Open Letter to Bo Burnham
My name is Seth Tucker and I’ve spent the last year adapting your body of work into a three person song cycle in hopes of workshopping and mounting a production. I’m a 31 year-old, gay, half-Mexican, musical theatre performer and producer based out of NYC and this is the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on. I’m writing to pitch you my idea, convince you I’m the right person for this, and to ask your permission to continue moving forward.
I discovered your comedy about a year ago and started performing “Sad” and “God’s Perspective” at cabarets, concerts and benefits for NYC musical theatre audiences. I quickly realized that not only were these the freshest, funniest, comedic songs being written, but they were relatively unknown in the theatre community. Cerebral character songs that pushed the envelope with edgy, razor wit and the unconventional use of conventional music made me wonder if these weren’t funnier or more clever than Book of Mormon, Avenue Q and The Producers songs. I think there could be an special place in the theatre world for the genius comedy songs you’ve already written. Much like Side By Side By Sondheim, Closer Than Ever, and The World Goes Round, I wanted to create a Bo Burnham songs cycle around your common themes of Art and Love.
I learned a few years back that performing on it’s own is not fulfilling enough for me. With degrees in Musical Theatre and Business Marketing, I've been most fulfilled working as a creative producer. I believe that your songs stand on their own and there is another life for them in other performers’ interpretations. I imagine a concept musical with critiques on pop music, the struggle to make art, the difficulties of relationships and the root of finding love and happiness from within. I’ve spent the last 10 years working professionally in the theatre scene in NYC and regionally. I’ve built shows from the ground up and I’ve directed, choreographed and produced multiple concerts, benefits and full length musicals. My references are wide and impressive including Tony award winners and Broadway stars most of which would say I’m one of, if not thee, funniest performer and most professional, driven artist they’ve ever worked with. I brag simply to give you a sense of why I may be truly capable to take this comedy and respectfully build a show that would do your work justice.
I’ve got a stellar script using only your words, comedy, poems and music and my next step would be to assemble a small ensemble of the best musical theatre comedy singers out there using characters for duets and group numbers. My vision would be to present it more like a contemporary musical but without a dialogue driven libretto. I know there may be more steps to move forward, but now that I feel confident in my game plan and my understanding of your material the first move is to get your attention and hopefully your blessing. I’m not looking to recreate, I’m just dying to share the material and at the same time make a place for myself with my interpretation of your fresh, hilarious work. Much like Joe Mantello adapting David Sedaris’ story Santaland Diaries Off Broadway, I want to share great material and help establish another life and home for it. In Egghead you wrote, “But you can’t use my word, whatever it is, without asking. Because it’s my word.” All I’m asking for is the permission to continue developing this project. Can I please use your word?
Thank you so much for your time and I hope to hear from you soon!