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Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 -- Ukulele Land

I'll be publishing the readers' edition of the book and lyrics for my musical comedy Ukulele Land (originally titled Sex! Drugs! & Ukuleles!) as soon as the final proof reading is complete. It will be available through and my web site.

Here are some quotes from the reviews of the 2008 production that will appear as part of the book version:

“Never has a musical been so infectiously delightful . . . with jazz legend and ragtime scholar Terry Waldo’s amazing compositions, choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall’s campy moves and a cast and chorus that are irresistibly charming in each and every scene, the joy was contagious. . . A spoof on the music industry, our increasingly corporate culture . . . a camp tour-de-force that manages, somehow, to also be steeped in American roots music.”
Rayhané S. Sanders, Show Business Weekly

"It has been a very long time since I've had as much fun at a musical as I had at [Ukulele Land] . . . I was also unexpectedly touched. And I was thrilled . . .  . we can't help but listen and, perhaps, become enlightened and enlarged  . . The plot effectively reminds us of the need to be true to ourselves and to question any kind of arbitrary authority, without ever feeling polemical or hackneyed and certainly without resorting to either irony or scare tactics. The activist spirit . . . is strong and authentic, yet it is very gentle. . . . the sometimes pointed, sometimes poetic, always honest lyrics by Jackson, are charming and infectious.”
Martin Denton,

". . . this show is this year's jewel in the crown . . . charms with ease, rightly wearing its limited ambitions as a badge of honor: to provide a little musical entertainment in a troubled world."
Christopher Murray, Back Stage

" The show is set against the backdrop of a pharmacological dystopia in which The Corporation mandates people take drugs for ailments like sexual desire and the Love Police hunt down illegal monogamous lovers. . . . The mash-up commentary on our overmedicated culture, corporate dominance and ignorance of love and art is a big mandate for the play.  Lines like "If this ain't love, Jesse James was a girl" and "Chemical emancipation - that's the new gyration" punctuate its songs with a goofiness that relieves some of that burden. . . . the playful strumming and the endearing innocence of the characters, who dub sex with a loved one 'monogomation', left a mostly optimistic feeling . . . And damned if I wasn't whistling the kitschy, plucky refrain on my way out of the theater."
"...take a blue bit of sky, put it in your pocket..."
Emily Meredith,                    

“When drug companies take over the world , sex is illegal, so is failure to take your drugs. . . . retro romantic comedy of the future . . . nostalgically inspired lyrics by Jackson particularly "Good Music," "Ukulele Land" . . . it’s a Hoot! . . . delightful . . .”
Dan Kassell, Jazz Journalist Association, on

"Finally, the poodle of the guitar world gets some respect when a plucky band of ukulele strummers defy the authorities in the music deprived, sexless future of Uke Jackson (book and lyrics) and composer Terry Waldo’s dystopian musical comedy."
Time Out NY


  1. I kinda like the idea that I'm playing "the poodle of the guitar world."

  2. Me too, HH! Good to hear from you!