Clef Eats Ass: The Musical
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Clef Eats Ass: The Musical

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Not to be confused with Containment Breach The Musical.

Clef Eats Ass: The Musical is a musical with music and lyrics by O. B. Gieger and Taylor Filops and book by Celeste K. A. Bold, Mal S. G. Akimoto, and Gieger. It is loosely based on the best-selling SCP Foundation novels by author Kate McGears, taking characters and premises from the novels but slightly altering them (most notably with the name and backstory of Site Director Yorick Cleffordson).

The musical debuted April 1, 2019, at the Alagadda Theater in Seattle and met with surprising critical and commercial success. It premiered on Broadway at the Music Box Theater on June 15th, 2020.[1] While the plot and the music are often praised, the show itself is rarely performed due to its reputation as a cursed play.[2]

Clef Eats Ass:
The Musical


Broadway promotional poster

Music O. B. Gieger
Taylor Filops
Lyrics O. B. Gieger
Taylor Filops
Book Celeste K. A. Bold
Mal S. G. Akimoto
O. B. Gieger
Basis The SCP Foundation series by Kate McGears
Productions 2019 Seattle
2020 Off-Broadway
2020 Broadway
2022 US Tour
2022 West End
Awards Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Original Score
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
Drama Desk Outstanding Musical

Contents [hide]

1 Background
2 Development
2.1 Gieger and Fullham's Fallout
3 Plot
3.1 Act 1
3.2 Act 2
4 Musical Numbers
5 Roles and Principle Cast
6 Response
6.1 Critical Reception
6.2 Awards and Nominations
6.3 The "Curse"
7 Productions
7.1 Seattle Workshop
7.2 Off-Broadway and Broadway Productions
7.3 West End Production
8 References
9 External Links


The idea to adapt the SCP Foundation as a parody musical came from Gieger, who had joked about the concept with some friends while attending Central Soho University, inspired by the popular musical adaptation.[3] When the university's theater department announced a showcase for comedic works, Gieger enlisted the help of fellow classmate Filops to create some songs and a loose narrative based on the concept. The showcase performance was seen by theater director Edna Fullham,[citation needed] who later came to Gieger and Filops about the possibility of turning it into a full-length musical.


The project was officially commissioned by Fullham in May 2018.[4] Fullham pitched Celeste K. A. Bold and Mal S. G. Akimoto to write the book, this being their third collaboration after Fact Nos and a tragedy in three unequal parts, and their first time working together on a musical. As part of the commission, Fullham had given herself the option to direct the workshop as well as any potential Broadway productions, and she would go on to direct both the 2019 workshop and the 2020 Broadway production.[5]

Gieger and Fullham's Fallout

Gieger was notoriously stressed and frustrated with the development of the project. In interviews following the Seattle premiere, Filops said, "they really didn't want this to be made. They felt like it was a joke that had gone too far."[6] Unconfirmed reports circled that Gieger attempted to sabotage the production in rehearsals. Rumors persist Gieger was given bookwriter credit as an attempt to assuage the frustrated composer, rumors that are vehemently denied by bookwriters Bold and Akimoto. "They got the credit because they insisted on writing dialogue in the middle of songs," Akimoto explained in one interview, "and there's a lot of dialogue in the songs."[7] Cast and crew reported that Gieger was much less frustrated during the off-Broadway period, possibly due to Fullham's absence from the project during this time, but that their hostility came back with Fullham's return.

Gieger distanced themself from the project after it moved to Broadway, where it became an international sensation. Filops took over musical direction for the Broadway production, consulting Gieger only occasionally for minor score adjustments.


An excerpt of the beginning of "Prelude".

An excerpt from "Just One Day (Without Apples)".

An excerpt from "Logic My Way Through".

An excerpt from "Clef Eats Ass".

An excerpt from "They're".

An excerpt from "Useless Clef".

