Frankie! The musical is a coming of age musical which truly represents the people and their families of the twenty-first century. It’s writer Elise Marra is only aged 16 years old making her one of the youngest writers to get a full-scale musical represented by a major record label. Elise is clearly insanely talented and proves how young people should not be overlooked just because of their age and how the future of musical theatre is in trusted hands. Frankie! Follows a teenage lesbian (called Frankie) who feels trapped in her role caring for her younger sibilants as a result of an emotionally absent mother while also dealing with accepting herself and relationship. This all makes the musical a soundtrack perfect to listen to especially during pride month, not only is this musical that represents lgbt+ youth but additionally presents them as normal everyday people instead of over-the-top Caricature which can only help normalise LGBT representation for any viewers. Not only this but it empowers any young people who have felt overlooked by the older generation. Apparently, the musical was inspired by one of Elise’s classmates who endured a difficult childhood. Listening to the soundtrack comprising of 10 out of the 17 songs from the musical you wouldn’t be able to tell that this musical was written by a young person due to its real-world and serious nature of the entire show.
This musical contains one of the best openings to a musical I have ever heard! The song Take a deep breath (reprise)/ keep it all together manages the perfectly captures the stress and angst of teenage life in general which is only added by the added pressure of being an LGBT youth. This song creates the momentum of the show which is only exaggerated by the key lyric “am I happy?” which is both reflective of Frankie’s current but also imitates the momentum/sense of change required for the rest of the rest and its narrative. The following number “Take A Breath” managed to perfectly portray the chaotic nature of Frankie’s life caring for family members. Caitlin Kinnunen who sings the part of Frankie in this musical is an insanely talented performer who posses a heavenly voice that I could listen to over and over again. Her singing with this soundtrack is phenomenal and helps to balance the fun but also the more emotional moments in this show.
The number titled “Come To This Dance” has a sense of energy and fun that transcends the album and entered the listener’s hearts. This joy is infectious that fills up the audience and gets stuck in their mind. The ostinato (a repeating musical motif) is very repetitive and doesn’t change throughout which does become somewhat annoying about halfway through the song. A highlight for me is the song titled “Your Home” which is an insanely emotional song. This song is sung by Frankie (which would normally be enough) but it is also sung to her adopted sibling which only makes it that much more moving. When this song is performed live, I can guarantee that the entire audience will be in floods of tears. Having a representation of a non-conventional family that also has an LGBT+ sibling can only benefit people who are apart of families that many would consider as ’unusual’ or strange. The final track in this musical is titled ”Hey Now” which is a fun and uplifting musical number that, if you have read any of my blogs, I find is the perfect way to end a musical as it allows the audience to finish the album/end the performance with a positive mindset. Despite all the hardships Frankie faces throughout the musical, the show ends with a positive message about how far she has progressed which again is empowering for the audience.
Overall, this is an emotional and powerful musical that is extremely modern and represents many people that are often ignored by mainstream media. The icing of this cake is that the show is written by a young person who based the entire show on one of her friends which is incredible! I would rate this musical as 4 and a half stars out of 5 and encourage everyone to remember that The Future Is Frankie!