The Musical

Happy If Happy When is a full-length musical based on a true story, written and first performed by the family who lived it. The Book, Lyrics & Music are by Kimerer LaMothe. Music & Arrangements are by Geoffrey Gee

When two artists and their five children chase a dream of rural life, the farm they buy has its own ideas of what it wants them to be. And the farm is right.

Dreams are messy. Just like life.

ACT ONE: Two artists dream of leaving their city home and moving to the country (“Living Your Dream”). Their five children (Morgan, Jesse, Quinn, Jo, and Teddie) are fed up: why is it taking so long (“When”)? After squabbling with Dad, Mom’s back goes out (“Slowly”). Meanwhile, Jesse decides to take matters into their own hands, searches the internet, and finds an old farm for sale (“This Is It”). Teddie convinces Mom check out the listing (“Slowly”/”When” reprise), but Dad isn’t ready — until Mom persuades him to visit (“You Move Me”). After the visit, everyone is thrilled and making plans — except Quinn (“Everything I Need to Know”) — only to discover the farm they want is off the market (“Catch the Current”). Until it’s back on again. Quinn does not want to leave the city (“Future in Me”), but refuses to be left behind (“Never Stop Creating”). When the family arrives at the farm (“We Are Here”), the farm has its own ideas of what it wants them to be: farmers. Morgan feels the pull first (“Ghosts in the Barn”) and decides they need a cow. Jesse decides they need a horse; Jo some chickens; and Teddie, a duck (“Why Not?”). As their household expands, Mom and Dad quarrel. Jesse and Quinn argue and Quinn runs away (“Future in Me” reprise).

ACT TWO: After Jo and Teddie break Morgan’s new lathe and blame each other, Mom and Dad break into a fight (“No Dream of Mine”). Jesse runs in crying that their horse is missing – and so is Quinn. The family spreads out, desperate to find Quinn. In the woods, Jo and Teddie make up (“Copy Cat”); Jesse finds Quinn and apologizes (“Richer Am I”). Returning home, the kids bond over chore time (“Holy Cow!”), only to discover Jesse’s cat — dead. Quinn is the first to notice the cat had recently given birth. Quinn finds the kittens — and their own reason to stay on the farm. Mom and Dad realize that, amidst the chaos of farm life, they are creating the art they want to create (“Happy If – Happy When”). The musical ends as the family comes together: Living their dream was not what they expected and exactly what they needed (“Love Is”).

Where did the musical play?
December 27, 28, 29, 30, 2018. Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street, New York City. The LaMothe Gee Family performed five shows in this historic theatre.

September 5, 12, 19, 2018. New York New Works Theatre Festival, The Acorn, Theatre Row, New York City. The LaMothe Gee Family performed a 25-minute version of the show as part of a showcase for investors and producers.

July 26, 27, 28, 2018. Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, LATEA at the Clemente Theatre, New York City. This production featured the seven members of the LaMothe Gee Family, and a three-piece band including drums/violin, bass/guitar, and Geoffrey on piano.

July 21, 22, 23, 2017. Fort Salem Theater, Salem, NY, Artistic director Jay Kerr produced a three-show run that featured the seven members of the LaMothe Gee Family, and a four-piece band including drums, bass/guitar, violin, and Geoffrey on piano.

How did audiences respond?
“Your musical was so inspiring. uplifting and magnificent!!” – LP
“The music is breathtaking.” – JC
“Thank you for making such valuable, generous and rather spectacular work!” – SH
“The coordination and commitment and good will and communal creativity it took to create and bring this play to fruition are breathtaking.” — SH
“The musical was amazing. We were blown away by the music, the lyrics, the staging and the voices of all seven of you. How powerful and good and strong. As you know it all made me cry… You are a total inspiration.” — ST
“We couldn’t speak for about fifteen minutes after the show. We were so moved we would choke up when we tried to talk. What an incredible show … What a beautiful message… and what an amazing performance.” — TW
“The lyrics were fun and clever and the music was perfect.  I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed it. Congratulations on a perfect show.” — DT
“I SO enjoyed your show last night. Your story line and the music struck a note for all of us, whether a native or a transplant. The bottom line is to nurture and be stewards of the beautiful world we are in… You scored a winner!” — AC

The whole idea of a family performing a musical together was really inspired and in the end, just brilliant. You can really see and feel the bond that they all have with each other. The singing was honest and fascinating. . . The whole concept of the play was something quite genuine and creative. One might think that this is a vanity play with mediocre talent … nope. The acting, transcendent; the voices, marvelous. Even the two really young youngsters were exceptional. It’s quite unique to see such young talent on anything but a Broadway show, studio film or network TV. I’m dubious of musicals, but this one definitely made me reconsider my views and bring myself back for more.  – Mia Moreta,

The entire family/cast were exemplary and worked well off of each other – as well [they] should… We were offered catchy tunes – a throwback to the good old days of the American musical – sung well with some stunning harmonies. Kimerer LaMothe also showed herself to be a fine dancer. Happy If Happy When took an age-old art form and innovated it: A family musical for the whole family done by the family about the family so bring the family to see it! – Alexa Garcia, Outer Stage, Journal of independent stage and film reviews

How did it all begin?
Writing a musical was not something Kimerer ever thought she would do — until it was. In this blog post, written for Psychology Today, she talks about the process of coming to the realization that yes, it was time! Really, it’s all Hamilton‘s fault.
Happy If — Happy When: Why Write a Musical?

What was the creative process like?
Before writing the musical, Kimerer had played around with writing songs — mostly in the early years of her relationship with Geoffrey. But then life got busy and she stopped. Starting again has been such a pleasure! In this post she talks about her creative process. You got it. It involves moving… Running for a Song: Does Bodily Movement Enhance Creativity?

Any other questions? Let me know, leave a comment below!