A New Musical

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cleaVage: the front story

Music and Lyrics by Ron Friedman

Book by Laura Goodenow and Ron Friedman

The “real” story behind fake breasts. cleaVage is an unbelievable-but-mostly-true hilarious musical inspired by the trailblazing surgeons and brave patients who shaped the spectacular rise, equally spectacular fall, and rise again of silicone gel breast implants. Celebrating women’s empowerment, cleaVage provides a whimsical, insightful, and surprisingly emotional journey into breast augmentation and reconstruction, topics of endless fascination for the American public.

As a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in the Dallas area for well over 25 years, I recognize that I am an unlikely candidate to co-author a musical. However, the true story of silicone gel implants has several plot twists, and I have an insider’s understanding of the intricacies. I have been writing music since my teens,  have performed my songs live for crowds up to 15,000, and just might be the only plastic surgeon in the United States who is pitching a musical. My co-writer, Laura Goodenow, is a respected author, playwright, and movie producer (Year by the Sea).

SYNOPSIS

It’s Houston 1962. Magazine covers and a new doll named Barbie redefine the perfect female figure while plastic surgeons DR. JOHN CONAN and DR. HANK ROUSSEAU invent a way for women to attain it: silicone gel breast implants. DR. ROUSSEAU performs the first breast augmentation on a dog and then on TAMMY BRIE HARLEY, a penniless mother of six.

Demand for silicone gel implant surgery skyrockets, and soon it’s the #1 cosmetic procedure worldwide. DR. CONAN revels in fame and fortune, but DR. ROUSSEAU finds a new purpose—and a perfect bride—in breast cancer reconstruction patient GLENDA BYRNE. Silicone competition in the form of saline implants falls flat…until leaked documents reveal that silicone manufacturer DOW CORNING concealed the truth about implant ruptures and a mysterious autoimmune disease.

Ronald M. FriedmanClass-action lawsuits threaten DR. ROUSSEAU and DR. CONAN’s livelihoods, but when GLENDA reveals her cancer has returned—and she’s pregnant—DR. ROUSSEAU fears losing it all. Can DR. ROUSSEAU hold on to the love of his life, his unborn baby, and his innovation?

In partnership with MusicalWriters, cleaVage enjoyed a table read in July 2022 and a second table read in September 2022. A staged reading is scheduled during Women’s History Month in March 2023. This is unexplored territory for musicals, and we sincerely hope to bring our work to the public.

Ronald M. Friedman, MD

Selected songs

THE QUEST

Dr. John Conan, a Texas plastic surgeon, discovers his next invention–and his life’s quest.


I’M ON A QUEST TO MAKE THE PERFECT BREAST
I CANNOT REST UNTIL I’VE MADE THE PERFECT BREAST
IF I SHOULD FAIL, MY QUEST WILL BE A BUST
IF I SUCCEED, MY QUEST WILL BE A BIGGER BUST

OX CARTILAGE AND POLYURETHANE
CAUSED INFLAMMATION, TUMORS, AND BREAST PAIN
PARAFFIN WAX, GLASS BALLS, AND IVORY
CAUSED OPEN WOUNDS, INFECTIONS, AND GANGRENE
POLYMER SPONGES WITH FORMALDEHYDE
CAUSED LIVER FAILURE AND ONE PATIENT DIED

I’M ON A QUEST TO MAKE THE PERFECT BREAST
I CANNOT REST UNTIL I’VE MADE THE PERFECT BREAST
I’LL MAKE THEM ROUND AND NOT LIKE SILLY CONES
WAIT – SILLY CONES? THAT SOUNDS A LOT LIKE SILICONE
AND YOU WILL GET ATTENTION FROM THE GUYS
(ALL OF THE GUYS)
BUT THEY WON’T KNOW THE COLOR OF YOUR EYES
(YES, I HAVE EYES)

AND WITH YOUR HUSBAND, IMPLANTS WILL ADD SPICE
AND ON A PLANE, A FLOTATION DEVICE
SILICONE GEL WILL SET YOUR BOSOM FREE
(I’LL FEEL SO FREE)
NO NEED FOR BRAS WHEN YOU’RE DEFYING GRAVITY
NO GRAVITY

I’M ON A QUEST TO MAKE THE PERFECT BREAST
( THE PERFECT BREAST)
SILICONE GEL WILL HELP ME MAKE THE PERFECT BREAST
(I WANT THE PERFECT BREAST)
IF I SHOULD FAIL, MY QUEST WILL BE A BUST
IF I SUCCEED, A BIGGER BUST INDEED

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Silicone gel breast implants hit the market, and sales skyrocket!


