Desperate Measures (musical)

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Desperate Measures is a musical with music by David Friedman and book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, the work is set in the American Old West and uses a cast of six.[1]



The musical premiered at Lyric Stage in Irving, Texas on May 1, 2004.[2] It was staged and directed by Cheryl Denson, with musical direction by James McQuillen, stage management by Margaret J. Soch, scenic design by Wade Giampa, lighting design by Susan A. White, and costume design by Billie Boston.

The cast was as follows:

  • Johnny Blood — Jimmy Nelson
  • Father Burns — Brad M. Jackson
  • Sheriff Griggs — Ron Gonzalez
  • Susanna/Sister Helena — Dara Whitehead
  • Governor Muller — Bradley Campbell
  • Bella Rose — Gina Biancardi

New York Production[edit]

The musical opened at the New York Music Theater Festival on September 12 and ran through September 24, 2006 at the 45th Street Theatre in New York City. The New York cast included Merwin Foard, Patrick Garner, Ginifer King, Jenny Powers, Max von Essen, and Nick Wyman.[3]

Other Production[edit]

In 2012, a rhyming verse version of Desperate Measures was performed at The Spirit of Broadway Theater in Norwich, Ct. The show ran from June 27 to July 29. It was directed by Brett Bernardini, with choreography by Christine Snitken-Bouley, lighting design by Greg Solomon, scenic design by Mike Billings, sound design by Steven Hinchey, and musical direction by Dan Brandl.[4]

The cast was as follows:

  • Johnny Blood — Michael Sullivan
  • Priest — Johnny Marion
  • Sheriff — Corrado Alicata
  • Susanna/Sister Helena — Aline O'Connor
  • Governor — Keith Johnson
  • Bella — Shauna Goodgold


The show tells the tale of Johnny Blood, a hotheaded young cowboy who has been sentenced to hang for killing a man in a bar fight. When his sister, Susanna, a novice nun in a nearby Franciscan mission, pleads with the Governor for his life, the Governor offers to pardon Johnny on the condition that Susanna sleep with him. The sheriff proposes to Susanna a scheme in which she will appear at first to give in to the Governor's demands, but then, under cover of darkness, switch places with one of the saloon girls.[3]

Musical numbers[edit]


  1. ^ Review by John Garcia in, a project of www.TalkinBroadway.Org, Inc.
  2. ^ Desperate Measures Tickets and Information in
  3. ^ a b Photo Coverage: NYMF's Desperate Measures Opens. Broadway, Saturday, September 16, 2006
  4. ^ Review by Don Church & Tony Schillaci in The Resident