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Falsettos Synopsis

“Four Jews in a room Bitching” has Marvin explaining his situation to his son Jason, his psychiatrist Mendel, and his male lover Whizzer. He has left his wife, Trina, for Whizzer, but still wants “A Tight-Knit Family.” The others are not happy with the idea of adding Whizzer to the family unit. Trina consults Mendel, on Marvin’s suggestion, with the question of how her life turned out this way. He becomes immediately attracted to her and comforts her by saying that “Love is Blind.” Meanwhile, Marvin and Whizzer figure out what they have in common, besides their attraction for each other, and worry that “The Thrill of First Love” is wearing off.

Presented as an interlude, “Marvin at the Psychiatrist, a Thee-Part Mini Opera,” starts as Mendel asks Marvin about his relationship with Whizzer. Marvin weighs the pros and cons and decides he does love Whizzer. Part two has Mendel, due to his attraction, questioning Marvin about Trina’s bedroom habits. Part three contains Jason and Marvin providing perspective on their strained relationship.

Jason frets that because “My Father is a Homo” he will become a homosexual also. Jason acts out and “Everyone tells Jason to see a Psychiatrist.” Whizzer convinces Jason to see Mendel. Marvin is trying to force Whizzer into the role of the homemaker which causes them to fight. Trina complains to Mendel that her role in the family is decreasing and Whizzer’s is becoming more prominent. Everyone agrees that “This Had Better Come To A Stop.”

Trina spirals out of control (“I’m Breaking Down”) and Jason continues his outburst. Trina anxiously phones Mendel asking to “Please come to Our House” for dinner and therapy. Mendel immediately arrives and charms Trina. Jason does not stop worrying about his future and Mendel tells him to just calm down and enjoy life (Jason’s Therapy). As these dinner and therapy sessions continue, Jason asks Mendel what his intentions are with his mother. Mendel makes a “Marriage Proposal,” which Trina accepts. Marvin is infuriated that he is losing his “Tight-Knit Family (Reprise)” and his psychiatrist.

Trina is tired of the man’s world she is living in and knows that Mendel is the same type of guy as Marvin (“Trina’s Song”), but he loves her and she could do worse. In contrast, the four men sing a hymn to all varieties of masculinity, with the three adults sing in falsetto to match Jason’s voice (“March of The Falsettos”).

Marvin teaches Whizzer to play chess and within “The Chess Game” tensions rise, and the couple breaks up. Trina and Mendel move in together and start “Making a Home.” While Whizzer packs, he reflects on “The Games I Play” and concludes that he does not love Marvin. Marvin goes crazy when Trina and Mendel send out wedding invitations and accuses Trina of trying to ruin his life. Both Trina and Marvin are shocked by his actions and they both agree that “I Never Wanted To Love You.” Marvin’s relationship with Whizzer is finished, and his relationship with Trina is in tatters but he can still save his relationship with Jason.

Two years later, Marvin realizes it is “About Time” to grow up and calls a truce with Trina. He has maintained a relationship with Jason. Trina comes to pick up Jason and tells Marvin that they need to start planning Jason’s Bar Mitzvah. Immediately, they start bickering and Mendel encourages them to have a simple party. Trina and Codelia, the caterer and one half of Marvin’s new lesbian caterer and doctor neighbors, will have none of it.

At Jason’s Little League baseball game, Jason is trying to decide which girls to invite to his Bar Mitzvah (“A Miracle of Judaism”). As everyone is involved in watching Jewish boys who can’t play baseball, Whizzer arrives. A cautious offer to reconcile is made as Jason hits the ball. Shocked, he forgets to run.

An interlude, “A Day in Falsettoland,” starts with “Dr. Mendel at Work,” agonizing over his age and occupation and what it is doing to his marriage. “Trina Works It Out” reveals Marvin and Whizzer being back together and why that troubles Trina. “The Neighbors Relax” has Mendel and Trina jogging and discussing Marvin and the party. Cordelia asks her partner, Dr Charlotte how her day was, and Charlotte states it was a rare one without death. Whizzer beats Marvin at racquetball and they bicker. Life is wonderful for all.

The peace ends as Marvin and Trina war over every aspect of the party and Jason want to call it off. Mendel consoles him, but assure him his feelings will change (“Everyone Hate His Parents”). Marvin wonders how much he loves Whizzer (“What More Can I Say?”) and Dr. Charlotte begins to worry about the mysterious illness spreading among young gay men in the city (“Something Bad is Happening”). Whizzer collapses during racquetball and is rushed to the hospital.

Everyone gathers to cheer him up, but only Jason can tell him the truth: that he looks awful. Mendel and Trina give Jason the option of “Canceling the Bar Mitzvah” and he learns that Whizzer may not recover. Marvin, Cordelia, and Dr. Charlotte sit in Whizzer’s room and wonder how long their love can last (“Unlikely Lovers”).

Whizzer’s condition worsens, but Jason has an epiphany. He decides to have “The Bar Mitzvah” in Whizzer’s room. They have the party, but Whizzer can bear it no more. Whizzer and the rest leave Marvin behind in the room. Marvin speaks to the depart Whizzer, “’What Would I Do’ if you had not been my best friend?” Whizzer appears and they sing together one last time. There is no answer to Marvin’s question and then Whizzer is gone.

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