IF YOU WANT TO SEE SOME ROCKETS, VISIT HOUSTON
WE HAVE NASA, GLOBAL CENTER OF SPACEFLIGHT
AND IF YOU WANT TO SEE SOME HEAVENLY BODIES
CHEST-MOUNTED ROCKETS ARE A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT

HOUSTON’S GOT ROCKETS
THE BIGGEST ROCKETS
YOU CAN SEE SOME IF YOU’VE GOT
CASH IN YOUR POCKETS

ROCKET SHIPS GO FLYING BY WHILE
OIL ROCKETS TO THE SKY
BUT SILICONE’S THE ROCKET FUEL
BEHIND THE PROFITS

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOME ROCKETS, SEE JOHN CONAN
MAKING BIGGER BREASTS HAS ALWAYS BEEN HIS PLAN
ON THE SCENE AHEAD OF ELTON AND KIM JONG
CONAN IS THE ORIGINAL ROCKET MAN

HOUSTON’S GOT ROCKETS
THE BIGGEST ROCKETS
YOU CAN GET SOME IF YOU’VE GOT
CASH IN YOUR POCKETS

ROCKET SHIPS GO FLYING BY
WHILE OIL ROCKETS TO THE SKY
BUT SILICONE’S THE ROCKET FUEL
BEHIND THE PROFITS

WE’RE AMONG THE BIGGEST CITIES IN THE NATION
WE’VE GOT THE BIGGEST TITTIES IN A GENERATION
SO IF QUALITY OF LIFE CAN BE MEASURED BY THE CUP
HOUSTON’S ECONOMY IS BOOM FROM BUSTS

HOUSTON’S GOT ROCKETS
THE BIGGEST ROCKETS
YOU CAN BUY SOME IF YOU’VE GOT
CASH IN YOUR POCKETS

ROCKET SHIPS GO FLYING BY
WHILE OIL ROCKETS TO THE SKY
BUT SILICONE’S THE ROCKET FUEL
BEHIND THE PROFITS

YEAH, ROCKET SHIPS GO FLYING BY
WHILE OIL ROCKETS TO THE SKY
BUT THE ROCKET FUEL IS SILICONE

CLEAVAGE

The chorus says it all: “Everyone loves cleavage.”


THIGH GAPS ARE GOOD, TOOTH GAPS ARE BAD
GAPS BETWEEN YOUR BREASTS ARE SAD SAD SAD
IT’S GOOD TO HAVE LOTS OF PERSONAL SPACE
EXCEPT WHEN IT’S BETWEEN YOUR BREASTS

CAUSE EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE (CLEAVAGE)
PUT YOUR BOSOM BUDDIES TOGETHER
EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE (CLEAVAGE)
WORSHIPING THESE BREASTS FOREVER

IN A THOUSAND YEARS, WHEN THEY DIG UP MY BONES
AND FIND THESE ORBS SITTING ON MY CHEST
THEY’LL SAY IT MUST BE A RELIGIOUS THING
AND THAT’D BE A PRETTY GOOD GUESS

CAUSE SILICONE’S THE NEW JESUS (JESUS)
BRINGING THE WORLD TOGETHER
SILICONE’S THE NEW JESUS (JESUS)
WORSHIPING THESE BREASTS FOREVER
EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE (CLEAVAGE)
PUT YOUR BOSOM BUDDIES TOGETHER
SILICONE’S THE NEW JESUS (JESUS)
WORSHIPING THESE BREASTS FOREVER

EUROPE’S GOT CLEAVAGE
ASIA’S GOT CLEAVAGE
AMERICAN CLEAVAGE IS SUBLIME
WE’RE BRINGING THE WORLD TOGETHER
TWO BREASTS AT A TIME

CAUSE EVERYBODY LOVES
EVERYBODY LOVES
EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE (CLEAVAGE)
PUT YOUR BOSOM BUDDIES TOGETHER
SILICONE’S THE NEW JESUS (JESUS)
WORSHIPING THESE BREASTS FOREVER

EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE (CLEAVAGE)
PUT YOUR BOSOM BUDDIES TOGETHER
SILICONE’S THE NEW JESUS (JESUS)
WORSHIPING THESE BREASTS FOREVER

EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE
SILICONE’S THE NEW JESUS
EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE (CLEAVAGE)
BRINGING THE WORLD TOGETHER
EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE (CLEAVAGE)
AND IT CHANGED THE WORLD FOREVER
AND IT CHANGED THE WORLD FOREVER
AND IT CHANGED THE WORLD…

CAUSE EVERYBODY LOVES CLEAVAGE (CLEAVAGE)

https://www.maxim.com/maxim-man/women-love-boobs-study-2016-8

FRENCH WHINES

Competition from French-made saline implants fails to launch.


