|A New Horror-Comedy Musical|
|Basis||Characters from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals|
|Premiere||October 31, 2019: The Hudson Mainstage Theatre, Los Angeles|
Black Friday is a comedy-horror musical with music and lyrics by Jeff Blim and a book by Matt and Nick Lang. It is the twelfth staged show produced by StarKid Productions and takes place in the same setting as their previous musical The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, though in an alternate universe where the events of the previous musical never happened. The show ran from October 31, 2019 to December 8, 2019 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Los Angeles, California, directed by Nick Lang. A live recording of the musical was uploaded on YouTube on February 29, 2020 and sold on DVD. A cast recording was released on February 29, 2020 on Apple Music and their website.
Funding for the show was done through Kickstarter, similarly to StarKid's most recent shows. The project raised US$547,439 through 11,704 backers out of its $155,000 goal.
Black Friday was intended to feature the entire cast of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals in new roles alongside new cast members. However, soon after she was announced as Lex, Mariah Rose Faith was cast in the national tour of Mean Girls, making her the only cast member of the prior musical not to appear in Black Friday. Angela Giarratana was then cast as Faith's replacement. Black Friday is also notable for the return of Dylan Saunders, a founding member of StarKid, who had not appeared since Twisted in 2013. Kendall Nicole Yakshe, who plays Hannah/Tim, is the first minor to be featured in one of Starkid's productions.
Uncle Wiley and the Sniggles advertise a new doll called a Tickle-Me-Wiggly by Uncle Wiley Toys ("Tickle-Me Wiggly Jingle").
On the day after Thanksgiving, Paul Matthews and Emma Perkins arrive at the house of Emma's brother-in-law Tom Houston, a cranky veteran with PTSD. Jane, Emma's sister and Tom's wife, died in a car accident recently. Paul and Emma discover that Tom has to leave and only invited them to babysit his son Tim. After Tim leaves the room, Tom tells them that he's actually going to get Tim a Tickle-Me-Wiggly as a surprise for Christmas. After learning that they are running out fast, he leaves right away and vows to get the doll any way he can to make up for Tim losing his mother the year before ("What Tim Wants").
Once he arrives, he runs into Lex Foster, a snarky and cynical employee at ToyZone who used to be a student in a high school class he taught. Resentful, she explains that Tom's shop class was the only thing keeping up her GPA, and when he quit, she failed high school. As Lex is an employee of ToyZone (the only store selling Wiggly dolls in town) he asks her to set aside a doll for him, though she refuses.
As Tom goes inside, ToyZone's greedy manager, Frank Pricely, arrives and reprimands Lex for slacking off. The shipment of Wiggly dolls arrives at the hands of a mysterious delivery man. Pricely tells Lex to unpack a box of the Wiggly dolls. After he leaves, she sneaks one into her backpack. Lex's greaser boyfriend Ethan Green surprises her with her troubled and possibly psychic sister Hannah who they take care of together. Hannah ominously announces the day will have "bad blood." This is dismissed, however, when Ethan tells Lex what a hot ticket item the doll is and how their plans to sell Lex's stolen doll have changed; while the doll normally sells for $49.95, Ethan has found a buyer willing to pay $7,000. They celebrate and reiterate their plan to move to California. Lex writes a letter to her alcoholic mother telling her that they are leaving and taking Hannah ("Califor.M.I.A."). Lex gives her backpack containing the stolen doll to Hannah and gets ready for her shift.
Outside the store, Linda Monroe, town socialite, bribes her way to the front of the line. She's reprimanded by Becky Barnes, a pediatric nurse buying a doll for one of her patients. Linda shames her for her abusive marriage and calls her weak. As Tom attempts to cut in line, he reunites with Becky, and the other shoppers gossip about their past as high school sweethearts ("What Do You Say"). Becky admits that she misses Tom, but before they can continue, Pricely opens the store and exalts the beauties of capitalism ("Our Doors Are Open"). When middle-aged toy collector and presumed sexual deviant Sherman Young tries to buy all the dolls for himself, a fight breaks out amongst the shoppers. Frank, drawn by his greed, allows a bidding war, resulting in chaos and mayhem that spread to the rest of the mall as the desire for the doll becomes greater ("Feast or Famine").
