On Saturday, the cast and producers of Transparent Musicale Finale ("No mistake, it's meant to be awkward," creator Jill Soloway said of the title), the upcoming made-for-streaming movie that ends the Emmy-winning show Transparent, took the stage at the Television Critics Association summer press tour to preview what's to come in the finale, which is a musical exploration of grief and Jewish American identity. It premieres Friday, Sept. 27, and it also now has a trailer.
Present on the panel were stars Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Alexandra Billings, and Shakina Nayfack, creator Jill Soloway, and songwriter Faith Soloway. Not present was Jeffrey Tambor, who was the Emmy-winning star of the show until he was fired in 2018 after being accused of sexual harassment by his former assistant, Van Barnes, and his co-star Trace Lysette, who are both trans women. His name went unspoken onstage during the panel — instead of using his name, Jill Soloway said "what happened with our show," and the scandal was referred to as "the great rupture." The finale starts with the off-screen death of his character, Maura Pfefferman, and deals with how her family processes the loss.
"When people talk about musicals, when people turn to song instead of conversation, it's because there are certain things that can't be said with words, and so the character must sing," Jill Soloway said of why they decided to make the finale a musical. "And I think all of you know about what we went through over the past couple years, and realizing that if we were to come back, we needed to find a new way to enter this story."
Most of the actors don't have musical theater backgrounds, and they were very nervous to sing. "This show has always pushed the artists to our limit of expression and creativity, and it's thrilling and terrifying always," Landecker said. "And I was laughing looking at the script for the musical, going, 'Finally, I'm not going to have any sex scenes, this is going to be easy,' and then I was like, 'Oh no, now I'm singing!', which is way scarier and more vulnerable."
Transparent Musicale Finale premieres Friday, Sept. 27. Seasons 1-4 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.