From its humble yet innovative beginnings, the phenomenon that is fast food spread rapidly across America and beyond to become a global institution, feeding millions every day.
Set between 1955 and 1978, this is the story of an imaginative young chef, Johnnie Goode, his chance meeting with a smooth-talking entrepreneur, Dan Crawford, and the restaurant they create: GoodeBurgers.
GoodeBurgers is a huge success, expanding swiftly by franchising its name and menu. Despite the company bearing his name, Johnnie has no real power to influence decision-making, and Dan’s domineering character means he gets his way on most things.
Johnnie becomes romantically entangled with Grace, one of the roller-skating waitresses (Car-Hop girls), who is on her way to Hollywood with her sister, Laura. Johnnie’s starry-eyed distraction gives Dan the perfect opportunity to run things his way. He reduces costs by eliminating choices and nonessentials, creating an assembly line to produce a fast meal at a reasonable price, and “fast food”, as we know it, is born.
However, over time, Dan turns from visionary to ruthless profiteer, exploiting workers and customers alike. Johnnie’s reticence to challenge Dan is interpreted as weakness. Frustrated by this, Grace leaves to pursue her acting career. Johnnie is swept along by the success of GoodeBurgers until Dan unveils an automated burger-making machine. This leads to a confrontation which sets the two men on opposite paths.
The two worst reporters in history, Arthur and Norville, keep us updated on GoodeBurgers’ progress and finally, aided by Johnnie (behind the scenes), they break a story which brings the GoodeBurgers empire crashing down.
No longer under Dan’s control, Johnnie and Grace reunite and look towards their future, free from fast food… But Johnnie has had another bright idea (!)
Other characters we meet along the way include a sexy food scientist, Bambi Ryder, an exploited immigrant meatpacker, Lopez, Mayor Sherman, (who later becomes a Senator, useful to Dan), and a loyal franchisee, Mack. And finally, a resentful, failed actor who plays GoodeBurgers’ mascot, Goodie the Bear.
All Music, Lyrics, Book, Original Concept, Orchestrations, Fast Food The Musical logo, GoodBurgers logo, and the Goodie the Bear character © Rob Alderton