Eating Raoul

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When I saw the film, Eating Raoul, aside from finding it hilarious, I also found that, to use an expression, it sang. So a delight it was when Paul Bartel asked if I'd be interested in musicalizing it for the stage.

Boyd Graham was a fellow I’d recently met at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop whom I knew had the perfect turn of mind for the lyrics. Together we looked at the film and we were off. During the whole process, Boyd's contribution was immeasurable and his observations, a riot.

Writing the score was an exercise in diversity. Because the background and nature of the characters were so wildly different, it was necessary to jump from Swing to Latin, to Broadway, to opera, et. al., often mixing two or more together. Keeping such an eclectic score under control was a built-in challenge.

The character of Raoul presented me with my first venture into Salsa Egotistica and other Latin rhythms. I am forever grateful.

In a '60s sitcom mode, I wrote a theme which serves as a narrative throughout the show sung by a constantly growing number of corpses.

But most of all, I relished writing for Mary & Paul Bland. Not only do they sing from the heart, but each undergoes a distinct change which had to be dramatized musically. From their early hopes and dreams (A Small Restaurant), to their sudden brainstorm (A Thought Occurs), through their first disagreement (Think About Tomorrow), to contemplating Raoul's demise (Trio and One Last Bop), the Blands provided unlimited musical possibilities.

—Jed Feuer 2002