Based on the popular book GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) Friends Are Forevah, this original musical follows four Southern women from four different generations as they reminisce about their pasts and speak to their futures. Equal parts funny and heartwarming, GRITS: The Musical has Southern charm to spare!
We see each character (Virginia, Charlotte, Georgia and Flo) come in to a southern home. This is an intro scene that goes into (“Welcome Y’all) to establish each woman’s character. These ladies tell stories to each other (and the audience) throughout the entire production Virginia is the most mature character with a lot of spunk, Flo is an African American sassy and confident, Georgia is the mom with all the answers ad Charlotte is our college grad out to make it on her own. Every scene has a transition quote from a famous “GRITS” gal that leads into the next scene. After our opening, we hear Virginia break down every type of southern belle there is and that carries into the waltz (“A Belle for Any Occasion”). Scene two Flo tells us about a southern woman’s love for red lipstick and she and the rest of the cast sing a do wop song about being (“Lipstick Sisters”). Charlotte then decides to tell a hilarious story about her overprotective mother which moves into a solo ballad entitled, (“Mama”). Georgia is then inspired to talk about a good friend of hers who needed some positive reinforcement through a culinary experience that leads into the group pop song (“Sweet Tea”). Speaking of friends, Virginia then tells us about Scooter, her beloved Shih Tzu. Her ballad (“I Remember”) is a farewell song to her friend and how she will never forget him. Charlotte tells us again about her interesting mother and her friends and how they love to travel! The group then decides to “take a trip” as they pile into the old car (turning suitcases into a Chevy) and sing the upbeat song “Travelin’ Light”. Speaking of family, Georgia then tells a tale of her favorite cousin and her scandalous behavior that lead Charlotte to learn that southern ideals can lead to judgement and that no one is perfect. She then sings a ballad about things not being black and white and how she found (“Love in Gray”). Act I is finished up with a story from Flo about being a Midwesterner, moving to Alabama and wanting to be a true southerner and all of the attempts made to become one! During her moves throughout her life she has had to cross the GRITS-line time and time again and has become frustrated in doing so! The group commiserates with her and the finale of Act I is a gospel number called “Crossing the Line”.
We open with all women in aprons carrying cooking utensils that they will use as instruments. They each tell tales about what cooking and being in the kitchen has meant to southern women in the past and what it is to them presently. They sing (“Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”) together. Next Georgia tells us about working at Dollywood and how meeting a celebrity gave her a new respect for being true to yourself, singing with the group the country song (“I Hope Dolly Parton Lives Forever”). The other gals join her half way through the number in Dolly Parton wigs! Flo then shares a story about getting stranded on a country road with her sister and niece and finding that a scary mountain man may not be an enemy after all. She shares that parenting in blind to color and kindness doesn’t always look like we think it will. She sings the upbeat song (“Down to Earth”). Charlotte says that kindness is also always found in a best friend and shares a story about a petrifying experience at a piano recital where her best friend, Mary Wills, helped her through it. She sings (“High C”) while recreating that horrifying recital before our eyes. Charlotte then tells us of a horrifying experience of her own where she lost her girdle in a bar! The group sings the blues number (“Don’t Hold Me So Tight”). Finally Virginia dons a robe and glasses and transforms herself into Aunt Airy, an old southern mountain mama who tells us all about the highs and lows of retirement. How it is a beautiful and interesting journey with funny, unexpected twists and turns along the way. She sings the ballad (“It Ain’t All Thorns”). Lastly, we see all the women come together. They talk about being in the south and the analogy between its glorious trees and its people. How we are all strong and different and beautiful in our own way. The final number is a group gospel medley of recognizable hymns.
Virginia – 50-ish Sassy Mature Type, can do it all, soprano
Florence “Flo” 30- 40-ish African American Mom with attitude, alto
Georgia – 30-ish Society Gal, put together Mom, alto
Charlotte – 20-ish college grad, bubbly and fun, soprano
Setting: A front porch on a family home in the south; 1950s
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The production materials for GRITS: The Musical (Girls Raised in the South) include:
Production Scripts, Piano/Conductor Score, Vocal Scores
Orchestrations: Guitar, Bass, Drums
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Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.