The one-acter centers on Marvin, who has an unnamed wife and a son, Jason. He recalls the past relationships he shared with, among others, his high school sweetheart and Miss Goldberg, his English teacher who let him play Christopher Columbus in the school play, and then reveals he prefers to be with men. Torn between his natural inclination and his desire not to upset his family life as he knows it, Marvin ultimately makes the decision he feels is best for him.
In Trousers, directed by Finn, was mounted twice in 1979 at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons, opening on February 21 for 24 performances and again on December 8 for 8. The cast -- Chip Zien, Alison Fraser, Joanna Green, and Mary Testa -- was the same for both productions. The original cast album is available on CD on the Original Cast Records label.
In 1985, a significantly rewritten version, with additional songs, a more cohesive storyline, and better defined characters (with Marvin's wife christened Trina), opened on March 26 at the Promenade Theatre, where it ran for 16 performances. Directed by Matt Casella, it starred Stephen Bogardus, Catherine Cox, Sherry Hursey, and Kathy Garrick.
Finn eventually collaborated with James Lapine on two additional one-acters, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, which further explored the lives of Marvin and his family and friends. These two later were combined for a two-act Broadway production entitled Falsettos.
- Marvin - Chip Zien
- His Wife - Alison Fraser
- His Sweetheart - Joanna Green
- Miss Goldberg - Mary Testa