STAGE VIEWS: Black Suits and "Smash" Composer-Lyricist Joe Iconis

By Andrew Gans
20 Apr 2013

Joe Iconis
Joe Iconis

Playbill.com's series features theatre artists commenting on their recent theatregoing experiences, what productions they're looking forward to and more. Here, via email, we hear from composer-lyricist Joe Iconis, whose "The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree," a collection of songs performed by the musical theatre songwriter and his "merry band of musical theatre misfits," is now available from Ghostlight Records.

What show recently impressed you?
The Flick was so spectacular I wanted to scream. Such a perfect collaboration between writer, director, actors, designers, stage management — everyone. Those performances broke my heart. And, I'd like to personally fist fight anyone who had a problem with the length of that play. What wimps theatre audiences have become. Three hours and twenty minutes? Big deal! I'd like to see the extended version of The Flick that's three days long. That would really be something. Aside from that, the entire cast of Hands on a Hardbody was so exceptional and energized and thrilling. And I loved Once and Peter and the Starcatcher, of course.

What production are you most excited to see?
Looking forward to Alan Cumming in Macbeth. I'm kind of hoping that he performs it as his character from "Eyes Wide Shut." I was also looking forward to the Pump Boys and the Dinettes revival, but the theatre gods ripped that away from me.

Which Broadway performer(s), who has yet to record one of your songs, would you most like to record your music and why?
So very many! I have a huge talent-crush on Danny Burstein — I would kill to work with him on something. I think Bernadette Peters is insanely brilliant, and I love that she has such a personality/persona that she automatically brings to every part she plays. Sherie Rene Scott, Tom Hewitt, Patti LuPone, Steve Kazee, Allison Case, Ben Vereen, so many. And, of course, my number one (if I had the ability to raise the dead) would be Dorothy Loudon.



What are your current/upcoming projects?
Working on Bloodsong of Love — my rock-and-roll Spaghetti Western musical. That will be seeing the light of day soon. Also, writing a musical about Hunter S. Thompson, a science fiction musical about mind control devices amongst suburban teenagers, and a blaxploitation-inspired musical about legendary character actress Annie Golden. My musical The Black Suits is going to be seen this fall out in L.A. I also really want to eat better and exercise more, which is a huge project. But I think I enjoy eating and not exercising too much to make that project a success.

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As previously announced, Joe Iconis & Family plays 54 Below through May 5. For tickets, visit 54Below.com.

Iconis penned the Drama Desk Award-nominated Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits, ReWrite and The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks as well as the theatrical concert Things to Ruin. His songs have also appeared on the second season of the NBC musical drama "Smash." For more on his work, read the Playbill.com Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.