Superspy!: The S-e-c-r-e-t Musical

lyrics by composer & Joel Shatzky;
for Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor, and Two Baritones with Piano
(in two acts, c. 2 hrs.)

18 numbers

1) I Am I - Or Am I?
2) We're Right Because We're Right
3) Why Do I Love Him?
4) The Geneticist's Song
5) The SDI Waltz (arr. of op. 87, text by composer)
6) Deniability
7) Side by Side With Cyanide
8) Just a Little Favor
9) A Girl Without Morals
10) Act I Finale
11) I Am I - Why Do I Love Him?
12) Tell Me, What Is Love?
13) Superspy
14) The Real Realpolitik
15) Superspy - Realpolitik
16) A Cure for Everything
17) The Glorious War Song
18) Act II Finale: An Upbeat Ending

#11, 2, 5, 9, 6, & 13-15 previewed by Helene Williams & composer 3/6/88
at Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra chamber concert and
on "Contrasts" concert series at Tom O'Horgan's in New York;
first complete public reading at First St. Playhouse, Ithaca, NY 3/20/88

revised as one-act cabaret for two people (48')

14 numbers

1) The Real Realpolitik
2) I Am I... Or Am I? - Why Do I Love Him?
3) We're Right Because We're Right Because We're Right
4) The Geneticist's Song
5) The SDI Waltz-also watchable on YouTube in performance of June 23, 1991
6) Deniability
7) Side by Side with Cyanide
8) Just A Little Favor
9) A Girl Without Morals
10) Tell Me, What Is Love? - recorded on Capstone #CPS-8647: Helene Williams sings Songs of Love
also watchable on YouTube in performance of May 24, 2013
11) Superspy - title song; also watchable on YouTube in performance of June 18, 2011
12) A Cure for Everything
13) An Upbeat Ending
14) Superspy-Realpolitik (Encore)

The New Improved Superspy
premiered in 2014 at Medicine Show, 549 West 52 St., Manhattan,
Fri. Feb. 7 at 8pm; Sat. Feb. 15 at 3pm; Sun. Feb. 23 at 3pm.
Click here for Calendar for New Music notice.
Click here for write-up by Ted Merwin in The Jewish Week.
Additional viewer comments:
"A very clever and extremely entertaining show. Williams and Lehrman take us through a generous collection of very witty songs tied together with a theme that advances this spoof of cold war thrillers. The characters, and there are many, are portrayed with tremendous vigor, in accents and impressions that call to mind the comedy of Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, for those who still remember them. The concept may be cold war, but it has been brought right up-to-date about our current politics, with hilarious numbers about drones and the NSA. Great fun and points well taken!"
-- Margery Nathanson
"Everyone who loves hearing beautifully articulated diction and imaginative lyrics, RUSH to SUPERSPY! Helene and Leonard do a marvelous job in this piece. It is a thought-provoking political satire, and while you may not always agree with the points of view, your brain will be constantly activated by this creative couple's imaginative attention to lyrics and composition, reminding one of Noel Coward and Gilbert & Sullivan. Go see it!!!"
--Jacqueline Kroschell
"A thoroughly enjoyable, lighthearted musical, musically and vocally very satisfying. There's tremendous energy and no dearth of social consciousness, with up-to-date topicality, as the performers literally wear their many hats."
-- Renée Vera Cafiero

New order of songs (2013-14):

Click here for Feb. 23, 2014 performance playlist; individual numbers/scenes:

Opening Announcement
Secret Press Conference
Glorious War
Superspy (title song)
A Cure for Everything
Hail the Wall!
An Upbeat Ending

Click here for Feb. 7, 2014 performance playlist.
Individual songs are hypertexted below.

