting of those who fail to fulfil their goals despite their best efforts ("For the Dreamers"). Meanwhile, Biff and his gang learn of Marty's attendance at the upcoming dance and plot to defeat him ("Teach Him a Lesson"). On the night of the dance, Doc thanks Marty for giving him hope for his future but Marty secretly writes a letter to warn him of his death in 1985, despite being warned of the harm from disclosing future events. Marty also reflects on his only chance to make it back, but dreams of Jennifer back in 1985 for comfort ("Only a Matter of Time (Reprise)").

During the school dance ("Deep Divin'"), Lorraine advances on Marty before Biff locks him in a nearby dumpster and harasses Lorraine. Biff overpowers an arriving George, but George knocks him unconscious in one punch. As George escorts a grateful Lorraine to the dance, singer Marvin Berry and his band, on a smoke break, free Marty from the dumpster but Marvin's fingers are accidentally clamped by the closing lid. Knowing music will be needed for George and Lorraine to kiss, Marty volunteers to play guitar instead. The band plays "Earth Angel" as George and Lorraine kiss, saving Marty's existence. On Marvin's request for another song, Marty performs "Johnny B. Goode", but his guitar solo grows out of hand.

Marty leaves the dance to meet Doc who explains that high winds disconnected the upper cables and that he would have to reconnect them despite his fear of heights. Marty gives his letter to Doc who destroys it, worried about the consequences. Doc braves his fear and the storm to connect the wires ("For the Dreamers (reprise)") while Marty drives the DeLorean, inserts the electric hook and accelerates to 88 miles per hour as the lightning strikes and sends him back to 1985. However, upon arrival, the car fails before Marty can keep driving to the hospital to save Doc. Marty grieves at his friend’s side, but Doc sits up, revealing that he pieced the letter back together and wore a better protective suit.

The following morning, Marty discovers his father is now a renowned science fiction author with an annual celebration named after him, his family is more professionally and socially successful and a servile Biff is under George's employ. At the celebration, the McFlys present the town with a check to restore the clock tower. As Marty and his band perform "The Power of Love" and the whole town joins in, Doc suddenly returns in the upgraded DeLorean, insisting Marty comes with him to see the future. Reluctantly, Marty hops in and Doc sets the car's destination date to the exact time and date of the show's current performance. The DeLorean takes off and flies over the audience, and into the future, as the curtain closes ("Finale").

Read more: Back to the Future the Musical Lyrics
Synopsis to Back to the Future the Musical Plot

Back to the Future the Musical Lyrics

It's Only a Matter of Time
Audition/Got No Future
Wherever We're Going
Hello, Is Anybody Home?
It Works
Don't Drive 88!
Gotta Start Somewhere
My Myopia
Pretty Baby
Future Boy
Something About That Boy
21st Century
Put Your Mind to It
For the Dreamers
Teach Him a Lesson
The Letter/ Only a Matter of Time (reprise)
Deep Divin'
Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)
Johnny B. Goode
The Clocktower/ For the Dreamers (reprise)
The Power of Love
Doc Returns/ Finale
Back in Time