Oblivious to the fighting, Ethan and Hannah try to buy tickets to see a Christmas movie at the mall's Cineplex. Two shoppers arrive and attack Ethan under the impression he is hiding a doll. Hannah escapes and Ethan is rescued by Tom and Becky, who has acquired a doll herself. Delirious, Ethan promises to get Lex to California before he dies. A man in a hurry sees Becky with the doll and stabs Tom before escaping with the doll. Elsewhere in the mall, a bedraggled Linda runs into the mysterious delivery man. He knows her name and claims she is meant for greater things. Allured by the promise of power and adoration, Linda accepts his offer.
Meanwhile, in the Oval Office, President Howard Goodman and his Cabinet are debating what to do regarding the Wiggly crisis, which has spread across the country. Once the Vice President reveals he has a doll, the Cabinet begins to attack one another to obtain it. They are interrupted by General John McNamara of PEIP (/pēp/), a secret agency that handles paranormal, extraterrestrial, and inter-dimensional threats. PEIP has discovered that Wiggly dolls are more sinister than they appear, and McNamara informs the Cabinet that they have to make a quick decision about what to do ("Monsters and Men").
As the movie Santa Claus is Going to High School plays ("Deck the Halls (of Northville High)"), Tom wakes up in the movie theater. As Becky nurses his stab wound, they realize that they're sitting in their old seats from when they dated and begin to reminisce over their younger days. Tom admits that he feels responsible for Jane's death because he was driving when the car crashed. Becky confesses to stabbing her abusive husband Stanley and leaving him for dead. As they watch the movie and reminisce, they both admit they still have feelings for each other and try to console each other ("Take Me Back").
At PEIP headquarters, McNamara introduces President Goodman to his second-in-command Xander Lee and reveals to the President the existence of "the Black and White," a place between dimensions and the origin of the entity known as Wiggly. PEIP believes that Wiggly is attempting to push its way into our dimension where it will remake existence according to its own will. ("In essence, we're trying to stop the birth of a god." says McNamara.) To do so, they will send Goodman through a portal into the Black and White, where the President will attempt to work out a peace treaty with Wiggly. If that fails, PEIP will deploy a nuclear bomb inside the Black and White, hopefully destroying Wiggly.
Back at the mall, Sherman Young leads a sermon celebrating Wiggly's supposed prophet Linda. The shoppers have also captured Pricely and Lex. When Pricely tells Linda there are no dolls left, she kills him. She tries to get information out of Lex, who remains defiant. A security guard tells Linda that he saw Hannah running through the mall with the doll. Linda orders her followers to find Hannah and the doll ("Adore Me").
Hiding in the mall, Hannah sees a vision of Ethan, who tells her to give the doll to Linda. She realizes, however, that something is wrong. Ethan is really a manifestation of Wiggly from the Black and White. Hannah takes out the doll from her backpack and hears Wiggly's voice threatening to kill her. She is snapped back into reality when Tom and Becky find her. When Tom threatens her for the doll, she runs away, but the adults continue to search for her, intending to anesthetize her and steal the doll ("Do You Want To Play"). They eventually find her, but Becky accidentally injects herself with the anesthesia. Tom finally gets the Tickle-Me-Wiggly and abandons Becky. Two members of the Wiggly cult find Becky and Hannah and take them to Linda, believing them to still be in possession of the doll.
As Goodman enters the portal, he encounters the same mysterious delivery man who ran into Linda: Uncle Wiley. More terrifyingly, Goodman also encounters an enormous, monstrous abomination that can only be Wiggly itself. Wiley and the Sniggles taunt Goodman for the capitalist, consumerist culture that allowed their plan to unfold ("Made in America"). All of a sudden, McNamara appears unprotected, saving Goodman and allowing himself to be lost to the Black and White. Goodman returns to PEIP headquarters and tells Agent Lee to release the bomb even though McNamara is still inside. The bomb, however, does not explode in the Black and White. Goodman and Lee receive news that a bomb has exploded in Moscow. Wiggly tells them that he has pushed the bomb through another portal that the Russians had created on their own. The President is taken to safety and Lee acknowledges that World War III has begun.
