Musicality is key to the aural success of Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Whenever Midge Maisel is performing on stage, you can tell when she is feeling her rhythms or, if she is bombing, how that rhythm is askew. This comedy is truly a wonder when it comes to timing, music, and speed. Emmy-nominated composers Tom Mizer and Curtis Moore are no strangers to nailing down that bouncy, ear-worm-y tone. With “Your Personal Trash Man Can,” however, they are given free rein to create musical so fantastical (and specific) that you will try to find out how you can buy tickets.
Episode four of Mrs. Maisel targets what that musicality does best. Frank and Nicky bring Midge aboard to narrate in an industrial musical for Private Demolition and Waste Management (“I’m hocking garbage,” as Midge expresses with surprise). What’s an industrial musical, you might ponder? I’m glad you asked! The duo referenced the incredible documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway as an inspiration and jumping off point to establish a small world of musical theater that no one gets to see. Entire musicals were written (and mostly forgotten) to sell cars, household appliances, or even Xerox copies. Composers like John Kander and Fred Ebb were afforded the opportunity to write music for Chevrolets or Oldsmobile, and now it’s Mizer and Moore’s turn.
“Your Personal Trash Man Can” begins with a twinkly, soft intro meant to evoke something nostalgic, but it quickly swerves into a vivacious quartet about…the awe-inspiring, inspirational realm of garbage management! When the trash can lid tap section begins, you realize not only is your jaw on the floor, but it’s lifting into a gleeful, what-am-I-watching grin.
For seasons three and four, Mizer and Moore created songs for international singing stars–one real, one fictitious. Shy Baldwin’s “One Less Angel” was a huge hit for the singer, and the composers had to figure out how to create a chart-topping song that didn’t exist. For “Maybe Monica,” they were tasked with writing a tribute to Baldwin’s marriage that would fit in with Harry Belafonte’s sensibilities. With “Trash Man,” they are allowed to run wild, writing a lighthearted but cheeky musical about something that shouldn’t have a musical devoted to it. When you break these imaginary rules, you can’t have anything but cheerful fun.
Mizer and Moore’s work is not just a tribute to the time period but also a salute to the field that they work in. We know that people sing in musicals because they no longer have the words to simply speak, and “Trash Man” is as giddy as they come.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is streaming now on Prime Video. The music of Maisel‘s final season is available to stream and purchase now.