Adam Schlesinger / James Snyder & Alli Mauzey in Cry-Baby

QuaranTune #11: "A Little Upset" from Cry-Baby

A show tune a day keeps the quarantine blues at bay...

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The New York Theatre Guide is saddened to hear of the passing of Tony Award nominee Adam Schlesinger, who died yesterday at the age of 52 following COVID-19 complications. We are dedicating today's #QuaranTune to his memory and have chosen a musical number from his Tony-nominated score of Cry-Baby, which also marked Schlesinger's Broadway debut.

Based on the 1990 film starring Johnny Depp, Cry-Baby officially opened at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway in April 2008, following a tryout at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse in the fall of 2007. Set in the 1950s, the musical follows well-behaved Baltimore teenager Allison Vernon-Williams (originated on Broadway by Jagged Little Pill standout Elizabeth Stanley) who is led astray by Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker (portrayed by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child star James Snyder), the leader of a pack of young rebels. It received four Tony Award nominations in 2008, including 'Best Musical.'

Schlesinger also provided the music for An Act of God, which enjoyed two separate engagements on the Great White Way (2015 at Studio 54 and 2016 at the Booth Theatre). He was currently working on the eagerly anticipated world premiere of The Bedwetter, based on Sarah Silverman's bestselling memoir of the same name, which was scheduled to begin performances Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company this spring.

He also won Emmy Awards in the category of 'Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics' in 2012 and 2013 for penning the songs "It's Not Just for Gays Anymore" and "If I Had Time," both performed by Neil Patrick Harris at the 65th and 66th Annual Tony Awards ceremonies.

Outside the world of theater, Schlesinger was perhaps best known as a founding member of the bands Fountains of Wayne, Ivy, and Tinted Windows, and for writing the 2003 Grammy-nominated song "Stacy's Mom." He also earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations in 1997 for penning the title track to the Tom Hanks film "That Thing You Do!"

Here is James Snyder in the 2008 Tony Awards ceremony performance of "A Little Upset" from Cry-Baby...


From the moment that we met, I've been deeply in your debt, For your patience for when I get a little upset. (Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker, Cry-Baby)

(Cry-Baby production photo by Joan Marcus)


Originally published on

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