Spandex is a full-length 80s-inspired musical set in the murky world of competetive aerobics. Score by Daniel Levin & Julian Blackmore. Book by Daniel Levin and Annie Grunow.
Nothing can keep you down. No man. No woman. Not even a mulleted fitness instructor who feeds you diet pills, and tells you you’ll always be a loser because you once fell off a balance beam in qualifiers. In the shadow of the cold war, in a world of free market optimism, budding conference call technology, changing roles within the family and a material so full of possibility it could only be named an anagram for “expands,” one woman will face her past demons and learn to fly. She just has to do a few reps on the ground first.
Lorraine Koplowski was the favorite to lead the U.S. in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, but something went wrong. Even though she now inspires others to burn it as an aerobics teacher, she’s never dared compete again, every year choosing to remain on the sidelines rather than compete in the great Crystal Light National Aerobics Olympics, hosted by Alan Thicke.
Trip Allen, Lorraine’s old Olympic training partner and marketer of the 5-minute miracle workout, is making sure she stays down.
Enter Dov, Israeli fitness guru and someone who might restore to Lorraine the core strength she always knew she had. Will Lorraine succeed, or will Trip, who’s always harbored “feelings” for Lorraine, keep her down with his retinue of diet pills and fear-based aerobics!
May 2011 Spandex is born when Annie Grunow approaches Daniel Levin somewhere in Long Island, shows him the 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobics Championship hosted by Alan Thicke, and asks a simple question: how is this not already a musical?
May 2012 Spandex had its world premiere reading at 440 Studios in East Village, NYC. Julian Blackmore music directs. A call for firmness and core-strengthening goes out across Manhattan.
June 2012 The reading was so much fun, it’s done again! This time Crunch Gym is in the audience. A partnership of non-judgmental exercise environments is born. Julian Blackmore comes on as composer. Out go the jukebox 80s songs. In come original songs that sound suspiciously like the old songs! [For the record, “Nose of the Lion” was rejected as being too much in the same vein as “Eye of the Tiger.”]
May 2013 Nearly 14 years and 6 months to the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Spandex the Musical, under the sponsorship of Crunch Gym, and with the firm backing of Buns and Guns LLC, goes up Off-Broadway as the first production in the new 777 Theatre (777 8th Avenue at 47th street). Tickets sell at an outrageously fast pace as people clamor to feel the burn!
May 2017 Spandex gets a makeover and heads over to the Minnsky Theatre in Minneapolis for a limited run!