'Clear Blue Tuesday:' 9/11 Inspires a Rock Musical

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Jan O'Dell, who still bears the scars of her 9/11 injuries, plays a version of herself in "Clear Blue Tuesday."

O'Dell, now 75, suffered a fractured skull, a shoulder gash that required surgery, and nerve and muscle damage to her eye, among other injuries. Her sense of balance was irreparably altered. The part of her brain that controls organization and planning often fails to function. Why did she want to relive her nightmarish ordeal on screen?

"Whenever I would go anywhere after 9/11 and I would meet people who had no idea what had happened to me, I would explain my history and they would gasp and say 'You were injured in 9/11? What was that like?,'" she said. "It was a way of making 9/11 personal for them, so that it wasn't just some distant, abstract thing -- it was very personal. And they owned it too. By sharing this with people, I felt that it made the experience more meaningful and real. This is a way to make it found art."

Not all of "Clear Blue Tuesday's" cast was in New York for 9/11. Nashville native Cassandra Kubinski plays a wide-eyed wannabe actress and features in what could be considered one of the movie's more controversial scenes. (Seductively clad, gyrating like Britney Spears in "I'm a Slave 4 U," she sings to a stranger-turned-suitor, "I want it dirty as this city ... Just break me like glass ...You're taking me home tonight.")

A scene from Cassandra Kubinski's sultry bar song and dance.

"That character wasn't in New York; she doesn't have the same kind of bond to the city as everyone else," Lucas said. "But that's the point -- I'm not doing the story about the firefighters and the wives and the first responders. All of those stories are very important, but I wanted to tell a story about the rest of us."

"Clear Blue Tuesday" is currently playing in theaters in New York; Lucas is planning screenings in Los Angeles and hopes to bring the film to at least five other cities around the country in the coming weeks. After that, a DVD release.

Lucas says that until more people see her film, the idea of a musical inspired by 9/11 might still offend those who know little to nothing about "Clear Blue Tuesday." But for O'Dell, who plans to return to Ground Zero on Saturday for the first time since 9/11, it's not at all too soon to treat the tragedy as inspiration.

"It is about hope and recovery and how people are changed, how lives are changed," she said of the movie. "Part of it is lighthearted, part of it is comedy, but that's because that's what life is. Over a period of seven years, you can't grieve the entire time."

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