Jill Sobule’s F*ck 7th Grade Musical Revue
City Winery Pittsburgh presents Jill Sobule’s F*ck 7th Grade Musical Revue Tuesday, May 28th, 2024 at 7:30 PM
“7th grade is evil!” Jill Sobule states emphatically. “It isn’t the first week or first month or first year that fucks you up for life, it’s 7th grade.”
Sobule would know. The singer-songwriter has an entire solo show, F*ck 7th Grade, about the long-reaching impact of that disastrous year. Why is it such a mess? Answers Sobule: “All of a sudden, peers become more important than your parents. In 6th grade, I was this tomboy, I was a badass, I was the electric guitar player. Suddenly, 7th grade happened, and my friends started wearing makeup and I didn't feel like I fit in. I knew early on that there was something different about me; that I had crushes on my friends, and that wasn’t,” here Sobule makes exaggerated air quotes, “the ‘right thing.’ 7th grade is when it all fell apart.”
F*ck 7th Grade, which was originally intended to be a limited run experiment in the small downtown venue, immediately caught the eye of uptown critics. It was named a New York Times Critic Pick and sold out multiple extensions of the original 2022 run.
Approximately 75 percent of the music in F*ck 7th Grade is from Sobule’s back catalog, including some early songs written in the stew of her adolescence. Still, she rankles at the idea of calling it a jukebox musical: “We didn’t have to create a story around these songs. These songs are my story. I just wrote a few more to fill out the narrative.”
She also struggles with the label of one-person-show. While the life on display is Sobule’s—the music is hers, and she is the star of every sequence—she carefully chose the all-female musicians surrounding her. That also helps with the stage fright, as Sobule remarks, “I’m not alone, I’m with my girls.”