The world premiere of The Loneliest Girl in the World is a creative and moving work that looks at an early period of the gay rights movement by paralleling the lives of two figures, Anita Bryant and Thom Higgins (just Tommy in the musical).
The show opens with the press conference in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1977, where Tommy threw a pie in Anita’s face. The next two scenes take the audience back to the 1959 Miss America pageant, where Anita was the second runner-up. A young Tommy watches the pageant on TV while baking a pie with his mother. These scenes sets Tommy’s fixation on Anita, who, in his imagination, sings and dances with him.
The rest of the musical alternates between Anita and Tommy, capturing key events and experiences in their lives: Anita’s marriage to the former disc-jockey Robert Green, who becomes her manager; Anita’s appearances in commercials; her thriving career in the music industry. Tommy’s moving to a new city; his growing awareness of his sexuality; his first awkward encounter with Kyle, his future boyfriend, highlighted by a musical number “Twin Bed.” [Read more…]