The Fix (musical)

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The Fix
The Fix (musical).jpg
Original London Cast Recording Album Cover
MusicDana P. Rowe
LyricsJohn Dempsey
BookJohn Dempsey
Productions1997 West End
1998, 2015 Arlington, Virginia
2016 Off-West End

The Fix is a musical with book and lyrics by John Dempsey and music by Dana P. Rowe. It concerns the career of a fictional U.S. politician who gets mixed up with the Mafia.

It premiered at London's Donmar Warehouse in 1997.

Production history[edit]

The Fix was originally developed in association with Cameron Mackintosh under the working title Cal: A Musical Tale of Relative Insanity. It premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London, running from 29 April 1997 through 14 June 1997, directed by Sam Mendes and starring John Barrowman, Kathryn Evans and Philip Quast.[1] Quast won the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in The Fix; Barrowman received a nomination in the same category. The musical was also nominated for Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Best Lighting Designer (for Howard Harrison).[2] Colin Welford conducted the production.[3]

The Fix was produced by the Signature Theatre, Arlington, Virginia, in August to September 2015, directed by Eric D. Schaeffer.[4] The musical made its US premiere at the Signature Theatre in 1998.[5]

A new production opened on 13 July 2016, at the Union Theatre in London. Starring Fra Fee as Cal Chandler, Lucy Williamson as Violet Chandler, Madalena Alberto as Tina McCoy, Peter Saul Blewdon as Reed Chandler and Anthony Gilardi, and as Peter, Sam Barrett. The production closed on 6 August 2016. In his review of the 2016 production at the Union Theatre, theatre critic Darren Luke Mawdsley described the show as a "conglomeration of past and present political biographies" and said "it could not be more current." He noted that "Director and choreographer, Michael Strassen, does a great job at making the production work in the empty space, managing to keep the action fluid, communicative and interesting to watch."[6]


Days before a United States presidential election, shoo-in candidate Reed Chandler suffers a fatal coronary between the thighs of his mistress. Before the body has turned cold, the dead man's widow, Violet, and brother, Grahame (a speechwriter and spin doctor crippled from birth by polio and jealous of his brother's public success) - not keen to see their patience and preparation go to waste - are conspiring to replace him with his own son, an unambitious drifter, Calvin. Cal is enlisted in the army and married off to a perky debutante before developing a hard drug problem and being photographed during sex with his mistress, a nightclub singer named Tina McCoy. To cover up Cal's indiscretion, Grahame is forced to call upon the services of the city's criminal underworld, headed by Anthony Gliardi, who we are told is a "friend of the family". The years pass; Cal is elected governor and his wife bears a son. The list of favours owed to Gliardi grows longer, Cal's addiction deepens and Grahame's legs finally give way and he is condemned to life in a wheelchair. After a drying out period, Cal rediscovers his sense of self. He confronts the press, coming clean about his misgivings and the Chandlers' relationship with Gliardi. Cal becomes the media darling once again, however on the eve of the United States Senate nominations, Gliardi uses Tina to lure Cal away from his family, then shoots them both. The play comes full circle as at Cal's funeral, Violet and Grahame move in on Cal's young son. And suddenly the future doesn't look so dim after all.

Musical numbers[edit]

At Donmar Warehouse, 1997

Characters and original cast[edit]

The characters and original cast:

Character Donmar Warehouse
Signature Theatre
Union Theatre
Feinstein's/54 Below In Concert
Cal Chandler John Barrowman Mark Evans Fra Fee Mark Evans
Reed Chandler David Firth Bobby Smith Peter Saul Blewden Gary Milner
Donna Christina Fry Jamie Eacker N/A
Peter Hale David Bardsley Stephen Gregory Smith Sam Barrett Justin Randolph
Grahame Chandler Philip Quast Lawrence Redmond Ken Christiansen David Cantor
Violet Chandler Kathryn Evans Christine Sherrill Lucy Williamson Sally Ann Triplett
Danielle Hannah Tollman Caroline Wolfson N/A
Bobby “Cracker” Barrel Bogdan Kominowski Will Gartshore Alistair Hill Patrick K. Walsh
Deborah Pullman Gael Johnson Jessica Lauren Ball Kate Parr Suzanne Dressler
Sheila Christina Fry Jamie Eacker N/A Arianna Armon
Leslie Pynchon Carrie Ellis Tracy Lynn Olivera N/A Val Moranto
Tina McCoy Krysten Cummings Rachel Zampelli Madalena Alberto Kristen Gehling
Anthony Gliardi Nicholas Pound Dan Manning Peter Saul Blewden Paul Thomas Ryan
Frankie Diamanti Mark Frendo Matt Conner Daryl Armstrong Thomas Dieter
Cardinal O’Hare Christopher Holt Christopher Mueller N/A
Young Bobby “Cracker” Barrel John Partridge N/A
Calvin Chandler, Jr. Thomas Hawes, Thomas Moll, Archie Preston N/A
Newscaster Rebecca Front N/A
Richard N/A Mark Chandler N/A
Leroy N/A Jordan DeBona N/A
Maria N/A Mark Egler N/A
Carl Moreland N/A Nick Lehan N/A


  1. ^ "The Fix production information",, accessed December 7, 2008
  2. ^ "1998 Olivier Awards winners and nominations". Albermarle of London. Retrieved 2007-05-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Cast Albums, 21 July 2008
  4. ^ Katz, Alan. "Signature’s revisit of musical 'The Fix' (review)", August 21, 2015
  5. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Signature's 'The Fix' May Be in for New York" Playbill, April 25, 1998
  6. ^ Mawdsley, Darren Luke. " 'The Fix', New Union Theatre – Review", 18 July 2016

External links[edit]