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December 21, 2020 77 min

Trigger warning: this episode contains discussion of child sex abuse and pedophilia.


"Who is that viper that likes them post-diaper?" This is just one of the objectively terrifying lyrics in a botched Broadway musical of Lolita -- the first an expensive, campy musical from the writer of My Fair Lady in the 70s, and another gritty reboot from Edward Albee starring Edward Albee in the 80s. We speak to the actors who played Lolita about the public pressures put on by the productions and the public, look at the many stage failures from the inside and out, and listen to lighthearted Broadway tunes about the worst crime a human can commit.

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Discussed in today's episode:

"Lolita My Love" -- a recording from 1971 in Boston:

Sarah Weinman's "Yes, They Once Tried to Make a Musical Out of Lolita", 2018:

"You're a Dum Dum":

Blood Pageant from Chris Gilmore:

"Thank Heaven For Little Girls":

Edward Albee's Lolita (1981):

NYT Review of Albee's Lolita:

"Who's Afraid of White Fragility?" Hyperallergic, 2017:

"Albee Estate Clarifies Position of Casting Controversy of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Playbill, 2017:

The Edward Albee Foundation:

"Jewishness as Literary Device in Nabokov's Fiction":

"Wrestling with a Lolita Opera and Losing" NYT, 2005:

Rodion Schedrin on his 'Lolita' opera:

Michael Walsh on Schedrin's Lolita opera:,9171,982502,00.html

Cathy Marston 2015 Lolita ballet trailer (Denmark):

Hiroko Mikami on Michael West's 2003 'Lolita' adaptation:

Victor Sobchak's Lolita, 2003:

Davide Bombana's Lolita ballet excerpt, 2003:

Brian Cox as Humbert in Richard Nelson's 2009 one-man "Lolita":

Humbert Humbert (Conjuring Nymphet), NYT 2009 (Michael Galante adaptation):

John Harbison's "Darkbloom":

Lolita: An Imagined Opera:

Russian Ballet Excerpt "The Swimmer" from 2017:

'Lolita' by The Four Humors:

"An Infamous 'Lolita' Musical Gets a Belated Broadway Debut" NYT 2019 (Emilly Maltby Production):

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