Theatre / Turnabout Musical
aka: Phoenix Wright Musical Project

"So, will this Phoenix take flight off the ground?
I'll soar with glory, my story will be renowned!
Now, let's get this trial underway!
My courtroom premier!
I will persevere!
I'm here on this clear
August day!"
Phoenix Wright, "August Day"

Back in 2007, there was an idea posted on the Court Records forum. Said idea then exploded into a revolution, which quickly gained its own website, which can be found here.

Turnabout Musical is a fan-made musical based on Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It follows the story of the first game, and the writers have tried to adapt it as faithfully as possible. The complete soundtrack (with the exception of the final song, "Dawn of a New Trial") is available on the project's website.

On December 18, 2016, the group Nostalgification performed a truncated version of the musicalnote  and posted it to their YouTube channel. You can see the final multicam edit with full credits here.

Matthew Taranto (TriforceBun) is the voice of Phoenix Wright, major songwriter and composer for the project and has since become the creator and head writer of Brawl in the Family as well as creating and releasing a musical video game, Tadpole Treble. Lucia Lobosvilla (Pleading Eyes), the project co-head and voice of Maya Fey, wrote for Avatar: The Last Puppetbender and has since gone on to create an original audio drama.

The project was a massive undertaking and involved many dedicated and talented fans and friends to create the original show for the web format. With a total of no less than nineteen songwriters, many of whom wore multiple hats in the other creative departments on the project. Some of them contributed to as few as one or two songs, but others help to define the show's sound, such as TriforceBun.

It has inspired the Ghost Trick Musical, which is officially the sister project of this, the Apollo Justice Musical, an unrelated production based on the fourth game in the series, and the Rise From The Ashes Musical, a further unrelated production based on the fifth case of the first game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

This colossal waste of time provides examples of:

  • Accent Adaptation: Several characters are given an accent to reflect their personality. April May is given a Joisey accent, where Redd White dons the stereotypical, upper-crust snob accent peppered all over American media.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Averted, the musical is approximately as long as the game.
    • Played straight with case 3, which is condensed from three days to two.
  • Age Lift: In the live version, Penny Nichols is aged down for a cameo as Cody Hackins' classmate in August Day.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: It's a musical of the first Ace Attorney game.
  • Artistic License Geography: Done intentionally with Redd White - he claims that the statue in his office is a Paris original from Canada, and that he loves "the mountain with the Presidents' heads" and the "big tower that leans to the side" there.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Steel Samurai Song mentions a Princess Yume-Hime whose dreams can predict the future. "Yume" means dream" and "hime" means princess, so her name becomes "Princess Dream Princess."
  • The Cameo: Penny Nichols, who otherwise doesn't appear in the third case (in-universe she's taking time off for school) is in August Day.
  • Canon Foreigner: Belinda Dubois, Grossberg's secretary, is musical-exclusive, as is Princess Yume-Hime.
  • Counterpoint Duet: Done several times:
    • "Make It Right" between Phoenix and Maya.
    • "I'll Be There" between Phoenix and Maya again.
    • "The Way Things Were" between Oldbag and Gumshoe.
    • "The Samurai Always Wins" has a counterpoint quintet between Phoenix, Cody, Edgeworth, Powers, and the Judge.
    • "Alone" has a trio between Phoenix, Maya, and Edgeworth.
    • "Lotta Things" between Lotta and Phoenix.
    • "It's Gotta Be the Butz!" has a trio between Larry, Edgeworth, and von Karma.
    • "600,000 Volts" has a trio between Phoenix, Maya, and von Karma.
    • "Tomorrow, at Last" has three: Maya and Mia, Phoenix and Maya, the crowd and several characters in succession.
    • "Justice for All (Reprise)" has two: von Karma and Mia, Phoenix and Mia.
  • Cultural Translation: It's based on the USA localization.
  • Darker and Edgier: A minor example, but the musical adds lines that would never be allowed in the games, for example:
    Gumshoe: You can call him Missile, he'll find any drugs or clues you need!
    Phoenix: Well, he should come in handy if the Gourd Lake Monster's been smoking weed.
    • In "600,000 Volts", Manfred von Karma makes several threats to kill Phoenix and Maya if they don't hand over a piece of evidence, the most notable being "The trial is ending/Now your life's depending/On lending that parchment you see" and "You ought to know better/Now hand me that letter/Lest you watch your girlfriend be slain". It's especially dark when one remembers what he's actually done before, and then Fridge Horror sets in.
  • Defrosting Ice King: It's even more evident with Edgeworth here than in the original game, where he stopped being antagonistic but his personality was otherwise mostly unchanged. At the end of the musical, when the gang is celebrating and are approached with the bill, everyone (except Phoenix) calls "Not it" on paying - Edgeworth included, who then proceeds to playfully chide a protesting Nick about how calling such is "infallible".
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Princess Yume-Hime's dreams can predict the future. "Yume" means dream" and "hime" means princess, so her name becomes "Princess Dream Princess."
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Despite her first canonical appearance being Justice for All, Maggey Byrde shows up alongside Gumshoe during the first song and is mentioned by him later on.
    • Furio Tigre also pops up in the same song, despite not appearing until Trials and Tribulations in the game. His hair is down and he's wearing a fedora, but he slicks his hair back into spikes when he sees Phoenix.
    • Dustin Prince, also from Justice for All, appears as the court bailiff.
    • Lana Skye and Mike Meekins, both from Rise From the Ashes, the game's bonus fifth case, have cameo appearances.
    • In the spoof song "It's Gotta Be The Insanity", Moe (from Justice for All) and Godot (from Trials and Tribulations) both appear.
  • Eureka Moment: Twice near the end of "Lotta Things", Phoenix says something involving sight or seeing, then has an epiphany—first, that Lotta having claimed to have clearly seen Edgeworth constituted a new testimony that he could cross-examine when the Judge was about to give a verdict, and then when he realizes she couldn't have seen him clearly.
  • Evil Laugh: Redd White gives out a maniacal cackle at the end of "Redd White and You". Manfred von Karma uses a deeper, more menacing variety in "Anything to Win" and "600,000 Volts (Out of My Way)".
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Winston Payne, although it's not much worse than his usual voice.
  • Hypocrite: In "Justice For All (Reprise)", von Karma accuses Phoenix of having used any dirty tactics possible to win. This being after Phoenix jumps through nine million hoops to work around von Karma's own dirty tactics and use legitimate evidence to make his points.
    • Granted the accusation probably isn't driven any belief that his opponent cheating would've been wrong, just that catching him in the act would win him the trial.
  • Ignored Epiphany: "Decree of the Prosecutor" has Edgeworth pause and consider his actions, as well as how justified he is in his all-guilty record. He ultimately decides that the ends justify the means, since putting all suspects in jail is the safest thing to do, so he can ensure other families don't go through what he did.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Payne: You should just walk out that door!
    [Mia and Phoenix leave].
  • Large Ham: EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER. It's a musical based on Phoenix Wright, it's to be expected.
  • Living Statue: The live version has Redd's Bluecorp statue played by an actor, billed as the Surprisingly Movable Statue.
