Friday, March 28, 2008

'Glory Days' Heads to Big Stem

Glory Days, the new musical that was reviewed here a few weeks ago, is on its way to Broadway.

According to Jane Horwitz in Wednesday's Washington Post:

Signature Theatre's "Glory Days," the coming-of-age musical set on a football field, is moving to Broadway next month.

Staged by Signature Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer, the four-man show will play at the Circle in the Square Theatre, which specializes in intimately scaled musicals. "Glory Days" begins previews April 22 and opens May 6. Until recently, Circle in the Square hosted the Tony-winning "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."
The Post report says that no casting decisions have been made, but I would be surprised, given how quickly that opening night is approaching, if Schaeffer does not simply transfer the original cast from Shirlington to New York (assuming all four actors are available).

This announcement is a real feather in the caps of James Gardiner and Nick Blaemire, the young librettist and composer of Glory Days.

I gained a new appreciation for the score of the show once I discovered some workshop cabaret performances of a couple of the songs on YouTube.

Here's a sample:

This one is performed by James Gardiner, himself:

Horwitz notes, as I once did with reference to another Signature Theatre premiere, that few plays that begin locally in Washington make it to the Great White Way:
The transfer of a play from Washington to Broadway is an exceedingly rare occurrence. Arena Stage's award-winning "The Great White Hope" moved to Broadway in 1968, and the Signature Theatre/Rep Stage production of "Never the Sinner," based on the Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb murder case, was produced off-Broadway in 1998 at the John Houseman Theater.
I can only imagine the headiness of learning that one's first major work of musical theatre is going to be playing on Broadway. What a trip that must be!

There's also a special feeling for those of us who saw the show during its world-premiere run in Arlington. We'll be able to say, "I was there when ..."

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