Musicals by William Finn – A Full List

William Finn is a Tony Award winning composer and lyricist who is best known for his musicals Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. And if you’re interested in what else he has composed, all of the William Finn musicals to date are listed below, sorted chronologically!


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Musicals by William Finn

In Trousers

Music/Lyrics/Book: William Finn

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

In Trousers was Finn’s first in a series of three one-act musicals following the story and love life of Marvin. This was followed by March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland.


March of the Falsettos

Music/Lyrics/Book: William Finn

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)

This is the second one-act in the series of three. In March of the Falsettos, Marvin navigates his relationships with his son, his ex-wife, psychiatrist, and new lover Whizzer.


Romance in Hard Times

Music/Lyrics/Book: William Finn

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)

An earlier version of Romance in Hard Times was first released as America Kicks Up Its Heels in 1983. This musical follows the story of a woman who works at a soup kitchen and decides not to give birth until children have a better world.


Falsettoland

Music/Lyrics: William Finn  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

Falsettoland is the third in the series of one-act musicals mentioned above. This is the conclusion of Marvin’s story and also deals with the AIDS epidemic.


Falsettos

Music/Lyrics/Book: William Finn  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Falsettos is the musical that you are most likely familiar with. This Tony-Award winning musical contains the stories from the last two parts of the trilogy mentioned above (March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland). 


A New Brain

Music/Lyrics/Book: William Finn  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Based on the life of William Finn, A New Brain is about a songwriter who faces a medical emergency and fears he won’t live long enough to release the music that’s still inside of him.


Infinite Joy

Music/Lyrics: William Finn

Musical Type: Contemporary/Revue (2000)

Infinite Joy is a musical revue featuring many of Finn’s lesser-known or cut songs from previous musicals. A few of these songs were also included in the show Elegies, see below.


Elegies: A Song Cycle

Music/Lyrics: William Finn

Musical Type: Contemporary/Song Cycle (2003)

Elegies pays tribute to departed friends and victims of 9/11. The songs in the cycle tie together by touching on themes of life and death.


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Music/Lyrics: William Finn  Book: Rachel Sheinkin

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee won the 2005 Tony Award for best book of a musical. It’s the hilarious story of six adolescents who compete in a spelling bee.


Make Me a Song

Music/Lyrics: William Finn

Musical Type: Contemporary/Revue (2006)

Make Me a Song is a musical revue featuring songs from the collection of Finn’s musicals (both produced and unproduced).


Little Miss Sunshine

Music/Lyrics: William Finn  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)

Based on the 2006 film of the same name, Little Miss Sunshine follows the Hoover family as they drive cross-country to enter their daughter in a children’s beauty pageant.


Additional Work by Bill Finn

Here’s a list of additional work by Bill Finn, or musicals that don’t have much information listed about them online. The following shows are listed in our musical archive.


1989: Dangerous Games

1998: The Royal Family of Broadway

2001: Muscle

2011: Songs of Innocence and Experience➝ (album by Lisa Howard)


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Which of these William Finn musicals is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of these William Finn musicals? Feel free to share in the comments below! And if you like these types of lists, check out the musical database. That’s where you’ll find musicals sorted by composer, theme, setting, and more!


Stacy Karyn, author of William Finn Musicals.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

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