Back in the mall, Sherman holds Lex hostage, but lets her go when offered all the ponies left in the storeroom. Once free, Lex tells him that she lied and in anger, Sherman strangles Lex. In her dying moments, she laments over the failure of her life ("Black Friday"). At the last moment, McNamara appears to her, reminding her that she isn't dead yet and that she, like her sister, has powers. He offers her his gun, but because he is still in the Black and White, she has to reach through dimensions to get to it ("Monsters and Men (Reprise)"). She successfully manifests the gun, shoots Sherman, and follows McNamara's instructions to save the world from Wiggly. Finding Tom in possession of the last doll, she tells him that Tim doesn't actually want the doll and that it's all part of Wiggly's plan to make people think that a doll can fill a hole in their lives. Tom realizes that he just wanted to make up for Jane's passing and that all Tim wants is his father ("If I Fail You"). He agrees to help Lex and they go to find Linda.
In the mall's food court, the followers bring Becky and Hannah to Linda. Believing that Becky is dead, they focus on Hannah, ripping away her backpack in an attempt to find the doll. When Linda realizes that Hannah doesn't have the doll, she goes to stab the girl but is stopped when Lex rushes in holding the last remaining doll in the mall. Tom sneaks up on Linda and holds a gun to her head, shocking the followers. Linda, however, is able to distract Lex and disarm Tom. She finally gets her hands on a Tickle-Me-Wiggly. The followers praise their god ("Wiggle"), too distracted to remember Becky. She gets ahold of the gun and kills Linda. Lex sets fire to the doll and in the ensuing chaos, the mall burns down with the cultists inside. Hannah, Lex, Tom, and Becky reunite with Paul and Emma. Hannah recounts an odd, ambiguous vision of an uncertain future ("What If Tomorrow Comes?"). In the last seconds of the blackest of Black Fridays, the surviving shoppers gather together as a mysterious "whooshing" noise is heard.
|Role||Los Angeles (2019)|
|Tom Houston||Dylan Saunders|
|Lex Foster, et al.||Angela Giarratana|
|Becky Barnes, et al.||Kim Whalen|
|Linda Monroe / Emma Perkins, et al.||Lauren Lopez|
|Hannah Foster / Tim Houston||Kendall Nicole Yakshe|
|President Goodman, et al.||Curt Mega|
|General John MacNamara, et al.||Jeff Blim|
|Frank Pricely, et al.||Corey Dorris|
|Sherman Young, et al.||Jamie Lyn Beatty|
|Paul Matthews / Wiggly, et al.||Jon Matteson|
|Ethan Green / Christopher Kringle, et al.||Robert Manion|
|The Homeless Guy / Uncle Wiley, et al.||Joey Richter|
|Xander Lee / Security Guard, et al.||James Tolbert|
|Nick Lang||Producer, Director, Writer|
|Jeff Blim||Music, Lyrics|
|Corey Lubowich||Scenic Design, Producer|
|Gilly Moon||Sound Design|
|Sarah Petty||Lighting Design|
|Robert Merkel||Costume Design|
|Paul Gabriel||Stage Manager|
|Jack James||Technical Direction|
|Matt Dahan||Music Direction, Orchestrations, Keyboard 1|
|Sam Johnides||Guitar, Keyboard 2|
See also: List of Starkid Productions
A third entry in the Hatchetfield trilogy entitled Nerdy Prudes Must Die is in the works by Starkid. The book will be written by Nick and Matt Lang and the music/lyrics will be written by Jeff Blim once again. It was planned to be performed in 2020 but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the production has no affirmative date. It is unknown if any of the cast will return for the third show.