Your other published writing is not in the musical genre. How was that experience, and do you think you’d want to tackle original musicals next?
What’s so funny is, when I was a little kid I used to write song and music all the time. I have to say, I think I was really good at it. It was something for whatever reason I put it down. I think I’d be totally rusty now, but I remember high school I did do Shirley Todd (a modern, gender-swapped Sweeny Todd), I also wrote a musical for Candyland, which I think i was 12 or 13 when I wrote that. I could still probably sing some of the songs I wrote for it. I would be very interested in doing (musicals) someday. Maybe if I worked on it I could be good at it.
You picked “Take Me Home Tonight” which samples the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” a melding of eras, much like the episode.
We needed a big, splashy known song for the ending. The story for Rachel is that she starts an animal charity called Broadway Bitches, about dog adoption. All the characters come together in the end to get as many dogs adopted as possible, so the lyrics fit that perfectly. It’s the two different stories of the show coming together – Kurt’s at the retirement home and Rachel is planning this charity. They kind of have a falling out, then she makes it up to him at the end by inviting Kurt and his new friends to perform at his benefit. It’s the big bow for the story.
You’ve also got “Memory,” from Cats, in the episode. A lot of people have performed this song over the years. Do you have a particular version from which you drew inspiration?
I think the live performances that Elaine Paige gives, that was the inspiration. I think that’s a song that is very very powerful, and it should be sung out. A lot of times when people cover it and record it, they sing it very very soft. Like background music. I wanted it to be big and emotion. When I sing memory I’m in a retirement home, and the song is about a life that you once lived. The words and situation were almost built for that song.