Act 1

The chorus comes on stage and summarizes the show, introducing us to the character of Alto Clef and warning us his actions will cause tragedy for all those around him ("Prelude"). Clef enters and sings about his professional success, noting that his romantic life and recent sexual encounters have been lacking but insisting that his work is enough ("Married to the Job").

An excerpt of the beginning of "Prelude".

As Clef moves through a day in his life, we meet other Foundation researchers such as Dr. Jay Everwood, who is an expert on many of the groups of interest the Foundation faces, often acting as the Foundation's go-between with these groups, and Dr. Everett King, who laments the inexplicable presence of apples in every aspect of his daily life ("Just One Day (Without Apples)"). We also learn of some of the hostile anomalies the SCP Foundation houses, as well as the intricate set of rules the staff must follow to keep them and the world safe ("Special Containment Procedures/Rituals").

An excerpt from "Just One Day (Without Apples)".

Dr. Everwood receives a communication from the Global Occult Coalition, a sometimes-hostile group and Clef's former employer, indicating they wish to discuss a potentially dangerous anomaly with the Foundation. Everwood and their assistant, Junior Researcher Marcelle Taurus, go back and forth with the GOC's assistant director, "Celesta", who only gives vague hints of the coming threat, insisting they believe only Clef can stop the threat ("Something's Coming").

Dr. King and Clef commiserate over their frustrations with their current life, until Clef indicates he has reason to believe he can end King's apple misfortune. King explodes at Clef, who takes the frustrated exclamations as a bet, believing that King has challenged him to give him one day without apples and if he can complete the challenge King will have sex with him ("Betcha").

Piecing together the cryptic clues from the GOC, Taurus figures out that the threat they perceive is kept in check by an anomaly currently kept in the Foundation's custody, SCP-6969-J, and as long as the containment procedures are followed, the world will be safe ("Logic My Way Through/Special Containment Procedures (Reprise)").

An excerpt from "Logic My Way Through".

Meanwhile, Clef utilizes anomalous behavior and preferential treatment, shirking his duties at the Foundation to run interference for King, ensuring the latter has one day apple-free ("Just One Day (Reprise)"). Grateful and having bonded with Clef, King agrees to sleep with Clef ("Clef Eats Ass").

An excerpt from "Clef Eats Ass".

Everwood returns to Celesta with what Taurus learned, and she insists Clef must stop it, but Everwood shuts them down with the assurance that the anomaly is contained. However, as King and Clef have sex, SCP-6969-J breaches containment, as Clef didn't do the containment procedures in order to help King earlier in the day ("Something's Coming(Reprise)/Rituals (Reprise)").

Act 2

While Clef and King get dressed after their encounter, each realizing they liked the encounter more than expected and may have feelings for the other, Everwood and Taurus realize SCP-6969-J has breached containment, and attempt to mitigate the damage ("Uh-Oh"). Before King and Clef can talk to each other, the containment breach alarm goes off and the two rush to help. The two run into Everwood and Taurus who explain the situation, and Clef instantly realizes the containment breach is his fault. Everwood contacts Celesta again, who agrees to send members of strike team "Broken Dagger" to help contain the threat ("Before It's Too Late").

As chaos descends, Taurus tries to figure out what went wrong, and believing they've found the solution tries to confront SCP-6969-J, who taunts them ("Logic My Way Through (Reprise)").

Clef and King go around the site, putting out fires and to distract them so they don't have to talk to each other ("Save the World, Then Talk"). Things seem to be going well until they regroup with Everwood, who has realized Taurus is missing. SCP-6969-J's voice booms throughout the site, addressing the researchers and taunting them about the havoc they've wreaked ("Impending End"). Clef, King, and Everwood follow the voice, in high spirits that they can contain the anomaly with no casualties until they come across the corpse of Junior Researcher Taurus.

Realizing the severity of the threat they face, Everwood leaves Clef and King to wait out the breach until the GOC agents get there. Everwood mourns the death of the young researcher, feeling responsible for not keeping better track of them and admitting something of a kinship to them ("They're").

