I wish we had seen THE SHAGGS: PHILOSOPHY OF THEWORLD a little earlier in its run at the Playwrights Horizon (it closes in three days) because I would have said run as fast as you can to see one of the most original, disturbing, hilarious and tragic musicals to come along in years. Based on a true story, this is the tale of Austin Wiggin who forced his three talent-free teenage daughters to form a musical group and record an album in 1969 because his mother had predicted before she died that his girls would be his fortune. The resulting album of songs written by the girls themselves was incredibly unspeakably terrible but Wiggin nonetheless subjected his family to a reign of terror as he strove to launch them on the music scene from their home in Freemont, New Hampshire. The album has since achieved legendary status in much the same way that Ed Wood's PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is considered to be the worst movie of all time.
tt predicts a long life for this piece in regional theatre, and it will certainly reignite a cult following for the original album which, if you listen to a couple of tracks on YouTube, absolutely beggars belief.