A new musical by Michael Bitterman
THE CELLAR deals with mature themes, namely, the sexual fetishes of five characters who represent the thousands of fetishists throughout the world who feel guilty for their obsessions. These are people you probably know and see every day of your lives but are unaware of THE CELLAR they are forced to live in because "society and the law" frown on them.
Listen to songs from The Cellar
Through the past 5 years of research I've learned the following things about these fetishists and the hundreds of fetishes they represent:
1) Noone chooses a fetish. They aren't born with this. Something happens to them when they're a child-a particular incident-usually before they are 10.
2) It is not restricted to "straight" or "gay" people but it's almost a 50/50 split. There are as many women as there are men that have fetishes.
3) Their fetishes are their obsessions and they live with them 24 hours a day. When they wake up in the middle of the night, they think about them-they're fetishes are almost always on their minds.
4) They can get turned on easier than "non-fetishists" almost at an instant thought.
5) Despite all of this, if any of them could snap a finger or say a magic word and have their obsession taken away-none of them would do it. They all feel they would lose something very special.
The CELLAR is that hidden room inside all of us where we keep hidden all those secrets that we never show or tell. From the way we appear on the outside, one can never tell that we even have a CELLAR inside of us.
I believe we all have one and we keep not just our secret hopes and dreams, but our private fantasies as well.
To strive for making our hopes and dreams come alive and become a reality is what life is all about. What else is there to life but to try to make our dreams come true?
We want to be loved. We want a family. We want to be appreciated and respected for what we do. We want to be successful. We want to be famous. We want to be rich-or just comfortable.
We do whatever we can to achieve these goals. In many cases we can make these things happen-not always to the fullest degree that we'd like-but we learn to accept and sometimes that's enough.
These hopes and dreams that we all have are not that secret. We all want them-we don't have to go around telling people about them.
However, there are fantasies we have that we never tell-they are deep down inside of us and have nothing to do with wanting to be loved, or being rich or being famous. They are fetishes-they are in a dark side of us-they are sexual associations. We become another person when we enter the CELLAR and fall into the world of these fetishes-we live out in our minds these role-playing fantasies or sometimes we can even make them come alive-to become a reality.
THE CELLAR focuses on 8 characters-all with different fetishes. We visit their daydreams of searches for love, wealth, success, etc. We also visit their CELLAR and peek into their private world.
THE CELLAR is all sung and is performed without an intermission. Each of the characters get so caught up in their cellar-they become obsessed with these fantasies and can not function with ease throughout their days. By the end-most of them have attained most of their dreams-one meets a lover-perhaps a family for him will happen; one achieves success; one receives a great deal of money, etc. Even after they have achieved some of their dreams, they still find a need to visit the CELLAR -maybe not as much as they used to, but they realize it's ok, once in a while, to go down to the CELLAR.
A previous musical I wrote, CLUB CAR, was a pop opera that dealt with people and their daydreaming. It took place on the club car of a commuter train. CLUB CAR was about the normal daydreams that we have which are often positive. THE CELLAR takes CLUB CAR one light year further. It is a difficult and scary piece to me and will take a director with great vision to make it work. I believe no piece is taboo for the musical theater as long as it is treated sincerely - a barber who cuts throats of his customers, chops them up, throws them in the oven, bakes them into pies and sells them? A musical about the people who assassinated U.S. presidents? Surely Stephen Sondheim has broken all ground so hopefully no producer will fear a musical that is a sincere attempt to show people from the inside.
What else is theatre and art if not to show the true human condition?
Would you like to continue on down to THE CELLAR?
THE CELLAR was copyrighted in 1990 by Michael Bitterman.All rights reserved.