An excerpt from "They're".

Clef and King finally get a moment of silence, but before they can talk, Celesta and the strike team, including members "Fox," "Tosser," and "Redshirt" arrive ("What the GOC?"). The GOC members believe the calamity they predicted can still be stopped if their strike team can neutralize SCP-6969-J. Celesta asks Clef to lead the team, a request Everwood denies. The strike team leaves to find the anomaly.

King pulls Clef into an empty room, and the two finally begin talking, but overwhelmed by the events of the day, King starts to breakdown, having figured out that Clef was supposed to secure the anomaly. He blames himself for the breach and Taurus' death, but when Clef insists he's shouldn't blame himself, he turns the blame to Clef, erupting in anger that he never should've talked to Clef. Clef thinks about how despite his important position, he always feels like he's screwing up and now he's screwed up his relationship with King ("Useless Clef").

An excerpt from "Useless Clef".

King finds Everwood and begins to explain what happened, but Everwood explains that they already know Clef shirked his duties to help King. King and Everwood talk about the tragedy, but Everwood reminds King that despite the professionalism their job requires, the relationships between people are the very thing they're trying to protect ("Cold, Not Cruel").

The GOC strike team comes back from their initial encounter with SCP-6969-J, all still alive but considerably worse for wear. Clef comes back, agreeing to lead the strike team to atone for his mistake. King and Everwood agree to help to avenge Taurus, and even Celesta seems willing to join the fight ("Big Damn Heroes"). However, the group is no match for SCP-6969-J, and the strike team is quickly taken out. As the group realizes they won't survive this breach, Clef and King admit their feelings for each other and embrace, sharing a kiss before their untimely end ("Before It's Too Late/Betcha (Reprise)").

The chorus informs the audience in the final scene that SCP-6969-J destroyed the site, killing everyone in it, before wreaking havoc on the world along with the threat the GOC warned about. It only takes one day for the two anomalies to kill everyone on the planet before joining together and annihilating each other ("Just One Day (Finale)").

Musical Numbers

Act 1 Act 2
  • "Prelude" - Ensemble
  • "Married to the Job" - Clef
  • "Just One Day (Without Apples)" - King
  • "Special Containment Procedures" - Clef, King, Everwood, Taurus, and Ensemble
  • "Rituals" - Ensemble and SCP-6969-J
  • "Something's Coming" - Everwood, Celesta, and Taurus
  • "Betcha" - Clef and King
  • "Logic My Way Through" - Taurus
  • "Special Containment Procedures (Reprise)" - Ensemble
  • "Just One Day (Reprise)" - King, Clef, and Ensemble
  • "Clef Eats Ass" - King and Clef
  • "Something's Coming (Reprise)" - Celesta, Everwood, Taurus, and Ensemble
  • "Rituals (Reprise)" - Ensemble and SCP-6969-J
  • "Uh-oh" - Clef, King, Everwood, Taurus, and Ensemble
  • "Before It's Too Late" - Celesta, Everwood, Fox, Tosser, and Redshirt
  • "Logic My Way Through (Reprise)" - Taurus and SCP-6969-J
  • "Save the World, Then Talk" - Clef and King
  • "Impending End" - SCP-6969-J
  • "They're" - Everwood
  • "What the GOC?" - Fox, Tosser, Redshirt, Celesta, Clef, Everwood, and Ensemble
  • "Useless Clef" - Clef
  • "Cold, Not Cruel" - King and Everwood
  • "Big Damn Heroes" - Clef, Fox, Tosser, Redshirt, Celesta, Everwood, King, and Ensemble
  • "Before It's Too Late/Betcha (Reprise)" - Clef, King, Everwood, Celeste, and Ensemble
  • "Just One Day (Finale)" - SCP-6969-J, Taurus, and Ensemble