THE FRENCH USED TO BOAST
BUT NOW THEY’RE FRENCH TOAST
CAUSE SALINE HAS DIED ON THE VINE
BEFORE THEY JUST COASTED
BUT NOW THEY’RE FRENCH ROASTED
AND ALL I CAN HEAR IS FRENCH WHINES

THE FRENCH SEEMED SO ELATED
BUT NOW LIKE THEIR IMPLANTS
THEY LOOK SO DEFLATED
THEY’VE CRIED SO MUCH THAT
THEY’RE DEHYDRATED
SO ALL THEY CAN DO IS PEE AIR
(PIERRE!)

THEY’LL DROWN THEIR
SORROWS IN CHARDONNAY
PERHAPS WITH SOME
ROQUEFORT OR BRIE
FRENCH COMPLAINTS
ARE JUST SOUR GRAPES
WITH THEIR WHINING
PERHAPS THEY’D LIKE CHEESE
(FROMAGE!)

THE FRENCH HAD THEIR PRIDE
BUT NOW THEY’RE FRENCH FRIED
CAUSE SALINE HAS DIED ON THE VINE
(SALINE’S DIED ON THE VINE)
NOW THAT THEY’RE WHIPPED
THEY ACT LIKE FRENCH DIPS
AND ALL I CAN HEAR IS FRENCH WHINES
(ALL I HEAR IS FRENCH WHINES)

THE FRENCH GOT FILETED
AND FLAMBEED AND SAUTEED
THEY’RE ON
THE MENU FOR BRUNCH
THEY USED TO THRIVE
NOW THEY’RE FOOD DEPRIVED
CAUSE SILICONE’S EATEN
THEIR LUNCH
(OUR LUNCH!)

BEAUJOLAIS, BURGUNDY
AND BORDEAUX
(BORDEAUX)
FINE CHAMPAGNE, SAUVIGNON
AND CHATEAU
FRENCH WINES ARE DIVINE
WHEN YOU SHARE THEM
FRENCH WHINES LACK A SPINE
WHEN YOU HEAR THEM
WHINE, WHINE, WHINE, WHINE

THE FRENCH USED TO BOAST
BUT NOW THEY’RE FRENCH TOAST
CAUSE SALINE HAS DIED ON THE VINE
(SALINE’S DIED ON THE VINE)
BEFORE THEY JUST COASTED
BUT NOW THEY’RE FRENCH ROASTED
AND ALL I CAN HEAR IS FRENCH WHINES
(ALL I HEAR IS FRENCH WHINES)
ALL I CAN HEAR IS FRENCH WHINES

CONSEQUENCES

Attorney Dawn Fulton launches a broadside against Dow Corning, the primary manufacturer of silicone gel breast implants.


MY NAME IS DAWN FULTON, ATTORNEY AT LAW
I’M IN POSSESSION OF MEMOS EXPOSING YOUR FLAWS
DOW CORNING DECEIVED THE PUBLIC AND BROKE SEVERAL LAWS
ALL FOR PROFIT

YOUR OWN STUDIES CONCLUDE THAT SILICONE IS UNSAFE
THEY’RE RUPTURING AT AN UNACCEPTABLE RATE
BUT YOU’VE HIDDEN THIS DATA SINCE ‘78
ALL FOR PROFIT

BUT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO THE LIES YOU TELL
(CONSEQUENCES, THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES)
NOW IT’S MY JOB TO MAKE YOUR LIFE A LIVING HELL
(CONSEQUENCES, YEAH)
I’VE GOT A HUNDRED WOMEN LINING UP TO SUE
(CONSEQUENCES, THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES)
I CAN FORETELL THAT THIS WON’T END SO WELL FOR YOU
(CONSEQUENCES, YEAH)

YOUR OWN STUDIES CONCLUDE THAT SILICONE CAN INDUCE
AN IMMUNE REACTION IN THE BREAST TISSUE
SOME BREAST MILK CONTAINS A BIT OF SILICONE JUICE
NOW I’LL SQUEEZE YOU

YOUR SALESPEOPLE COMPLAIN OF AN OILY DEBRIS
THAT COATS EVERY IMPLANT IN YOUR INDUSTRY
YOU’VE LONG BEEN AWARE OF THIS SILICONE BLEED
NOW I’LL BLEED YOU

CAUSE THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO YOUR CORPORATE SWILL (CONSEQUENCES, THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES)
AND IF YOUR CONSCIENCE DOESN’T HAUNT YOU, THEN I WILL (CONSEQUENCES, YEAH)
I’VE GOT A HUNDRED PLAINTIFFS HUNGRY FOR A PIECE
(CONSEQUENCES, THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES)
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
YOU WERE THE WOLF NOW YOU’RE THE SHEEP
CONSEQUENCES, YEAH

YOUR DAYS OF CORPORATE RECKLESSNESS ARE DRAWING TO A CLOSE
YOUR LIES ARE CATCHING UP TO YOU AND SOON YOU’LL BE EXPOSED PREPARE TO BE DEPOSED

Still haven’t learned your lesson? Well…
YOU KNOW THERE HAVE TO BE SOME
CONSEQUENCES TO THE LIES YOU TELL
(CONSEQUENCES, THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES)
NOW IT’S MY JOB TO MAKE YOUR LIFE A LIVING HELL
(CONSEQUENCES, YEAH)
I’VE GOT A HUNDRED WOMEN LINING UP TO SUE
(CONSEQUENCES, THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES)
I CAN FORETELL THAT THIS WON’T END SO WELL FOR YOU
(CONSEQUENCES, THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES)
YOU CAN PRETEND, BUT THIS WON’T END SO WELL FOR YOU

MELON-CHOLY

Women are sad after removing their breast implants.


