Indigo Girls music the soundtrack to ‘Glitter & Doom’ musical

The film comes out in Atlanta March 22.
The film "Glitter & Doom" featured cameo appearances by the Indigo Girls, including Amy Ray (left) with main actors Alex Diaz (middle) and Alan Cammish (right). MUSIC BOX FILMS



The film "Glitter & Doom" featured cameo appearances by the Indigo Girls, including Amy Ray (left) with main actors Alex Diaz (middle) and Alan Cammish (right). MUSIC BOX FILMS

In recent years, the jukebox musical has found an occasional home in cinema with films like the two “Mamma Mia!” movies based on ABBA songs and Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge.” And then there are the biopics about Queen (”Bohemian Rhapsody”) and Elton John (”Rocketman”).

Now Atlanta duo the Indigo Girls get their silver-screen spotlight with “Glitter & Doom,” a fun, frothy love story using 25 of their songs covering multiple decades of their extensive career. It opened in New York and Los Angeles theaters on March 8 and will be at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema starting March 22. The film will be available on demand next month.

The premise is simple: a young man named Glitter (Alex Diaz), who wants to join the circus, meets a struggling singer-songwriter named Doom (Alan Cammish) and a relationship of opposites blooms. It is loosely based on how writer Cory Krueckeberg met director Tom Gustafson.

Gustafson, in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said the script was a gift from his partner for their 20th anniversary together in 2018, but there were no songs attached.

“The Indigo Girls were literally the soundtrack of our relationship,” he said, “so we reached out to them.”

Both Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, the Emory University graduates who still reside in Georgia after all these years, looked over the script and were immediately besotted.

“The script was really special,” Ray said, joining the AJC’s interview with Gustafson. “We felt it was a little outside the box. We’ve had friends pitch us musicals. None of them felt right. But this one was a winner. It was cool and creative.”

She also liked that it was a story about two gay men. “We grew up during a time when there was more of a separation between gay men and lesbians,” Ray said. “I think when queer and non-binary entered the consciousness, we realized there wasn’t a need to be so binary.”

Ray appreciated that the story didn’t water down the content for a more mainstream audience. “The script didn’t hold back in any way and that was really important to me,” Ray said.

Glitter (Alex Diaz) and Doom (Alan Cammish) have a flourishing relationship in the film "Glitter & Doom" featuring all Indigo Girls songs. MUSIC BOX FILMS

Credit: MUSIC

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Credit: MUSIC

“Glitter & Doom” was shot over six weeks in Mexico City. “We had done a previous movie there and loved everything about it, the food, the people, the crew,” Gustafson said. “We also wanted a fatalistic feel and energy, especially the camping scenes.”

And the fact the film revolved around Indigo Girls music attracted an array of well-known personalities to appear in small roles such as Ming-Na Wen, Tig Notaro, Kate Pierson of the B-52s, chef Anne Burrell and Lea DeLaria (”Orange is the New Black”).

But the producers opted for two relative unknowns for the leads after a worldwide casting search. “Alan is from the U.K. and Alex is from Manila,” Gustafson said. “It was important to have two lead actors who are out and proud.”

As for the soundtrack, they tapped “The Voice” runner-up Michelle Chamuel, who with Krueckeberg, spent months gathering the right songs and weaving them into the storyline, including dialogue, remixes and mashups.

“It was a big process,” Gustafson said. “We still had a wish list of songs we didn’t get in.”

Among the biggest songs that made the cut: “Galileo,” “Get Out the Map” and “Power of Two.”

Ray said after years of playing many of the same songs, “we get bored with ourselves.” So seeing someone else reinterpret their music this way was refreshing and invigorating, with the mashups especially intriguing.

“The way they mashed ‘Mystery’ and ‘Fly Away’ was crazy, beautiful and so moving,” she said. “They used a lot of really old songs of mine and I saw them in a totally new way, like ‘Keeper of My Heart.’” And she was delighted by the dance remix of “Galileo” used when the two men meet at a club.

Ray said she and Saliers didn’t get involved at all in the film beyond making small cameos, trusting the filmmakers’ creative vision. Ray gets a few lines as a music producer who helps Doom in the studio and both appear at the end of the movie watching approvingly as Doom sings their signature song “Closer to Fine.”

“I was scared to watch myself,” Ray said. “Tom and Cory talked me into it. It was challenging. It’s not my strength, but I poured my all into it.”

The Indigo Girls are having a moment in the sun. A documentary about them “It’s Only Life After All” is also coming to theaters soon, after debuting last year at the Atlanta Film Festival. And “Closer to Fine” was prominently featured in “Barbie,” the most popular film of 2023.

“It’s an extremely weird coincidence,” Ray admitted. “’Barbie’ came out of the ether. When they first asked if they could use the song, we were like, ‘What’s this about?’ When they said Greta Gerwig was doing it, we said, ‘Use it any way you want.’”


“Glitter & Doom” will be at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema starting March 22