Associated Artists: Jessica Vosk, Betsy Wolfe, Jessica Rush
From Playbill’s Track-By-Track Breakdown Feature (03/27/20):
Here begins the saga of a show called The Danger Year. I had an idea to take a number of my pre-existing songs and build a show around them, which is kind of a backwards way to make a musical. But I thought I’d try. David Kirshenbaum and I wrote a draft (didn’t work), and then my friend Jamie Pachino and I tried a different idea (didn’t work), and eventually I even took a pass at writing the book myself (didn’t work). I read the various versions at numerous theaters and even did a concert at The Garrick in the West End (starring Cynthia Erivo and Eva Noblezada!) but in every case the feedback was that the songs were stronger than the story. I think I have made my peace now with the idea that songs can’t be shoe-horned into a musical, but some of the material that came out of the process really was special. This song came pretty early in the story, and it evolved out of conversations I had with several women friends in my late 30s. We were all very busy being feminists and putting our careers first, and yet we had to admit that sometimes you’re still staring at the phone, aching for the guy to call. Dismiss the patriarchy all you want; some feminist women still dream about weddings. In fact, I’m pretty sure Betsy Wolfe and I were both wearing big, fancy ballgowns at the Opera News Gala when I asked her if she would learn and record a song of mine. Right after she took a selfie with Thomas Hampson, she said yes.
Keepin’ it casual.
He has his life; I have mine.
There are jobs to do, projects to plan,
Bills to pay, and then if I can…
There’s a man…
But I’m keepin’ it casual.
Though, at time, he makes me blush.
I am not the type to lose my head.
Lots of things to want instead of a man.
I’m keepin’ it casual.
I built my business out of nothing.
I’ve done very well alone.
I didn’t spend my life investing
So I could wait here by the phone.
All of these sacrifices,
Now my goal’s in sight!
So explain to me why thoughts of romance
Keep me up at night?
And it doesn’t feel casual
To discover you care!
It feels like something broke
That you never knew was there.
You can work your fingers to the bone,
And you die successful
Or you push away
Everything you thought before,
Admit… you want more!
Some nice guy who loves his mother.
No credit card debt.
Open to the thought of marriage,
Maybe even a pet.
Disciplined and dedicated,
Thinks New York is overrated,
Not the kind who chases every whim!
I thought I might have missed the boat,
But here he is.
It’s finally him!
So it’s gotta stay casual
Or I fear my heart might burst.
After keeping life at bay for years,
It’s shocking when it just
So for now,
There’s a man
Who might just have it all.
And… he will call…
I’m keepin’ it casual.