MY IMPLANTS WERE CLOSE TO MY HEART
(SO CLOSE TO MY HEART)
ESPECIALLY THE BOOB ON THE LEFT
(SO CLOSE TO MY HEART)
AND I CAN’T STAND BEING APART
(APART)
NOW THERE’S A GAP BETWEEN MY BREASTS
AND I FEEL SO EMPTY
(EMPTY)
EVER SINCE MY IMPLANTS LEFT ME
(LEFT ME ALL ALONE WHOA-OH)

IT’S SO DAMN HARD TO GO ON
MY JUICY MELONS ARE GONE
AND I FEEL SO MELONCHOLY
OH, THEY LIVED UP TO THE HYPE
I KNOW MY MELONS WERE RIPE
AND I FEEL SO MELONCHOLY
WITHOUT MY MELONS

THERE’S SOMETHING NOT RIGHT
THERE’S NOTHING LEFT
I FEEL SO MELONCHOLY
MY MOOD IS AS FLAT
AS BOTH OF MY BREASTS
I FEEL SO MELONCHOLY

I KNOW MY BREASTS WERE NEVER REAL
(NEVER REAL, NO NO NO)
BUT REAL LOSS IS WHAT I’M FEELING NOW

THERE’S NEXT TO NOTHING UP HERE
SO I’VE GOT NOTHING TO SHARE
I FEEL SO MELONCHOLY
MY BRAS, DOUBLE DS
MY BOOBS, DROOPY BS
I FEEL SO MELONCHOLY

THERE’S SOMETHING NOT RIGHT
THERE’S NOTHING LEFT
I FEEL SO MELONCHOLY
MY MOOD IS AS FLAT
AS BOTH OF MY BREASTS
I FEEL SO MELONCHOLY
WITHOUT MY MELONS

IT’S MY CHOICE

Breast reconstruction patient, Glenda, is angry. She had the right breast reconstructed with silicone, but now–with silicone gel off the market–her only option to reconstruct her left breast is saline.


WRINKLES AND RIPPLES DON’T BELONG ON MY CHEST
I HAVE SEEN THOSE SALINE IMPLANTS
AND I’M SO NOT IMPRESSED
CANCER’S LEFT ME MAROONED
SO DON’T POUR SALT IN MY WOUND
GIVE ME A MATCH CUZ I’M ABOUT TO IGNITE

I TRIED TO LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
WHEN THEY TOOK OFF MY RIGHT SIDE
CAUSE MY SPLENDA IS SPLENDID
AND IT BLENDED RIGHT IN
NOW MY LEFT BREAST IS THROUGH
I PRAY MY CANCER IS TOO
IF I GO DOWN, I’LL GO DOWN FIGHTING
I AIN’T BREAKING DOWN AND CRYING CUZ

IT’S MY CHOICE
HEAR MY VOICE
MARK MY WORD
I’LL BE HEARD

WHY DO MEN THINK THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTROL
WHAT I PUT IN MY BODY, WHAT I DO TO FEEL WHOLE
IT’S MY CANCER, MY FIGHT
THIS IS MY ANSWER, MY RIGHT
I WON’T BE SILENCED OR DENIED
CUZ I’M THE ONE WHO WILL DECIDE, YEAH

IT’S MY CHOICE
HEAR MY VOICE
MARK MY WORD
I’LL BE HEARD

IT’S MY CHOICE
HEAR MY VOICE
(DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO JUST)
MARK MY WORD
I’LL BE HEARD
(THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU BECAUSE)

IT’S MY CHOICE
HEAR MY VOICE
(GOTTA BREAK THE NEWS TO YOU SO)
MARK MY WORD
I’LL BE HEARD
(THIS IS NOT UP TO YOU BECAUSE)
IT’S MY CHOICE

THE QUEST

HOUSTON ROCKETS

CLEAVAGE

FRENCH WHINES

CONSEQUENCES

MELON-CHOLY

IT’S MY CHOICE

For more information about cleaVage: the front store, please visit cleavagemusical.com

Please click here for more information about Dr. Friedman.

Please click here to view photos of Dr. Friedman’s wood sculptures.

Please click here for more information about our nationally-accredited surgery center.