  • Mood Whiplash: 'Reawakening' goes from Phoenix's pride over winning his first case and imagining his future working with Mia to finding her dead body in her office.
  • Movie Bonus Song: The live version got Who Killed Gregory Edgeworth, incorporating lyrics from "The Price of Failure" as well.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Taken even further than the source material.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: A comment made by Maya during "Make It Right" ("You were just singing his praises. Literally. Singing.") indicates the Alternate Universe Hypothesis applies here.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Anything To Win has a Latin chorus in the background as von Karma introduces himsef and his philosophy.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Used in most scenes associated with von Karma, especially his songs:
    • Used throughout "Anything to Win", giving the song a powerful, etheral tone, fitting for how von Karma is described as - and acts like - a god.
    • Used very creatively in "600,000 Volts/Out of My Way" at the ending, where an organ plays some dramatic chords, accompanied by the sound of von Karma's stun gun, which sounds like thunder. In the last chord, the organ and thunder sounds are joined by his Evil Laugh for terrifying effect.
    • A brief snippet of "Anything to Win" is played on an organ during the Overture.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Oftentimes Phoenix. Take 'The Samurai Always Wins', for example:
    Cody: And I stood nearby when the Samurai shot lasers from his eyes.
    Phoenix: Wait, what?
    Cody: And he flew up high, reaching to the sky— a bright metallic sheen!
    Phoenix: Oh boy...
    • Which is followed by this:
    Phoenix: Cody, what kind of murderer uses a 'Samurai Slap'? Or, for that matter, shoots lasers from his eyes?
    • Surprisingly, the Judge of all people has shades of this.
    • "A Guy You Can Trust" almost entirely consists of Phoenix applying logic to Gumshoe's ridiculous ideas (specifically, thinking a drug-detection dog, a fishing pole, and a metal detector would be at all useful in catching a lake monster).
    Phoenix: We're looking for a monster, not change in someone's pants!
    Gumshoe: Well, you never know, pal! It may have been eating soda cans!
    Phoenix: Of course!
  • Punk in the Trunk: Referenced by Wendy Oldbag in "The Way Things Were"
    What would you know/ You disrespectful punk?/ Back in my day, if you talked like that/ We'd lock you in a trunk!
  • Reprise Medley: "Dawn of a New Trial", which reprises "Justice for All", "Make It Right", "Decree of the Prosecutor", "I'll Be There", and "The Objection Song".
  • Running Gag: Any time Phoenix mentions Grossberg's past he launches into the gag song "The Scent of Fresh Lemons." The second time has it happen as a homonym for "passed," while the third time is initiated by Grossberg himself.
  • Say My Name: "And we'll meet again, PHOENIX WRIGHT!!!"
  • Self-Serving Memory: Oldbag's rosy picture of Jack Hammer isn't how things went at all, which she admits to Phoenix and Maya later.
  • Shout-Out: In the December 2016 live performance, Larry pulls out a top hat and a cane at the end of It's Gotta Be The Butz, in reference to the Storyboard version created eight years previously.
  • Sinister Tango Music: Dee Vasquez's testimony song, "Battle of Wits," is in the form of a tango.
  • The Something Song: "The Objection Song"
  • Song Parody: There are a few "official" parodies of the songs from this musical, mostly written by TriforceBun. These include:
    • "It's Gotta Be the Insanity!", a parody of "It's Gotta Be the Butz!"
    • "The Objuicy Song", a parody of "The Objection Song"
    • "I'll Be There, Pal!", a parody of "I'll Be There"
    • "Franzy's Decree," a parody of "Decree of the Prosecutor."
    • He also wrote a song about the project itself called "Circle of Tri". Three guesses what song it parodies.
  • Southern Gentleman: Grossberg and Yanni Yogi are this in the live version.
  • Stylistic Suck: The Rookie Killer, The Scent Of Fresh Lemons and Pasta Shop are deliberately silly gag songs.
  • That Was Objectionable: Said word for word by Edgeworth (naturally, as he is the Trope Namer) when, for the first time, Phoenix makes a point that Edgeworth can't counter.
  • The Song Before the Storm: Tomorrow, at Last, which takes place on the night before the final battle between Phoenix Wright and Manfred von Karma.
  • Villain Song: Quite a few:
    • Redd White gets the catchy, glitzy Redd White and You, which starts out with Redd describing how well-loved he is. When Redd realizes that Phoenix is on to him, the lyrics become much darker, as Redd gloats about how powerful he is due to his wealth and publicity, and how Phoenix, being merely a rookie lawyer, doesn't stand a chance against him.
    • While he is brought down from villain status very soon afterwards, Decree of the Prosecutor can be considered one for Miles Edgeworth. It starts with him questioning his own motives and whether his methods are justifiable and ends with him affirming that he had never been in the wrong and vowing to bring down Phoenix Wright himself.
    • Manfred von Karma gets two: Anything to Win, in which he sings about how he despises people in general, believing that they are all criminals, and how he wishes to put them all behind bars. Like "Redd White and You", this song also contains a fair amount of gloating about the singer's power. He also has 600,000 Volts/Out of My Way, when he confronts Phoenix and Maya with a stun gun, and knocks them unconscious so he can take away the incriminating evidence they found. The song's lines are spread out pretty evenly between the three characters, but by the end of the song, only von Karma is left, gloating once again.
    • Winston Payne tries to do one with The Rookie Killer, but it doesn't work out so well for him.
  • World of Ham: To be expected. After all, it's a musical based on Ace Attorney.

Alternative Title(s): Phoenix Wright Musical Project