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The heart of Clifton's work has been as a composer (often lyricist as well) of scores for musicals.





current musical projects

Two Eagles - A new musical based on the play "Like Two Eagles" by Tuvia Tenenbom

Hadleyburg - Musical based on "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg" by Mark Twain

El Bravo and the Magic Sneakers - Animated Feature based on the stage musical "El Bravo!".

Appalachian Fling - Country Musical based upon "The Broken Jug" by Heinrich Von Kleist

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produced musicals

New York

Man With A Load of Mischief - Original Cast AlbumMan With A Load of Mischief  (Music/Co-Lyricist) Directed by Tom Gruenewald/Jan Hus Playhouse and four NY revivals
El Bravo! poster - Click for PDF version

El Bravo! (Music and Lyrics) Directed by Patricia Birch and Andre Ernotte/Entermedia Theatre

The Madwoman of Central Park West (Contributing Composer)
 The Madwoman of Central Park West  CD coverStarred Phyllis Newman, Directed by Arthur Laurents/22 Steps)

Soap Opera (Music) Directed by librettist Ken Berman/Wings Theatre)

A Quarter For the Ladies Room (Music) Directed by Darwin Knight, Lyrics by Ruth Bachelor, Featured Benay Venuta/Village Gate

The Maiden of Ludmir (Music)  Directed by Robert Kalfin/Folksbeine Playhouse




Mama (Music and Lyrics) Studio Arena, Buffalo NY/ Starred Celeste Holm/based upon Kathryn Forbes’ “I Remember Mama”

Starshine (Music and Lyrics) Theatre-By-The-Sea, Portsmouth NH

A Romantic Detachment (Music and Lyrics) Wheeler Opera House, Aspen CO

Hello, Goodbye (Music and Lyrics) Theatre Under the Stars, Atlantic City



unproduced musicals

Bandits  (Music, Co-Lyricist)  Based on “Ubu Roi”/Option (now expired) by Ken Gaston  Sample songs

Till, The Fool of Flanders (Book, Music and Lyrics) Developed at O’Neill Theater Center, CT/Option (now expired) by Robert Lissauer

On Borrowed Time (Music and Lyrics) Based on the Paul Osborn play/Option (now expired) by Ron Abbott)

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Theater for young audiences

Clifton's shows for young audiences have been presented by several New York based companies:

Dolphin Productions
Fanfare Theatre Ensemble
Maximillion Productions
Pixie Judy Troupe
The National Theater Company

Click to listen to songs (MP3)

Alice Through the Looking Glass* (Music)
Beauty and the Beast* (Music and Lyrics)
Cinderella* (Music and Lyrics)
A Christmas Carol* (Music)
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court* (Music and Lyrics)
East of the Sun and West of the Moon* (Music)
Heidi (Music)
Huckleberry Finn* (Music)
Jack and the Beanstalk* (Music)
Little Red Riding Hood* (Music)
Pinocchio* (Music and Lyrics)
Puss In Boots* (Music)
Robin Hood* (Book. Music and Lyrics)
Sam Stiller, Private Eye
(Music) Maximillion Productions
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
* (Music and Lyrics)
A Song for Johnny Appleseed (Book. Music and Lyrics) Maximillion Productions
The Jell-O Reading Rocket (Music and Lyrics) Bennington Puppets/General Foods
The Magical Christmas* (Music)
Tom Sawyer* (Music, Co-Lyricist)
Treasure Island* (Music and Lyrics) National Tour to major theaters
We The People (Music) Performed at US Capitol for Bicentennial of US Constitution/Theatreworks USA)
Young Robinson Crusoe* (Music) Also TV version – Educational TV Network)

(*) Currently in repertory, Fanfare Theatre Ensemble, New York

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Performers of songs by John Clifton include:

Wesley Addy
Michael Arquette
Vanessa Bell
Stephen Bogardus
Alice Cannon
Ralph Carmichael Orchestra
Kim Cea
David Cromwell
Starr Danias
Aaron Davis
Roberta D'Esti
Dena Dietrich
Suellen Estey
Rita Gardner
John Goodman
Lynne Halliday
Jennifer Hallie
David H. Hamilton
Celeste Holm
George S. Irving
Michael Jeter
Charlotte Jones
Michael Kermoyan
David Kiernan
Eric Kuttner
Dylis Laye
Susan Lehman
Jeff McCarthy
Olga Meredith
Brooke Sunny Moriber
Phyllis Newman
Lesslie Nicole
Tom Noel
Jill O’Hara
Sandra O'Neill
Robert Ousley
Nancy Ringham
Joan Rivers
Tom Rocco
Alex Santoriello
Reid Shelton
Joan Shepard
Jeff Skowron
Diane Sutherland
Marty Thomas
Evan Thompson
Jenn Thompson
Raymond Thorne
Richard Todd
Georgio Tozzi
Benay Venuta
Virginia Vestoff
Lenny Wolpe
Gail Wynters

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incidental music

So-called "Incidental Music" usually means background scoring for straight plays. Often, though, the music is
not so "incidental," underscoring large sections of the dialog.  Usually the director specifies to the composer
just where music should be used, some directors preferring more rather than less.

Incidental Scores Composed by Clifton include:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Walnut St. Theater/Philadelphia)
Taming of the Shrew (Syracuse Stage)
Diary of a Scoundrel (Huntington Theater, Boston)
Like Two Eagles (Jewish Theater of New York)
The Country Wife (N.J Shakespeare Festival)
Hannibal Blues (Stage West, Springfield MA)
The Miser (Stage West, Springfield MA)
Spinoza (Jewish Repertory Theatre/NY)
Wilde Spirit (off-Broadway)
The Lady From Maxim’s (Huntington Theater, Boston)

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