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Basic Witches, The Musical You NEED To See This October

Chris Balbi

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Bowtie Boy has been trekking around philly for 3 years. He enjoys theatre, beer gardens and intellectual conversations that lead nowhere. When he's not free-lancing his social media management and digital marketing strategies, he's at home in his underwear watching Dr. Who and eating Reese's puffs.
posted by Chris Balbi on Sep 18, 2018 10:30am | comments


Holy Woah, it's rare that a new musical makes me want to immedietly find and download it's score, but Basic Witches managed to have me searching for it in my Uber home!

† † ††In the far away kingdom of Halloween Hills, on all hallows eve, goblins, ghosts and ghouls gather together as four famous witches compete to be crowned supreme witch of Halloween Hills. But a new form of witch threatens traditions and jeopardizes the competition. Played by Drag Queens and Queer artists, BASIC WITCHES explores what it means to find your own identity in a world where rules arenít meant to be broken. Produced and performed entirely by Drag performers and members and allies of the LGBTQ community, BASIC WITCHES is a musical for anyone who feels a little bit witchy and a little bit basic.†

This up-beat tale of inclusion (and basic witches) left me feeling hopeful and inspired. †The 90 minute production wized by and I knew I had to talk show producer Robi Hager to scoop up some details about the evoloution of this show. BONUS there's a free reading on 9/17... find out more here.†

1.Basic Witches has evolved quite a lot, from Children's story to staged reading, and now we're heading towards a fully fleshed production coming in October What's your driving force // what makes this project special?

To be honest, I never intended for Basic Witches to have a life after the Fringe Festival but given the response that it has been receiving, my director Steve Pacek and I thought, ďWhy not make it a full production and make it a part of the Philadelphia theatre season?Ē So I immediately started that process. The love and the support that the Philadelphia community has given to me and the play has been enough of a driving force to get this show, and this cast seen on a fully realized set. Part of what makes this show special for me is our message of embracing who you are, but most importantly the need and inclusion of the full spectrum of gender in the entertainment world.

2. What's been your greatest struggle when creating this (what I'll call) a masterpiece?

I thank you for calling our show a masterpiece haha. I think the biggest struggle was maturing our show from the childrenís version into an adult version. As my writing partner John Treacy Egan and I were working on this, I had my doubts on how it would play out with our queens. Little did I know that not much had to change. Our cast brought new life to these characters that I hadnít seen before, making it easier for me to tailor the story to them. I feel like thatís a good struggle to have though, as a writer and producer. Making a product as good as you think it can be and then handing it over to a talented group of people, and trusting that they will elevate it to the next level.

3. Is there a witch (or two) that you wish made the cut? Will there be an expansion or sequel?

No, everyone that is cast is perfect! We had a fantastic day of auditions back in June where many beautiful queens and queer actors auditioned, and thatís how we found the best queer-rainbow-filled cast we could ever find. We may be doing a little something next year. Perhaps a little mini-tour up to NY, Fire Island, Boston and PTown. But first, on to our world premier this October!

4. I was obsessed with your cast, but is there a particular person or drag queen you'd love to see in a particular role?

I agree with you, this cast is amazing! Iíll chose a few. I think AJ Jackson who plays Strudella, would make a perfect Deena Jones in Dreamgirls! Our actor playing Eddie, Sav Souza is on to amazing things. They have a stellar voice and because of that we need more non-binary roles written for them! Iíd love to hear them sing/perform some Dear Evan Hansen stuff ūüėČ

5. Now about you, you're smart, talented and sexy... readers will want to know, are you on the market!†

Thank you for your compliments hehe. I am not on the market, sorry. But I am dating a Philly boy, cause Philly boys are the best! Speaking of sexy and talented, my production team is equally as amazing as my cast. We have my dear friend Steve Pacek directing our show, my boyfriend Chris Haig designing our set and props, Jill Keys is our costume designer, Amanda Jensen is designing lights and John Kolbinski is designing sound for us. Our incredible stage manager is my dear friend Bryan Kerr; pianist extraodinaire, Jeff Beiter is our music director, and Daniel X Guy is our production manager.

Buy Tickets at or follow our Instagram at @basicwitchesmusical

NOTE: Opinions are those of the author, and not necessarily those of or of any organization or business that the author is assosciated with.

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