PUN-OFF: A Musical Inside the High-Stakes World of Pun Competitions
PUN-OFF is a dark comedic musical inside the high-stakes world of Pun Competitions, which are a real thing that actually exist. A celebration of awkward word nerds, and an excuse to shoehorn as much wordplay into songs as possible. Think "Putnam County Spelling Bee," but instead of being about adorably nerdy kids it’s about outcast grown-ups. It’s also about grief and death.
At the center of the story is Ben, who has just lost his wife. He is processing his grief in an odd manner, as evidenced by his eulogy that veers into a run of 26 straight bread puns -- after all, his wife died in a tragic bread truck accident. Upon discovering that Pun Competitions exist, he escapes further into denial by going to the Annual Pun-Off, the place where he never has to talk normally again.
PUN-OFF is a musical about family: whether it’s the group of shunned punsters finding a makeshift family once a year, our villain and eight-time defending Pun-Off Champion, Brad Guy, actively pushing away love and friendship, or Ben, seeking to redefine what family means in the new normal of loss. Will his daughter, Amy, be able to get him to finally face his grief and mourn? Might be tough, he’s not a mourning person.