Music and Lyrics by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek
Edges: A Song Cycle Musical - PLOT SYNOPSIS
Edges is not a traditional musical; it is an exciting new show about four burgeoning adults asking classic coming-of-age questions. Written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul--2007 Jonathan Larson Award Recipients--in their sophomore year at the University of Michigan, this contemporary song cycle carries an honest voice advocating introspection while maintaining wit and charm.
The songs cover such universal issues as love, commitment, identity, and meaning. Characters deal with confronting emotions, escaping expectations, and deciphering complicated relationships. While the show is written for four performers, EDGES can easily be performed by multiple men and women.
Encouraging experimental productions, Pasek & Paul want you to explore what happens when we are teetering on the edges!
EDGES opens with the question Who am I and who do I want to become? from four vastly different individuals. Encompassing varied ages, perspectives, and demeanors, the four put their lives in abbreviated bios before moving into honest introspection: Am I gonna mess it all up? Am I being true to me? What am I to Become?
We next meet a young visionary putting himself through college by serving at Pizza Hut. Excited to leave his current life behind, this Boy With Dreams is pitching his ideas to anyone who will purchase a piece of his exciting tomorrow.
Caitlyn and Haley introduces two sisters--each wishing the other would start or stop growing. Caitlyn is growing into a woman, distancing from her little sister. Haley wishes things were the way they used to be. The sisters are amazed at how much the other has changed and how they continue to grow apart. All each wants is her sister back!
The next song, Be My Friend, endorses an unabashed obsession with social networking and offers a witty prose on the biggest modern addiction: Facebook! From accumulating friends, self-promoting, and staying abreast of the latest gossip…this song sings the praises and curses of being a registered user!
Lying There finds a restless girl looking at her resting man in bed. Releasing a secret internal monologue, she asks if she is fulfilled or merely compromising her desires. Is loving someone and being in love different? She wishes she could join him in his love, but discovers that wishing is not really loving.
On an opposing relational tone, In Short utters the bottom line of one man's breakup: Wishing physical pains on his ex to compensate for his emotional turmoil—the song offers a comedic rant full of creative revenge tactics.
We next meet a man who recalls a woman who raised a city of children. Making more of life than what she had been dealt--this is a woman who bought a house and created a home. A woman who made a profound difference on his life, he wishes her strength as she battles age and endurance.
Defining a relationship is the theme of the next song. I Hmm You attempts to define the period of risky titling in emerging love. What is right or appropriate and when? After avoidance of saying the word, the couple confesses that behind their buzzing closed lips there is love!
We next find Caitlyn in college, with a string of unsuccessful relationships: in high school she dated the captain of the varsity soccer team; in college she loved a passionate political activist; now she loves a man from work who has the perfect job, home, and body. Whether struggling with a predictable future, a future in the shadow, or to have a future at all, Caitlyn has a problem with commitment.
Following this commitment problem, we meet a wife who has a real, perfect man. Jonathan and his wife enjoy concerts, dancing, traveling, and cooking together. Jonathan also loves tanning, ballet, Broadway shows, going to the Y in the village, and cuddling to Sex and the City. Jonathan might be gay, but he is still the perfect man!
Part of a Painting introduces an artist fresh from a sabbatical in Athens. On his way home to a lady in Pittsburgh, he has discovered peace and beauty. Describing his visit to the Grecian castle in vivid detail and how he has subsequently found his way, he promises to paint a vivid portrait for his love.
The four singers reconvene and promise to move on from the past and embrace life with arms open wide. No longer needing relationships for comfort or for crutches, they are ready to truly care for someone.
The show closes with Coasting, a song that blasts small talk and requests substance and connection from relationships. It encourages us to mean what we say and to truly embrace the question Who am I and who do I want to become?
Songs from Musical: Edges: A Song Cycle Musical Lyrics
Synopsis to Edges A Song Cycle Musical story plot