Here’s the story of The Brady Bunch musical. Written by show creator Sherwood Schwartz’s daughter, A Very Brady Musical takes a more modern and realistic approach to the sunshine-day sitcom.
Hope Juber wrote the musical with her husband, former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber. It picks up where the show and movies left off. But rather than the bubble gum approach that her dad had envisioned, Hope Juber wanted to shake up the format. In the musical, the Bradys’ marital bliss is short-lived as they’re constantly fighting. Their kids decide to take on odd jobs to help raise the money to pay for a therapist and counselor. Things quickly go off the rails.
Lloyd Schwartz worked with his dad on The Brady Bunch and helped his sister produce A Very Brady Musical. He loved the idea of taking a traditional trope from the show but spinning it to its weirdest and funniest conclusion.
“Do you know how the Brady kids always have to raise money, for silver platters and things like that? Well, in this particular case, they hear a terrible argument from their parents, which turns out not to be real,” he said in a 2008 interview. “The kids decide that their parents need a therapist. So each of them goes into a different world to be able to raise money.
“Greg has a taxicab service, so we do a song a little bit like in Grease. Peter does a magic show with Jan as his assistant and that’s a little bit like Barnum. It’s kind of a Brady-salute to musicals.”
The musical is still running. They recently did a virtual performance because most theaters are still shut down because of the pandemic.
Hope Juber On Filming an Iconic ‘Brady Bunch’ Scene
Fans of the show will probably remember her from the guest appearances. She’s Marcia’s friend in a season 2 episode that gets uninvited from a slumber for writing a nasty note to their teacher. And she’s Greg’s date to the drive-in movies that ends up with Bobby’s frog jumping on her head. That second appearance is one of the most iconic episodes of the show.
That moment got big laughs from the audience but filming it was anything but funny. The frogs were difficult to work with, and she spent the day having a heavy bullfrog dropped on her head over and over.
“That scene was crazy!” Juber told MeTV. “It was filmed on a soundstage and there was a sort of platform rigged up that went over the car where Barry [Williams] and I were sitting. There was indeed a ‘frog handler’ who was lying down with a sack of frogs. … The guy would drop a frog on my head at the appropriate time, but they were slippery and often just slid right off onto my lap. So they would have to stop, redo my hair and try again.”