From the humble, classic American plot, "I Can't pay the rent! You must pay the rent! I'll pay the rent!" came five musical adaptations as though they were written by five of the most influential musical theater writers or writing teams of all time. There is a Rodgers and Hammerstein version set in Kansas in August, complete with a dream ballet; a Sondheim version, featuring the landlord as a tortured artistic genius who berates his in revenge for them not appreciating his work; a Jerry Herman version; an Andrew Lloyd Webber version, and a Kander and Ebb version, set in a speakeasy in Chicago.
The hilarious musical , with music by Eric Rockwell and lyrics by Joanne Bogart, pays a loving tribute to the traditions of musical theater while mercilessly lampooning them to shreds.