By Hubert Hwang

These genograms represent the familial, emotional, and social relationships between the principals in several different musicals performed by the MIT Musical Theatre Guild. (In many cases, these relationships happen during the show. The genograms depict the state of things at the very end of the show.)

First, we need to identify the show. Some shows were performed multiple times, so a caption is provided to uniquely identify a particular performance. The productions are:

  • Avenue Q (Summer 2013)
  • The Baker’s Wife (Fall 1992)
  • Blood Brothers (Summer 1997)
  • The Drowsy Chaperone (Fall 2012)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (Fall 1998)
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Spring 1999)
  • Into the Woods (Summer 2003)
  • The Rocky Horror Show (IAP 2013)
  • Urinetown (Fall 2016)

In each genogram, three squares and/or circles are highlighted with a colored box. These colors match up with the colors given at the bottom of the puzzle. Identify each character using the familial / social / emotional relationships, and use the numbers given to index into the character’s name.

Color Character Index Letter
Underling 1 U
Mrs T 3 S
Golde 5 E
Sammy 3 M
Philia 3 I
Hortense 4 T
Adolpho (sic) 1 A
Columbia 1 C
Christmas Eve 6 T
Mrs. Tottendale 5 O
Riff Raff 5 R
Pseudolus 2 S
Little Sally 1 L
Linda 5 A
Denise 5 S
Little Red Riding Hood 3 T
Penelope Pennywise 3 N
Chava 3 A
Aimable 3 M
Baker 4 E
Steward 1 S
Hope Cladwell 3 P
Mr. Lyons 3 L
Princeton 6 E
Narrator 2 A
Fruma Sarah 6 S
Erronius 1 E

This spells out the phrase USE MIT ACTORS’ LAST NAMES PLEASE. So you need to repeat this process, but using the actors’ last names instead of the character names. (And if you hadn’t already found the MTG connection, this should hint you in that direction!)

Color Character Index Letter
Sadowski 1 S
Popiel 3 P
Maeurer 5 R
Weinstein 3 I
Hinel 3 N
Ciugliano 4 G
Orrego 1 O
Hart 1 H
Nguyen 6 N
Collings 5 I
Fomon 5 N
Peters 2 E
Piercy 1 P
Raine 5 E
Levin 5 N
Knutson 3 U
Volz 3 L
Katz 3 T
Amini 3 I
Chambers 4 M
Abrahamsen 1 A
Batten 3 T
Klein 3 E
Peairs 6 S
Cosio 2 O
Drugan 6 N
Gerhardt 1 G

This spells out the clue phrase SPRING OH NINE PENULTIMATE SONG. MTG’s Spring 2009 show was bare: A Pop Opera, and its penultimate song was titled ABSOLUTION, which is the final answer.

Annotated genograms follow:

Avenue Q
The Baker’s Wife
Blood Brothers
The Drowsy Chaperone
Fiddler on the Roof
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Into the Woods
The Rocky Horror Show