Recurring John

Lyrics & Music By Kevin Wong

How well can you come to know a person who you never meet?

A mother sings a lullaby to her child. A teacher imparts ‘wordly wisdom’ upon a student. A tired lawyer eagerly awaits the chance for a promotion. A man recounts his emotional journey on his wedding day. A homeless park dweller fondly recounts the lives of passersby.

These and more seemingly disparate lives are bound together by a common thread of recurrence; they have all been touched and impacted in some way by the same person.

This contemporary and unique conceptual take on the song cycle aims to explore the impact of one life through presenting seven chronological vignettes of individuals affected by a man named John, who never himself appears to the audience in the piece.

"...beautiful, raw, engaging and memorable"

Mooney on Theatre

NNNN - “…composer/lyricist Kevin Wong is extraordinarily gifted. His songs, many of them infectiously catchy, have harmonies as complex as the central (unseen) character himself, and the lyrics are variously funny and poignant”

NOW MagazineGlenn Sumi

"...Kevin Wong has some serious compositional chops. Each and every standalone number in his new song cycle is memorable, amusing, touching, rousing or some combination thereof. His orchestrations are clever and his lyrics deft..."

My Entertainment World

" Wong’s compositions range from quiet and touching to brassy and toe-tapping, with lyrics that are elegant without being overly-precious. His orchestration is a real highlight, drawing a warm, rich, and plucky sound from his string-heavy ensemble."


Production Details

7 Characters

60 minutes

Lyrics & Music By Kevin Wong

Production History

First Reading


Director: Jeff Madden
Producer: Seren Brooke Lannon
Music Director: Donavon LeNabat
Cast: Natasha Buckeridge, Kevin Dennis, Arlene Duncan, Alexis Gordon, Chris Tsujiuchi, Jennifer Walls, Paula Wolfson
Orchestra: Donavon LeNabat (keyboards), Natalie Wong (Violin), Erika Nielsen (Cello), Matt Marcoccia (Guitar), Ross MacIntyre (Bass), Justin Han (Percussion)
Lighting/Stage Management: Lindsay Jenkins
Sound: Glen McCann



Director: David Lipschutz
Producer: Chicago Musical Theatre Festival/Underscore Theatre
Music Director: Gary Powell
Cast: Alisha Fabbi, Sadie Rose Glaspey, Allison Kochanski, Judi Riley, Ty Rood, Nick Shoda, Brenda Turner
Pianist: Jeffrey Poindexter
Stage Management: Mary Doctor

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