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Theatre / Brooklyn

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"I never cared for money and I never cared for fame.
I only came to Brooklyn to find the meaning of my name."

A musical with book, lyrics, and music by Mark Schoenfeld and Barrie McPherson. It premiered on Broadway in 2004 and ran for 284 performances.

The plot focuses on the story of Brooklyn, the daughter of Faith, an aspiring Parisian dancer, and Taylor, an aspiring musician from New York. Taylor is called away from Paris suddenly, leaving behind Faith and (unknown to him) his unborn daughter. Faith raises Brooklyn, so named for her father's hometown, and becomes a famous dancer, but, unable to get over her depression and the loss of Taylor, hangs herself onstage one night.

Brooklyn is sent to a convent to be raised. While there, she discovers that she is a gifted vocalist and becomes a star. Now a famous singer, she travels to New York in search of her father and the meaning of her name. Upon arriving in Brooklyn, she is drawn into a competition with American star Paradice, meets a homeless street musician called the Streetsinger who helps her dreams come true, and is finally reunited with her father, a drug-addicted Vietnam veteran unable to deal with his PTSD.


Provides Examples Of:

  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: Averted.
  • Arc Words
  • Audience Monologue: Much of the cast indulges at one point or another. There's a particularly spectacular one in the middle of "Superlover":
    Paradice: Now, as far as losing innocence, America, you lost yours long before I came on the scene. And no little Virgin Mary from gay Paris is gonna bring it back to ya. I mean 'give me you tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.' You ain't no melting pot... you a crock! A country of immigrants and you all hate immigrants. White hate black, black hate Jew, and you all hate anyone new! And you think your kids don’t see that? I mean, we’ve got crack on the streets. And, brother, I know you got a coupla six-packs in your fridge and, baby, get yourself to AA 'cause I can smell the liquor on your breath from here. And you think your kids don’t see that? Oh, and let's not kid ourselves, America, you sometimes go to war just 'cause it's good for the old pocketbook. And AIDS...? Sounds like genocide to me. I mean, you got priests raping little boys, you got third graders walking to school with crayons in one hand and an AK-47 in the other. Well you look at me, America, you look at me and you look at me good! You see, you created me. And I am nothin' if not a true blue, red-blooded, home-grown, pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps American hero!
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  • Distant Duet: "Christmas Makes Me Cry", for Faith and Taylor.
  • Driven to Suicide: Faith, via intense depression.
  • Flash Back: To Taylor's time in the military.
  • Framing Device: A group of street musicians put on a play for passerby.
  • Freudian Excuse: Paradice never knew her dad, either, and her older sister became a prostitute in junior high to help feed the family.
  • Ghost Song: "Creating Once Upon A Time", for Faith.
  • "I Am" Song: "Brooklyn In The Blood"
  • Lampshade Hanging: Mostly as part of the framing device; the cast tells the audience what characters they're playing, child!Brooklyn assures the audience she'll grow up soon, etc.
  • Magical Negro: The Streetsinger.
  • Meaningful Echo
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Brooklyn is named for her father's hometown, the only thing her mother knew about him.
    • Brooklyn's mother, who after committing suicide offers advice from beyond the grave to her daughter, is named Faith.
    • Paradice. So named because she was born with a pair of dice in her hand.
  • My Nayme Is: Paradice is very clear about the 'c' in her name.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: You'll notice Faith and Brooklyn, ostensibly Parisian natives, speak with no trace of a French accent.
  • Parental Abandonment: Taylor leaves Paris before Faith can tell him she's pregnant, then Faith kills herself when Brooklyn is young. Brooklyn's hopeful attempts to find her father set up the whole plot.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: The reason Taylor never returned to Paris (and Faith).
  • Underdogs Never Lose: subverted. Brooklyn and the Streetsinger give the performance of their lives at the singoff, but America votes Paradice the winner and Brooklyn goes back to Paris
  • Unreliable Narrator: At the end, it's revealed that the Streetsinger is actually Taylor, Brooklyn's father, and that he never made it up to his daughter as he did in the play. And, of course, in the play, he portrays Brooklyn's fairy-godfather-figure.


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