No More Musical Theater from the musical Pray the Gay Away®

I’m finally starting to release some clips from my 2019 original musical “Pray the Gay Away”®. This song “No More Musical Theater” is a turning point in the musical where it quickly switches from a comedy to a tragedy. This is the last of the “fun and games” moments in the script as we follow the journey of two boys going through gay conversion therapy.

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When I was researching gay conversion therapy while writing the musical “Pray the Gay Away”, I came across an actual note from therapists in gay conversion therapy that said patients should avoid musical theater. So of course I knew right away that I had to create a big number about this. I compiled all the tropes and stereotypes I could think of from my experience in working on musical theater shows. This song started at 4 minutes, then 5, then 6 – until eventually I had about 12 minutes of material. I cut it down to the best (in my opinion) 8 minutes.

During pre-production it was often suggested that I cut this song down, but I loved it so much and really wanted it to stay intact in full – so here it is. “No More Musical Theater” is the second song of Act Two. It’s main purpose is simply to delight the audience. My musical Pray the Gay Away is an emotional rollercoaster with many emotional trigger points for audiences. After this song, the story takes a very dark turn that is an emotionally charged experience for audience members. This song is a final “feel good” moment for the audience before they experience the upcoming darkness (tragedy) together.

My whole mission in creating the musical Pray the Gay Away was to bring awareness of gay conversion therapy to a mainstream audience. Most people I talk to have heard of gay conversion therapy but really had no understanding of its practices or affects. This musical aims to change that, and to change hearts. It is my most reverent hope that this musical will be brought to a wider audience. I do think this is a musical that can change the world.

– Conrad Askland, April 2024



Pray the Gay Away, this highly anticipated and controversial live stage show packs plenty of blissful sacrilege and politically incorrect mischief into a reflection of U.S. culture that is humorous, beautiful, shocking, sweet, thought-provoking and incredibly heart-breaking.

For his fourth full-length musical, Conrad Askland has trained his satirical missile system on the cultural, political and theological forces that surround the painful world of gay conversion therapy and the “pray away the gay” movement. This is a big, full-blooded musical with an irreverently comic heart that is also heart-breaking and emotionally charged. Pray the Gay Away pulls up the carpet to expose the underlying U.S. religious, political and cultural attitudes surrounding homosexuality and our understanding of human rights.


My trigger point to the dirty, sweaty world of homosexuality was…
Musical Theater

It all began with open auditions at the Rosenbaum Children’s Theater for a production of The Reluctant Dragon

It was – a musical
And that musical was – delightful

But in time, Tyler’s theatrical urges began to bulge and swell
My cravings increased
Growing unsatisfied with ensemble roles, I soon yearned to perform in the Sound of Music

At first it was the role of Kurt, then Friedrich
Eventually I obsessed over Julie Andrews and the quintessential role of – Maria

Tell us. How do you solve a problem like Maria?

I said no more musical theater
No more musical theater for me
No more backstage pouts or belting out all my inner dreams
And if I relapse, wear my taps, even just one time
I just have to say NO
That’s why there’s no more musical theater for me

Son, you could be just like him
Change the world to God’s world

There is no more musical theater
No more musical theater for me
Now it’s time to avoid Andrew Lloyd
And inner rhymes of Sondheim

So I’m no longer over the moon
For tech week boom boom in the Green Room
That’s why there’s no absolutely no more musical theater for me

No there’s no more musical theater for me

So you’re saying no more Judy Garland?
Ha – Greta was bettah
And no more Barbra Streisand?
I hope she understands

So have you straight up given up speaking in dialogue rhyme?
Yes, I just don’t have the time

Because I’ve lost the passion for verbose verbal mansions
And unscholarly scansion

But the biggest temptation for me was
Those overdone Cockney accents

Top of the morni’ governor
Have a bloomin’ raspberry tart will ya?
Now you got no trouble and strife today for your Tom and Dick
It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve

Now who don’t love a nice strong cock-ney accent

That’s why there’s no more musical theater for me

And no Recitative – Recitative

Is universally hated by everyone except old Queens who like Gilbert and Sullivan

Never again – No – No – No

Unless of course, the recitative comes right before the dream sequence

No! Save us from the dream sequence…

Muaha ha ha ha! Muaha ha ha ha!

Well hello Erik Jacobsen
How do you know my name?
I am omniscient

Oh it’s only a dream Erik
You can do anything you want in a dream
Politics – Religion – ooh Lutefisk!
And no one will ever know
You could rob a bank – No
You could vote for a woman to be a minister – Ugh No
You could master the dark art of musical theater – Noo!

Surrender Dorothy – there is no resisting Satan’s secret diabolical weapon
Satan’s secret weapon is a tap dance chorus line

Tap dancing is fun
Come on you know you like it
Join us just for one
Join us – Join us – Join us
Gosh darn it – okay
Tyler Noooo!

(Tap Dance)

There is no more musical theater
No more musical theater for him
It’s a burial for Ariel with Tevye and Tiny Tim
No more torch songs with feather boas
The only arc I study now is Noah – Noah’s Ark

Now it’s a total breakdown of money notes
Disney quotes and those octave jumps

Satan get behind me

No more mugging and chewing the scenery
Or dreaming of sugar-plum weinery
So goodbye Phantom, goodbye Forum
Goodbye Fiddler, Goodbye Hair

Musical theater well I don’t care!
Theater will only get your heart broken
While pushing you toward the love unspoken

So hello to my King
And goodbye to my Queen

Judy Garland you are dead to me
Goodbye Satan
Goodbye Barbra

No Barbra I didn’t mean it, please forgive me

No, don’t cry for me Minnesota

Hear my cry O Lord
And set my demons free

Goodbye Satan and musical theater

Time to tell musical theater good-bye-ee-aye-ee-aye



No More Musical Theater © 2019 Conrad Askland

Pray the Gay Away the musical © 2019 Conrad Askland

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