Click here to return to the main site.

Music Review

Cover Image

Who's Your Baghdaddy?
Original Cast Recording


Music and Lyrics: Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penedo
Performed by: Ethan Slater, Brennan Caldwell, Jason Collins, Brandon Espinoza, Joe Joseph, Claire Neumann, Bob D'Haene and Larisa Oleynik
Label: Broadway Records
Release Date: 29 September 2018

What do Princess Diana, Golf, The Menopause and Snoopy have in common? No? Ok. They have all had musicals written about them. Some, more than one. And we can now add the Iraq War to that list... I joke not. I was a bit uneasy about Broadway Records recent release of Who’s Your Baghdaddy, or How I Started the Iraq War, but as I always do, I listened to it with an open mind.

Inspired by a true story, Who's Your Baghdaddy, or How I Started the Iraq War is a new musical comedy The New York Times calls “an important, cunning rock solid musical comedy with a terrible title”. Dark, boisterous and irreverent, the story follows a handful of mid-level spies in a support group for people who started the Iraq War, whose vanity and office politics contributed to the worst intelligence blunder in modern history.

Starring Tony Award nominee Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants), Brennan Caldwell (NBC's The Sing-Off), Jason Collins (National Tour: Annie), Brandon Espinoza (Broadway: Tuck Everlasting, Gypsy), Joe Joseph (Regional: Kiss of the Spiderwoman), Claire Neumann (NYC: Triassic Parq), and Larisa Oleynik (Mad Men), Who’s Your Baghdaddy is written by Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penedo, with musical direction by Rona Siddiqui and orchestrations by Charlie Rosen. The cast recording is produced by Matthias Winter.

It’s fair to say this is a brave musical. To tackle a subject that is still raw in a lot of people's lives, and a subject that still divides people greatly, it’s to say the least a risky subject for an evening of musical entertainment. The show has had 2 lives - originally in 2015 and again in 2017 off Broadway, so it has an audience it seems, and for Broadway Records to record it shows that perhaps the world is moving on slightly.

I actually found this an enjoyable listen. It’s clear from the very first number of what to expect from the piece, It’s a very wordy piece, with musical styles that vary, but seem to stick to rock as their basis. In some of the quieter passages, I could actually sense some Wicked-esque / Children of Eden like writing, and it’s fair to say this is a musically sound album. Each section of the album is how the characters did (or didn’t) start the Iraq War, and this makes the album easy to follow, using the excellent booklet provided. There are many tracks I liked. 'Hydrangea Reports' is certainly an ear worm, and one I remembered from the first time I listened. A great character song, and very catchy tune. I also loved the Bluegrass feel in sections of it. ‘Das Man’ is also another well written number, and a great orchestration too. But my favourite number in the show, and one I’ve played several times since, is ‘Speak To Me Tomorrow’ sung by the Iraqi Dictator in the piece.

A moving and through provoking piece, and another in a long line of successes for Broadway Records.


Ian Gude

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Digital album
iTunes GB
Digital album
Digital album