ALL THE MORE TO LOVE is a funny and personal new musical based on a real-life clothing consignment store of the same name in Alameda, ca. The store is a safe haven for plus-sized women and – since they’re the same size – some male cross-dressers. The owner, Erna, leads a one-woman campaign to fight the tyranny of society’s notion that “you can never be too thin,” or that ‘different’ can’t be beautiful. Thus, her shop becomes a place of magic where her clients blossom into glamour and love. A spinster becomes the star of her own MGM musical, an oil rigger gets in touch with his sensitive side, an opera diva gets revenge on those who won't let the fat lady sing, and a diet dropout becomes enshrined in an impressionist masterpiece. No one leaves "All the More to Love" the same. The musical celebrates a beauty deeper than anything TV or the magazines sell. Part review, part traditional “book” show- and with a range of musical styles, from country to gospel and opera, this musical is as unique as the store’s customers.
Marc Jacobs- book, Marion Adler- lyrics
Appropriately, All the More to Love started at a party! A 50th birthday celebration to be precise - where composer Craig Bohmler met the host’s delightful fiancé Jenny and her mother Erna. Throughout the evening they entertained Craig with stories about the consignment store for plus-sized ladies that they owned and ran in Almeda, California. The name of the store? All The More to Love, of course! The stories? Hilarious, surprising, heartwarming and heartbreaking. Craig came home and lay awake all night.
This was his next musical. He knew it.
With the team of Marion Adler (lyrics) and Marc Jacobs (book), the show began to take shape. Initially, a satire on the diet and beauty industry, All The More To Love soon began to morph into something …more. The show became about living large, redefining beauty, exploring new selves and discarding stereotypes - opening up to the “more” we have to love, in one another and in ourselves.
Craig and Marion have had a long time relationship with both the Laguna Playhouse and the Phoenix Theatre, and when they pitched the project, Laguna Playhouse offered to fund it. Unfortunately, the economy prevented the Playhouse from premiering this new work, so the Phoenix Theatre jumped at the chance to give its premiere in April 2010. This work is supported by an Edgerton grant for new works and was part of Phoenix Theatre's New Plays Festival in July of 2008.
SETTING: The action occurs yesterday in a clothing consignment store for large-sized women and the occasional cross-dresser and drag queen. It should be clear from the set that this is a place where magic can happen; realism is not encouraged. There are 2 curtained changing booths upstage on either side of a mirror. The mirror can become transparent and fly out to reveal a slip stage, which can move forward with various settings on it. There are clothing racks that characters can appear from or disappear into.
CAST: At the premiere, All the More to Love was done with 2 Men and 4 Women. In the show the actors play a total of 29 roles. One woman played Erna, the other actors all played multiple customers. The show can easily accommodate more than the 6 actor minimum.
COSTUMES: Costumes must facilitate frequent fast changes while still clearly delineating the different characters.
ORCHESTRA- Piano/conductor, Bass (upright and electric-1 player), Percussion, Cello, Reed (Flute/Sax/Cl-1 player) 5 players total.