Miss You Like Hell - Original Cast Recording

by Kitty Drexel

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday November 16, 2018

Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes ("Water by the Spoonful,"
"In the Heights") and singer/songwriter and activist Erin McKeown released their new musical "Miss You Like Hell" on Ghostlight Records in October 2018. It stars two-time Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega ("Rent," "Anna in the Tropics," "Daphne's Dive") as Beatriz a flawed mom to 16-year-old Olivia (Gizel Jimenez), and an undocumented immigrant on the verge of deportation. The cast recording features vocals from artists Marinda Anderson, Andrew Cristi, Shawna M. Hamic, Marcus Paul James, and Martín Solá. "Miss You Like Hell" was performed March-May 2018 at the Public Theatre in NYC. The musical premiered in 2016 at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego.

Rubin-Vega has a distinct voice that listeners either love for its raw strength or dislike for its growling timbre. Hers is a perfect fit for the role of Beatriz, a woman who flies by the seat of her pants into each new adventure. It sounds world-weary and aged like whiskey, compared to the youthful voice of Jimenez.

"Miss You Like Hell" is a musical dialogue for mothers and daughters. Beatriz is facing deportation. She picks up her whip-smart daughter Olivia for a seven-day cross-country road trip in Beatriz's pickup truck. Olivia chronicles her first mother-absent and then mother-ful life through a blog. Jimenez sings "Sundays" with all the angst appropriate for a young woman navigating a tumultuous relationship. "Mothers" is a tune that directly addresses the conflict in "Sundays." Mothers are the best and worst things to happen to daughters. Hudes and McKeown capture the dichotomy of the parent/child love-hate relationship.

"Biography" is a patter song set to the rhythm of a mental break down. Young, female vocalists will have great fun dissecting this song for performance. This belter encapsulates the anger and sadness of the teenage experience.

"Yellowstone" is an R&B slow jam sung beautifully by Latoya Edwards that makes no thematic sense within "Miss You Like Hell." Due to no fault of Edwards, "Yellowstone" has no segue from the exposition/blog post track "Received" or to "My Bell's Been Rung."

"My Bell's Been Rung" is a twangy, sentimental and funny duet between two old lovers who happen to be bikers. Michael Mulhere and David Patrick Kelly grumble through this metaphor-laden love song. These tough guys have a soft, mushy core directly beneath their rough and tumble exteriors. "Tamales" is a joyous homage to the mothers who taught us to love through food preparation. Danny Bolero sings with nostalgic bliss.

"Miss You Like Hell" will run in Boston at the American Repertory Theatre at Club Oberon from January 11 - 27, 2019. It will run at the Fonseca Theatre Company in Indianapolis March 8 - 31, 2019. More information can be found at http://www.erinmckeown.com/theater/. Performance rights and other information can be found at www.theatricalrights.com.

"Miss You Like Hell (Original Cast Recording)"
Quiara Alegría Hudes & Erin McKeown
Ghostlight Records