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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 9, February 26, 2006, Article 33

EMPEROR NORTON INSPIRES MUSICAL

The story of paper-money issuing eccentric Joshua Norton of
San Francisco has inspired two playwrights to collaborate on
a new musical, the Brampton Guardian of Ontario, Canada reports.

"When you first meet Brampton playwrights Todd McGinnis and
T. Gregory Argall, it is impossible not to laugh."

"Neither Argall nor McGinnis has a substantial music background
and there aren't any musicals on either playwright's lengthy list
of stage works."

"The idea for the musical took root when Argall came across an
American historical figure named Joshua Norton (c.1818-1880),
who lived in San Francisco in the second half of the 19th century.

"He declared himself to be the first emperor of the United States
and protector of Mexico and people were buying into it," Argall
explained. "People greeted him saying, 'Your highness' and bowed
down to him. The local police would even salute."

Argall immediately sent an e-mail to his partner in crime,
suggesting that this is the stuff that musicals are made of.

"I agreed right away that it was perfect for a musical,"
McGinnis recalled. "So I wrote back a page and a half with
all the ideas I had for it."

"Using the emotional variety in Man of La Mancha and the diverse
song styles in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as
inspiration, the pair hopes to create a solid work, with a few
laughs, of course.

"This is going to be a very funny musical," McGinnis confirmed.
"It is going to have its dramatic moments, but we hope the
audience will laugh their heads off."

"The playwrights don't have a deadline for their musical, but
39-year-old Argall joked that he would like to see it performed
before he dies."

To read the complete story, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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