Roles and Principle Cast

Character 2019 Seattle Workshop 2020 Off-Broadway 2020 Broadway 2022 West End
Dr. Alto Clef Mikey McBasir Cutell Geer
Dr. Everett King Gerry Mander-Barre Grigori Dune Gerry Mander-Barre Grigori Dune
Dr. Jay Everwood Diana Mewller Ellie Moned, III
Junior Researcher Marcelle Taurus Trophimos Rutherford Stormy B. Fallon Rounin de Embouche
Celesta Cera Jones Aislin Minami
SCP-6969-J Harry "Crash" Landeous
Fox Estrella Odenaz Urania Taft
Tosser I. H. Prattles Naël P. Radd
Redshirt L. O. Greyve Mathias Hexik L. O. Greyve


Critical Reception

Critical reception of the musical was overwhelmingly positive, with critics praising the plot as both a witty take on the source material and a surprisingly compelling story in its own right, crediting Bold and Akimoto's collaborative process as utilizing the best of both authors' writing styles.[8] Gieger and Filop's score was also praised, with special appreciation given for the combination of old musical theater sounds with modern genres usually not seen in musical theater.

Awards and Nominations

See List of awards and nominations for Clef Eats Ass: The Musical

The Broadway production of Clef Eats Ass was nominated for several awards, having been one of the only musicals to premiere in the 2020 season, and swept the Tony Awards, including award for Best Musical.[9]

The "Curse"

See also: The West End Fire

It is commonly thought in the theater world that any productions of Clef Eats Ass are bound to be cursed. These superstitions arose out of the unfortunate events surrounding the most well known productions. Most claim the curse begins with the death of Diana Mewller in 2019, during the infamous Seattle Scooter Stampede.[10] For the last few performances of the Seattle workshop she was replaced with her understudy, Ellie Moned, III, who took on the role for the off-Broadway and Broadway productions, later reprising the role again on the West End.

Troubles continued for the production off-Broadway, where after the last show on March 15th, 2020, actor Trophimos Rutherford was stabbed twenty-three times outside of the theater in what was later reported as a mugging.[11] Conspiracies began circulating that Gieger had murdered both actors to keep the show from getting to Broadway, despite sufficient evidence to the contrary and alibis for both deaths.[citation needed]

On June 28th, 2021, eight months into its original Broadway run, a freak lighting accident caused all of the stage lights to fall from the ceiling during the curtain call, killing all of the principle actors except for Harry "Crash" Landeous, who did not take a physical curtain call per his contract, and Ellie Moned, III, who saw the light fall and dodged it.[12] The electrical failure started a fire, during which co-writer Bold, co-composer Filops, and director Fullham all perished, along with 10 theater-goers.[13] Broadway went dark for a day to honor those lost in the tragedy.[14] Clef Eats Ass did not reopen following this, choosing instead to end the limited run on Broadway.

The tragedy greatly affected those in the cast and crew, many of whom quit theater altogether.[15] But when the rights were optioned for the West End, Moned and Landeous were asked to reprise the roles they had originated on Broadway, and after some discussion, both agreed, seeing it as a chance to honor the friends they'd lost.[16]

Reports circled that the West End production wished to bring Gieger onboard as the music director, but they refused, wishing to focus on other projects and move past the loss of their co-writers. After much discussion, Gieger agreed to attend one show at the behest of Akimoto, who wanted to honor the victims two years after the tragedy.[citation needed]

On June 28th, 2023, several odd disturbances caused the performance to be interrupted mid-show. Before the performance could resume, a fire broke out, trapping the cast, crew, and theatergoers and killing all in attendance but Gieger.[17] Gieger was later quoted as having stated that the props "came to life" and started attacking the cast, crew, and audience.[18] Officials have said this was likely a hallucination caused by the inhalation of smoke.[citation needed] Gieger died later that month when somebody ran into them on a flight of stairs, sending them both tumbling down and leading to their death.[19]


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