Overture (revised) (2'50")
1. The Secret Press Conference (Duet) Press Secretary & Reporter (NEW) (4'30")
2. I Am I - Or Am I? and Why Do I Love Him? (Duet) Secretary & Masterspy (5'00")
3. We're Right Because We're Right (Duet) Secretary & Masterspy (2'15")
4. The Glorious War Song (Solo) Secretary (2'35")
5. The Man Who Controls the Drones (Solo) Masterspy (+ Chorus) (NEW) (2'35")
--also watchable on YouTube in performance of Aug. 3, 2012
6. The Bond Girls (Solo) Secretary (NEW) (4'40")
7. Terror Tour (Duet) Masterspy & Secretary (NEW, but cut) (3'30"
--watchable on YouTube in performance of Aug. 1, 2013
8. The Geneticist's Song (Solo) Scientist (2'00")
9. The SDI Waltz (words by Leonard Lehrman) (Duet) Senator & Scientist (3'45")
10. Deniability (Duet) Senator & Masterspy (NEW & Improved)(3'00")
11. Ballad of the Happy Hacker (Duet) 2 Hackers (NEW) (2'00")
--also watchable on YouTube in performance of Aug. 1, 2013
12. Yes, We Scan (Duet) Directors of Intelligence (NEW, but cut) (2'30")
13. Spy Date (Duet) Masterspy & Femme Fatale (NEW)(3'00" - but cut to 0'20")
14. Just A Little Favor (Duet) Masterspy & Girl (3'30")
15. A Girl Without Morals (Solo) Girl (4'00")
16. Tell Me, What Is Love? (Solo) Girl (4'10")
17. Superspy (Solo) Femme Fatale (3'50")
18. A Cure for Everything (Solo) Scientist (2'35")
19. Hail the Wall! (Duet) Senator & Jose (NEW) (5'00")
20. An Upbeat Ending (Ensemble) (4'05")

Performance History
prem. by Helene Williams & composer for US Peace Committee-Paris 7/7/89;

also perf. Nassau Community College Little Theater 2/22/90;

Community Church of Boston 2/25/90 posted on YouTube:
Click here for playlist; individual numbers/scenes:
Real Realpolitik
I Am I-Why Do I Love Him?
We're Right Because We're Right
The Geneticist's Song
The SDI Waltz
Side By Side With Cyanide
Just A Little Favor
A Girl Without Morals
FemmeFatale-Scientist Masterspy-Secretary
Tell Me, What Is Love?
Superspy - title song
Scientist-Senator Scene
A Cure for Everything
An Upbeat Ending
Encore: Realpolitik-Superspy

Chelsea Mansion, E. Norwich (Nassau County Office of Cultural Development) 10/20/90;

and Turtle Bay Music School, sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Opera, 11/17-18/90
"One could call this entertainment a latter-day evening with Tom Lehrer...
performed with enthusiasm"--Bill Zakariasen
, NY Daily News, 11/19/90

command performance for Tom Lehrer, Santa Cruz 12/91

Medicine Show, 549 West 52 St., Manhattan, Feb. 7, 15 & 23, 2014

Excerpt performances:

"SDI Waltz" performed at Harvard, 4/89 & videotaped on Strike Reunion tape;

"A Girl Without Morals" performed at Hadassah, 6/88, at Jewish Arts Festival of L.I., 9/3/89
and many other times as part of program The Jewish Woman in Song
also at First International Naturist Opera Workshop, Belezy, France; 7/89
and by Kathryn Wieckhorst, Gershwin Hotel, NYC, 2/19/08

"Tell Me, What Is Love?" expanded version, premiered 12/27/90 Gay Men's Health Crisis, NYC
- on Center for Contemporary Opera Blitzstein program sponsored by "Meet the Composer"
also perf. LICA Songs of Love concert 2/5/95, North Merrick Library;
and by Michele Eaton & Stephanie Watt, LICA concert at Steinway, Huntington, 2/11/11

"Glorious War" revised, 3/6/91, prem. at Tarrytown Music Hall WESPAC Benefit 3/15/91
with Amy Goodman, Pete Seeger, Ramsey Clark and Michio Kaku;
and at Not In Our Name concert, Community Church, Manhattan, 2/15/03

"SDI Waltz" & "Glorious War" (rev.) recorded by Helene Williams & composer on
Songs of Conscience cassette 3/91 & CD 6/03
and perf. on Composers Concordance concerts, CAMI Hall & C.W.Post College, 2/92

"We're Right Because We're Right," "Drones," and "Morals" performed
10/8/13 at Wyandanch church David Rovics concert

Excerpt performances posted on YouTube:
"SDI Waltz" Merkin Hall, June 23, 1991
"Superspy!" Kutsher's Lehrman Family Cabaret, June 18, 2011
"Drones" Northeast Naturist Festival, Aug. 3, 2012
"Tell Me, What Is Love?" in Songs of Love, Rockville Centre, May 24, 2013 and at Midwinter Naturist Festival, Feb. 14, 2016
"Terror Tour" & "Happy Hackers" Northeast Naturist Festival, Aug. 1, 2013