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Kerrigan and Lowdermilk - Our First Mistake

Kerrigan and Lowdermilk - Our First Mistake
A Note from Matthew Murray

Truly insightful new musical theatre writers are uncommon these days. Those whose work you long to hear over and over are rarer still. And ones who attract, inspire, and speak for young audiences are all but extinct. Perhaps Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk aren’t the only ones of their kind, but in their voice and drive to express the inexpressible in today’s young adults, there’s no one else like them.

I first became aware of them when I saw their first (and thrilling) collaboration, The Woman Upstairs, at the first New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004. That show, about a blind violinist romancing a frigid physics professor, was replete with innovative musical and dramatic ideas that spoke of New York City and the current generation in ways bursting with invention musical theatre had all but abandoned.

Luckily, the intervening years have not dulled Brian and Kait’s talent or insight—their writing is now even more mature, intelligent, and evocative than it was the first time I heard it. This, their debut recording, captures in sterling clarity their unique outlook on life and love, and the many unexpected ways they communicate it to—and through—grown-ups who are struggling with the turmoil and elation of suddenly no longer being children.

Just try to not be enchanted by Michael Arden singing “Run Away With Me” from The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, of the plight of a young man who hasn't yet learned that not every dream comes true. Or by Matt Doyle bravely battling loss (and not necessarily winning) in “Last Week’s Alcohol” as he’s consumed by drunken forlornness. “Say the Word” (also from Samantha Brown), “Five and a Half Minutes” (The Woman Upstairs), and “Not a Love Story” (Tales from the Bad Years) serenely catalog different angles of the surging romantic devotion most of us are afraid to divulge. And how can you not marvel at "My Heart Is Split" and "How to Return Home," from the blog-inspired The Freshman Experiment, which convey the vital but seldom-heard message that you're never really ready to grow up until it actually happens?

In their music and lyrics, Brian and Kait explore every nuance of these contrasts, while never sacrificing the heart and the hope that makes them worth singing about in the first place. As they’ve done ever since The Woman Upstairs, they offer aid and comfort to everyone navigating life’s most confusing years by articulating the thoughts and feelings we all usually have to keep hidden, no matter how much it may pain us.

The irony of the title is obvious: Our First Mistake describing a work of meticulous attention to dramatic and emotional detail? Yes, because no one ever succeeds without making a few missteps along the way. You may stumble, but you’ll always come out stronger in the end. One predicts that will be just as true of Brian and Kait—though if these songs represent the “mistake,” one can’t imagine how spectacular their eventual successes will be.

  -  Matthew Murray is the chief theatre critic for TalkinBroadway.com and is a columnist for BroadwayStars.

For more information, please visit http://www.kerrigan-lowdermilk.com/.


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Our First Mistake Trailer

About This Video


Our First Mistake Trailer
She The Best - Performed by Lewis Grosso, Brian Lowdermilk, and Kait Kerrigan
  • "She The Best" - Performed by Lewis Grosso, Brian Lowdermilk, and Kait Kerrigan - 05:06
  • 4.31 stars / 29
  • 3714 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
Say the Word - Performed by Laura Osnes
  • "Say the Word" - Performed by Laura Osnes - 04:08
  • 4.97 stars / 154
  • 20098 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
Sadie - Performed by Steven Booth
Run Away With Me - Joshua Henry
Holding On - Joshua Henry + Fans
I Drove You Home - performed by Jessica Phillips
  • "I Drove You Home" - performed by Jessica Phillips - 04:41
  • 5 stars / 8
  • 1037 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
Cosmopolitan - performed by Autumn Hurlbert
  • "Cosmopolitan" - performed by Autumn Hurlbert - 04:00
  • 5 stars / 10
  • 1365 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
Vegas - performed by Andy Mientus and Steven Booth
  • "Vegas" - performed by Andy Mientus and Steven Booth - 05:20
  • 5 stars / 20
  • 1738 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
RUN AWAY WITH ME - Jesse Ruben
THE BAD YEARS - Jesse Ruben
TWO STRANGERS - Carrie Manolakos
IM SORRY - Nadia Qunn
Thats Gotta Count for Something - words and music by Nadia Quinn
  • "That's Gotta Count for Something" - words and music by Nadia Quinn - 02:41
  • 4.65 stars / 23
  • 1758 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
UP AND DOWN - Jenni Barber
HOLDING ON - Alison Fraser
MOVING TO CHINA / WILL YOU COME WITH ME - Brian Lowdermilk, Rachel Lowdermilk & Kait Kerrigan
  • MOVING TO CHINA / WILL YOU COME WITH ME - Brian Lowdermilk, Rachel Lowdermilk & Kait Kerrigan - 05:05
  • 5 stars / 19
  • 1934 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
SHE THE BEST - Lewis Grosso, Aaron Bantum & Sarah Safer
  • SHE THE BEST - Lewis Grosso, Aaron Bantum & Sarah Safer - 05:03
  • 4.68 stars / 38
  • 3627 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
THE BAD YEARS - Jesse Ruben
THE FATHERS RAN AWAY - Rebecca Naomi Jones
  • THE FATHERS RAN AWAY - Rebecca Naomi Jones - 04:23
  • 5 stars / 38
  • 5606 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
IM SORRY - Nadia Quinn
NOT HER WAY - Kate Shindle
I DROVE YOU HOME - Alysha Umphress
IN BETWEEN - Carrie Manolakos & Nathan Tysen
  • IN BETWEEN - Carrie Manolakos & Nathan Tysen - 05:12
  • 5 stars / 10
  • 2173 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
SADIE - Matt Doyle
MOVING TO CHINA / WILL YOU COME WITH ME - Brian Lowdermilk, Rachel Lowdermilk & Kait Kerrigan
  • MOVING TO CHINA / WILL YOU COME WITH ME - Brian Lowdermilk, Rachel Lowdermilk & Kait Kerrigan - 04:59
  • 4.67 stars / 12
  • 1360 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
THE GIRL WHO DROVE AWAY - Laura Osnes
  • THE GIRL WHO DROVE AWAY - Laura Osnes - 04:13
  • 4.94 stars / 63
  • 8570 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
REMEMBER THIS - Meghann Fahy
VEGAS - Andy Mientus & Steven Booth
  • VEGAS - Andy Mientus & Steven Booth - 05:21
  • 4.96 stars / 331
  • 27840 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk
BERKELEY - The Spring Standards
AVALANCHE - Katrina Rose Dideriksen
TWO STRANGERS - Carrie Manolakos
RUN AWAY WITH ME - The Spring Standards, Jesse Ruben & Matt Doyle
  • RUN AWAY WITH ME - The Spring Standards, Jesse Ruben & Matt Doyle - 04:03
  • 4.91 stars / 87
  • 7891 Views
  • kerriganlowdermilk


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