Part of the SHORT MUSICALS NOW COLLECTION
Book & music by Joel Esher, book & lyrics by Blair Bodine
Superhots! takes place in a fictional town in Texas where the sun is hot, but the salsa's hotter. This comedic 10-minute musical looks at the politics of competitive hot pepper growing in a small town. The organic farmer, Taylor, wants to win the heart of the local restaurant owner, (and hot tamale) Carlotta, but the villainous Pepper Pete has other plans.
In this culinary comedy, we first meet the organic farmer Taylor as he makes his way around the spicy little town of Cayenne, Texas, where the sun is hot but the peppers are hotter. As he drives around town, delivering vegetables to the restaurants and farmer’s markets, he sings “TUESDAY”. It’s his favorite day of the week. We realize that on Tuesday’s, Taylor makes his favorite stop at “Carlotta’s Cantina.” We meet Carlotta, who is the chef and owner of this beloved local restaurant. Just like he does every week, Taylor, shy and embarrassed, attempts to ask Carlotta out but cannot manage to muster the courage. Carlotta, although happy to see Taylor, is distracted. She joins in, singing “TUESDAY”, but in a minor key as it’s been a rough day for her. She shares with Taylor that the villainous Pepper Pete is planning on opening a competing restaurant nearby. Pepper Pete is a Texas businessman who developed the recipe for Kablammo! Hot Sauce, a local favorite.
As if on cue, Carlotta turns on the radio and hears the “SUPERHOT JINGLE” announcing the new restaurant opening in town. Pepper Pete enters, loudly and obnoxiously, telling Carlotta that she can no longer serve his Kablammo! Hot Sauce due to his non-compete clause. He begins taking the bottles off the tables. She and Taylor protest. Pepper Pete is unapologetic. He and The Superhots, begin singing “KABLAMMO!” a fire and brimstone comedy song where Pepper Pete misinterprets world history. The song ends and Pepper Pete exits with all of his coveted hot sauce.
Taylor, knowing that Carlotta is exasperated, offers to help. They transition to his greenhouse where he’s been working on a superhot varietal of pepper, hotter than Pepper Pete’s. The music begins to swell. They sing the song “THE HEAT OF A PEPPER” as they taste test the different peppers in Taylor’s greenhouse. Taylor’s peppers are so hot, they can barely stand it! The song ends with a kiss. Taylor and Carlotta decide to challenge Pepper Pete.
The characters transition to Pepper Pete’s tacky Kablammo! Casa, having its grand opening. Armed with hot peppers and a renewed sense of confidence, Carlotta yells out “Not so fast!” and challenges Pepper Pete to a “pepper-off.” The Superhots reluctantly agree to be the taste testers. Taylor’s pepper is so hot The Superhots run off stage and dunk their heads in donkey troughs. Pepper Pete, in disbelief, also tries Taylor’s pepper. He runs off stage screaming, and literally explodes from the heat!
Taylor and Carlotta cannot believe they defeated Pepper Pete. Excited, Taylor finally builds up the nerve and asks Carlotta out on a date. When? How about next… “TUESDAY (REPRISE)” Carlotta, Taylor and The Superhots all sing together as the sun sets over Cayenne, Texas.
TAYLOR: Late 20s, an earnest organic farmer
CARLOTTA: Late 20s, chef and proprietor of “Carlotta’s Cantina,” a beloved local restaurant
PEPPER PETE: Mid 50s, insists on being referred to as a successful Texan businessman, because “an entrepreneur” sounds “too French.”
SUPERHOT FRIEND: Super friendly, member of “The Superhots” singing troupe
SUPERHOT VILLAGER: Super local, loves supporting farm-to-table industry, member of “The Superhots”
SUPERHOT SINGER: Super confused, not into spicy food, but still a proud member of “The Superhots”
2016 - “Superhots!” had a reading at The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop at BMI (Broadcast Music International) headquarters in NYC.
2017 - Theatre Now presented Superhots! as part of SOUND BITES 4.0 as their festival of 10-minute musicals, performed at The Signature Theatre.
JOEL ESHER is a NYC-Based Music Theater Writer and Educator. Off-Broadway: PharmaBro, an American Douchical! (Music/Additional Lyrics). Folk Wandering (Music/Additional Lyrics). NYC: Joey and Ron (Music/Lyrics), Bagels from Benny, Sammy Spider (Music) Superhots! (Book/Music). Music Supervisor/podcast songwriter for the Story Pirates. Joel’s work has been developed at: Goodspeed Musicals, The Johnny Mercer Songwriter Project, Fresh Ground Pepper BRB, Music Theater Factory, BMI-Advanced Writing Program. B.M, Northwestern. Educational Partnerships: Disney Theatrical Group, Carnegie Hall, Trinity Wall Street, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Dreamyard Project, Little Orchestra Society, Boston Lyric Opera.
BLAIR BODINE is a lyricist, performing songwriter and teaching artist. Recipient of the Grand Prize for Lyric Writing from American Songwriter Magazine, Blair tours nationally, performing her storytelling songs at venues such as Lincoln Center, World Cafe Live, and Nashville's Bluebird Cafe. She is the winner of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and a songwriting finalist in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and NewSong Music Competition. Blair’s musical theater work has been developed at BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Theatre Now (SOUND BITES Festival) and Dixon Place (Puffin Foundation). B.A. Columbia University.