Locked and Loaded, an American Musical
Brosseau, center, with New York City cast

The Musical Synopsis

In David and Goliath fashion, lead character Tom Henry struggles to convince a popular U.S. senator that a bill expanding gun ownership will only lead to more violence. The parent of a mass-shooting victim, Tom finds unexpected strength (and eventual love) through Jenny Strong, whose conflicted views on guns lead to conflict in their relationship.
A TV newswoman with conflicts of her own chronicles the gun debate, culminating in an explosive exchange on her public-affairs show between Tom and his Senate nemesis. Friendships are tested, stereotypes are put up for grabs, and even love of country is on the line.

Against all odds, the show concludes on a note of hope. As Tom and Jenny declare in the closing song, they will fight on to make America a land “where battles are fought/by rounds of thought."

A Musical’s Journey

Journalist Jim Brosseau began work on “Locked and Loaded, an American Musical,” sharing the concern of most Americans over the spread of gun violence. Rather than preach, Brosseau wanted to find a way to address the incendiary topic, giving voice to several viewpoints on firearms.

First presented in a staged reading at Cape Cod's historic Provincetown Theater as “Gun Control, the Musical,” the show later received a New York City staged reading at the Theatre at St. John’s in Greenwich Village. Industry feedback, work at two different stages with two separate dramaturgs, several informal readings, and many rewrites led to a number of changes. They include a new title (too many thought "Gun Control, the Musical" was a comedy).

Today’s incarnation features five actors portraying seven characters, instead of seven playing nine. The two-act show has been collapsed into a taut, 90-minute, single-act work. Set requirements remain minimal, and the show can be mounted with piano accompaniment alone.

The musical’s songs have been consistently well-received, and a cast album is now available. It includes the addition of a 14th song, “My Heart Is Full,” which has been performed by several artists.