A new political pop musical comedy
for our fucked times
MORNING IN FREEDOMIA is a new musical comedy from creators, William Berlind and James Luria, about authoritarianism and resistance, greed and collectivism, family and individualism, and taking responsibility for ill-gotten privilege. It’s Book of Mormon meets Dr. Strangelove meets King Lear — a story that plumbs contemporary geo-political dystopia, but finds optimism, redemption and idealism, all set to a genre-spanning 80’s pop score.
Freedomia, a fictional former Soviet satellite in Eastern Europe, is on the brink of collapse. Longtime dictator, MORRIS, has just lost the support of the United States, his last ally and sole source of revenue. The country is broke. A corrupt Marxist rebel group is on the rise. Out of options, MORRIS turns to the unthinkable — (fake) elections. He'll install his teenage son, NICO, as president, and win back the American aid under the guise of democracy. The plan hits a snag, however, when MORRIS's older son, EDUARD, a socially inept zoologist, long in exile in America, decides — against his every inclination and aptitude — to jump into the fray to stave off humanitarian disaster, and announces his candidacy. Along the way, he encounters head-on his father's inhumanity — as well as his own complicity and elitism, finds love with NADIA, a pure-hearted revolutionary spy, and learns what true leadership looks like, and how to be a modern-day hero and ally.
The songs of freedomia!
Morning in Freedomia
Dictator Morris and his wife, Brandi, unveil their plans for a sham election to install their unhinged teenage son, Nico, as president. Eduard, Morris’s older, formerly estranged, nerdy scientist son, horrified by the prospect of Nico's ascension, announces his (unwelcome) intention to run against Nico.
The Hero's Journey
After a lifetime of avoidance and apathy, EDUARD decides to be the hero his country needs and run against Nico in the election. He gets himself all worked up and heroical.
Brandi’s defense of self-indulgence and decadence, and impassioned refutation of environmentalism, feminism and all morality. Sung to Nadia, Brandi’s idealistic indentured servant and revolutionary spy.
People Want to Live in Peace
Freedomian youth express their outrage at the conditions in which they live, and their hope for a better life. Sung by Nadia to Eduard.
Freedomia’s number one corrupt revolutionary leader, Guiding Light, explains his scorched-earth strategy and merciless vision for the future to his favorite spy, Nadia, with whom he’s eager to repopulate the world— after they’ve successfully scorched the earth .
Ministry of Pain
Nico, Eduard’s unhinged, teenage half-brother who’s head of the army, reveals that he’s on the brink of acquiring a nuclear missile, and his diabolical plan to use is it, scaring the bejesus out of Ed (and the audience!).
Nadia must choose between her growing feelings of love for Ed and her commitment to the revolution. In this age-old battle between the heart and mind, only one victor can emerge!
Listen to the Ants
Having unwittingly eaten drug-laced cookies, given to him by Nadia, Eduard has a spiritual awakening about the interconnectedness of all living things, and the importance of collectivism.
The Strongman Within
At the big political debate that closes the first act, Eduard embraces his political ambition -- and true ideals -- and publicly criticizes his father. In turn, Morris is visited by his mentors, the spirits of Stalin and Mao, who urge him to kill his son and retake power with a vengeance. An operatic battle of wills ensues.
Morris overturns the election results and takes power with unrestrained style, flair, and a backbeat.
Island of Love
After his father has stolen the election and banished him, Ed's had enough of politics, and asks Nadia to run away with him to somewhere faraway, where they can live on love.
During Morris’ bunga-bunga party celebrating his return to power, Brandi defends realpolitik of bartering sex for power.
When You Have a Son
Banished to the wilderness, following Nico's coup, Morris ponders the emotional rollercoaster of having a son.
Having escaped the palace in the nick of time, and on the cusp of declaring their mutual love, Nadia excoriates Eduard for his complicity with his father's regime.
The grand finale! Following Eduard's realization that he's not cut out to be a leader, Nadia takes power, much to everyone's relief, and inspires hope for a better future -- even in the face of nuclear apocalypse.
Take a Mulligan (for Donald Trump) BONUS TRACK
Once upon a time, America had a president who loved golf and lying (among other things). We wrote a song about him just 'cuz. But don't worry, he's not in the show.
Sand (for the Freedomian people) BONUS TRACK
A philosophical take on the meaning of freedom from a regular Freedomian as he watches sand blowing over the Black Sea.