If the title of this project by Ken Howard, Los Angeles songwriter, producer, social worker, and sex therapist, sounds like a musical, it definitely is.
Howard, who wrote the music, and libretto and produced this project has been working on it since 2015, and had to involve a huge and varied cast of collaborators to make it work.
Working with a large cast is only one of the things that can turn into an obstacle to producing an effective, listenable musical. The second could be the subject matter.
Howard, and his libretto collaborator Malcolm Heenman, based their story on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” (Howard’s adaptation) and gave it a specific LGBT theme, something Howard has an extensive experience as a social worker and sex therapist.
Howard and his collaborators give the lyrics and libretto an extensive social commentary, substituting **Shaw’**s social commentary and critique about social classes and the status of women in Edwardian London being judged by the manner of their speech in “Pygmalion” with the proliferation of Hollywood superhero movies, combined with the pervasive notion that gay men in West Hollywood are too-often judged for their social status by way of the aesthetics of their physique.
Still, the whole project might not have worked well if the musical part was not up to par, and there Howard’s heritage and musical experience with musicals played its part, as he is the great-nephew of actress Esther Howard, prominent in Broadway musicals of the 1920’s such as “Sunny” (Kern), and is the great-grandson of music director J. William Howard II (“My Marilyn,” “Blossom Time,” “The Student Prince”).
And whatever the case is, On The Boulevard, which awaits production of its first commercial theatrical staging, works.