Girlfriend is a Love Story for Everyone

Know Theatre’s latest show sparks romance to the sound of ’90s alt-rock.

When Todd Almond’s rock musical Girlfriend comes to Know Theatre this month, expect the New York City–based writer/musician/performer and UC College-Conservatory of Music alum to stop by for a visit. “I’m fascinated with how it resonates differently depending on where and how it is performed and what is going on in the world at the time,” says Almond. “It was different when it was in Louisville versus in Los Angeles, and I’m so curious to see how it will be in Cincinnati.”

Set to the 1991 Matthew Sweet album of the same name, Girlfriend follows the love story of two teenage boys in 1990s Nebraska. Almond wrote the musical about 15 years ago while reflecting on a more vulnerable time in his life. His connection to the Sweet album growing up made it an immediate choice for the soundtrack, but Almond didn’t want the characters to simply burst into song, so he had them discuss the music as a means of expression.

Though the play focuses on a gay relationship, Almond believes it’s a love story anyone can identify with. “It feels political to some people, but it can also just be about that moment of falling in love for the first time,” he says. “There doesn’t need to be a lesson. I just hope people are moved by it.”

Girlfriend, thru Aug 27, Know Theatre,

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