Raymond Benson plays the Overture from The Resurrection of Jackie Cramer

Composed by Raymond Benson, Words in the musical theater piece by Frank Gagliano, copyrighted 1977 by Gagliano and Benson, copyright renewed. Recorded at home during 2020 quarantine.

(The Musical)


Original book and lyrics
Frank Gagliano

Raymond Benson


“Jackie Cramer, Susie Lou’s boyfriend,
At the age of not-quite sixteen,
Died on a Monday, by slipping in dog do,
And hitting his head on a Volkswagen fender…”

[“THE RESURRECTION OF JACKIE CRAMER” is an entirely sung original musical Theatre Piece about a 16-year old boy, Jackie Cramer, who denies pain and tears in life, by laughing at everything.]

When the musical starts, Jackie slips in dog do, hits his head on a Volkswagen fender, dies and goes to heaven. There he discovers that God is a Board of Directors (the BOD), and he laughs at them. For this insolence, Jackie is sentenced to stay in Limbo until he stops laughing and learns how to cry. It turns out that Limbo is just the place Jackie’s been looking for all his young life. Because of a celestial loophole, Jackie can stay in Limbo for eternity. So the BOD set out to rectify their error. They lead Jackie on a journey through heaven and earth, and force Jackie, for the first time, to confront his family, former (“freak”) friends—and himself.

Will the BOD get Jackie to cry? The musical culminates in a cemetery showdown.


(Demo tracks below: Composer Raymond Benson plays and sings the Cramer Overture and Prologue)