A two-man musical by Stephen Dolginoff, based on the real-life teenage "thrill killers" Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, who murdered a twelve-year-old boy in 1924 Chicago pretty much just to prove that they could. The story is told by Leopold at his parole hearing years later, as he attempts to show the parole board that he was only going along with Loeb, his lover and best friend. (The real Leopold was successful in his attempt to be released, as he is in the end of the show, and lived an uneventful life as a florist after marrying a woman on the outside.) Three cast recordings have been released.
(If the author is reading this, the fan album is now cancelled and no further action in that direction will be taken, and no disrespect was intended. Thank you for your contact, sir.)
The score is notable for its spareness- two singers and a piano, though the piano arrangement was made more delicate and complex for the 2006 production. This remains the official version.
This work includes examples of:
- Beware the Superman: How Nathan and Richard want to be seen.
- Black and Gray Morality: Both boys are eminently screwed up, but Nathan is presented as merely hapless and troubled, and seems a lot like just a desperate, needy teenager who probably just could have benefited from a few generous heaps of therapy; while Richard is played as pure charismatic sociopath, except for being unnervingly childish and unable to show much emotion beyond fear and giddy joy when he's not being frighteningly calm.
- BSOD Song: "Afraid", when Richard's shrunken conscience finally kicks in and he has a severe Freak Out.
- Cain and Abel: Richard's original plan is to kill his brother John. He has a frightening number of possible methods already under consideration, including "make it look like rape".
- Dissonant Serenity: Richard, a lot of the time.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Richard, according to Nathan.
- Final Love Duet: "Life Plus 99 Years" is a fittingly twisted version.
- Ho Yay: Come for the psychological insight and emotional manipulation. Stay for the actors making out in 1920s costumes.
- Love Makes You Crazy and Evil.
- The Masochism Tango
- Nietzsche Wannabe: The boys' crimes are inspired by their love of Nietzsche's works and consider themselves supermen.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Richard, when he's in crime-planning mode.
- Teens Are Monsters
- Villain Song: Everything in the score after "Everybody Wants Richard", and especially "Roadster."
- Whole Episode Flashback: The story is narrated by Nathan years later.
- Wretched Hive: Richard sees Chicago as one of these, and figures they won't get caught because there are loads of other criminals that can be blamed for the murder. He's wrong about the second part, but Chicago was monstrously corrupt and crime-ridden in the Prohibition era. (See Public Enemies, Chicago, and The Untouchables.)