R.L. Merrill’s Top Five Musicals – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes R.L. Merrill, who is celebrating today’s release of Hurricane Reese.

R.L. Merrill’s Top Five Musicals –
(In no particular order because playing favorites is no fair)
Hurricane Reese features a pop musician who becomes a Broadway smash with his first musical, Ruby in Red Plaid, and decides to take some time off with his beloved grandfather who played piano for Frank Sinatra in the 1960s. The musical Reese ends up writing details an important event in his grandfather’s life, which turns out to be a little different than Reese had been led to believe. I’ve always loved musicals and dancing, and while rock and metal music has featured prominently in all of my work so far, this book gave me the opportunity to explore my more theatrical side. I helped choreograph musicals in my first years of teaching, performed in a college production of Kiss Me, Kate, and worked with show choirs for years, so this part of the story was a lot of fun to write.

1. Hair

Hair has some of the best songs ever. I fell in love with the show in college when a date took me to see a performance in Des Moines. I bought the soundtrack, listened to it non-stop, and I still sing it all the time. I was such a hippie anyway at that time in my life, well in dress and in political/social leanings, it just appealed to me. Plus, I was all about my long blonde natural hair then, haha. Not anymore. I cut it off when I got pregnant 17 years ago and I’ve never looked back. Now it’s pink!

2. Silk Stockings

I was a dancer from age 3 to 17. Tap, jazz, and hula. I absolutely loved everything to do with dancing, and Cyd Charisse was my idol. Her and Cynthia Rhodes were everything. I wanted to dance like them, I wanted to be them for a long time. But Silk Stockings I love not only for the dancing, but also as a child of the Cold War era, I loved this lighthearted take on the Soviet conflict and how love could cross even the stodgiest of boundaries. And Fred Astaire. Come on…

3. Phantom of the Opera

My stepmother and grandmother took me to see Phantom in San Francisco when I was a teenager and I was blown away. Never had I gotten such chills from listening to song. I’ve always been a horror fan and one who loved the villain more than the hero quite often, and so I always rooted for the Phantom and longed for an alternate ending where Christine remains with the Music Of The Night…

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This brilliant story of a street musician and the flower-seller who becomes his muse was so sweet, but the music ripped my heart out. The film version with Glen Hansard in all of his ginger beauty singing his heart out and Marketa Irglova’s pure voice singing a plea to the man who left her… Oh, the feels.

5. Singin’ in the Rain

Gene Kelly. Need I say more? The master himself pokes fun at himself in this one while falling in love with the adorable Debbie Reynolds. The acrobatic Make em Laugh, the Cyd Charisse number, and “Moses supposes his toeses were roses, but Moses supposes erroneously…” I did a tap solo to Singin’ in the Rain as a kid that I’m told was pretty special, so yeah, it’s been a favorite for a long time.

Tony award-winning musician Reese Matheson’s life resembles a natural disaster, and caregiver Jude De La Torre is caught in the eye of the storm. Can the love these two opposites find together survive caring for an ornery octogenarian with wayward balls and a meddling family insistent upon tradition?

A public break-up is not what Reese expects upon returning from the successful run of his musical in London. All he wants to do is spend time with his beloved grandfather and musical mentor, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Reese knows he doesn’t have much time left before the elder Matheson doesn’t remember him. In classic “Hurricane Reese” form, he moves into the cottage by the sea, displacing Jude, the intriguing caregiver he’d hired two years before. When Grandpa proves too much for Reese to handle on his own, Jude comes to his rescue, taming Grandpa… and the Hurricane as well. Soon all Reese can think about is how to get Jude out of his scrubs and into his bed. Permanently. Will Hurricane Reese destroy everything in its wake, or will this gay odd couple learn to harmonize together?

About the Author:Once upon a time… a teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock ’n’ roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. Several self-published books and a debut gay romance with Dreamspinner Press later, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real life and happily ever after. She writes stories set in the places she loves most, such as Hollywood, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Northern California—and Iowa. Ro also loves connecting with other authors online, at the annual Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, and chapter meetings for the Romance Writers of America, of which she’s been a member since 2014.

A sucker for underdogs, Ro has adopted a wide variety of pets including cats, dogs, rats, a snake and fish. Her love of horror is evident the moment you walk in her door and find yourself surrounded by decorative skulls and quirky artwork from around the world. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, educating America’s youth, being a mom taxi to two busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or head banging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Readers Group | Spotify
Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press or Amazon.
Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2001762376761722/
Spotify Playlist Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/rlmerrillauthor/playlist/79BaPjDRZXUwVr5tPI9FNC

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