Book by Will Aronson & Daniel Maté
Music by Will Aronson
Lyrics by Daniel Maté


A contemporary re-imagining of Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’, The Trouble With Doug is a hilarious and moving new musical about a healthy, happy young man who transforms inexplicably into a giant talking (and singing) slug. Metamorphoses large and small begin to unfold as Doug, his family, and his fiancée—now thrust together awkwardly under the same roof—struggle to understand and respond to this strangest of crises. 


The Trouble With Doug began at NYU/Tisch, where Will Aronson and I met as grad school classmates. At this point we had already collaborated on a ten-minute musical, a strange little piece based on a Buddhist parable about death and delusion— you know, real song-and-dance stuff. As we were searching for a story to adapt for our full-length thesis show, our professor Sybille Pearson had the insight and foresight to suggest we check out the work of Franz Kafka. When we read The Metamorphosis, the possibilities for a tragicomic modern-day musical adaptation started jumping out at us. Admittedly, ‘Man Becomes Slug’ is an unlikely elevator pitch for a musical, but it’s been amazing to see audiences from California to Florida to New York to England to Denmark laugh, cry—and best of all, relate to—this story of a family confronting the unexplainable.

The Trouble With Doug had its European premiere in Spring 2017 at Fredericia Teater, Denmark, directed by Victoria Clark (Tony Award, Best Lead Actress in a Musical, The Light In The Piazza) and with orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin (Tony Award, Best Orchestrations, The Light In The Piazza). Previous workshop productions took place at Arts Garage (Delray Beach, FL, 2014), TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, CA, 2012), and CAP 21 Theatre Company (NYC, 2009). Doug was also presented in the 2010 NAMT Festival of New Musicals, and received further developmental support from Weston Playhouse (VT) and Royal & Derngate (UK).


“A stunning show, buoyed by a superb score and possibly the best set of theatre lyrics I have heard in years — dramatic and emotional and funny, sometimes all at once.” -Bruce Pomahac, Director of Music, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization

"Don't come to this remarkable and heartfelt new show expecting either Kafkaesque alienation and angst or, as I was fearing, snarky postmodern spoof. 'The Trouble with Doug' is an original, and also rather daring in post-Osage County theatre in its focus on a family of loving, smart people who genuinely care about each other. The places Aronson and Maté take us here are constantly surprising.” -Martin Denton, nytheatre.com

Aronson and Mate's masterful science-fiction parable becomes so moving in part because we've come to identify with Doug's humanity— witnessing, as one of the songs puts it, ‘Doug lose his Dougness every day’…  'The Trouble With Doug' is ultimately neither comedy nor tragedy but a touching drama about sacrifice, coping, and, as corny as it sounds, the possibility of a better tomorrow.” -John Thomason, New Times Broward-Palm Beach

“[A] must-see event. There is such a dearth of viable, entertaining, thoughtful new theatre. How refreshing to have 'The Trouble With Doug' in our own, if you'll pardon the pun, backyard.” -Jeffrey Bruce, Talkin' Broadway South Florida

"It's been a long time since I've seen a show where I've been crying with laughter while wiping away tears of emotion. Doug’s tale may sound silly and like an offbeat comedy, but the story of the slug-man hides something much deeper, which really surprised me as a spectator." -XeniasBogBlog (Denmark)

“...Has Fredericia Theater lost its mind? In no way. On their small stage, they have created something that in its own way, is just as grand as 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'… The lyrics are subtle/clever and contain great humor, in conjunction with the utmost seriousness.” -‘Poetry With Teeth’ Culture Blog (Denmark)

★★★★★ “Well-sung and acted, funny and touching— can you ask anything more from a musical?" -Henrik Lyding, Jyllands-Posten (Denmark)