HELLDRIVERS OF DAYTONA Crashes and Burns
HELLDRIVERS OF DAYTONA, the critically-reviled new musical parody of 1960s hot-rod and beach movies, will not be taking a victory lap.
Cast members were told last night and the production, which was billed as a "pre-Broadway tryout," will have no further performances at this time. The show opened September 12 at The Royal George Theatre in Chicago.
"We all believed in HELLDRIVERS OF DAYTONA and more importantly believe in creating new works for the American Musical stage," producers Richard Friedman, Natasha Davison and Rachel James said in a statement to Broadway World Chicago. "We are disappointed by the critical response, but we knew that it was a risky endeavor. Still, many of the people who saw it were thoroughly entertained and delighted by the work of our fantastic cast and musicians."
Producers are evaluating the show and may make changes for future productions, but it doesn't look too bright for this new work at the moment.
The NASCAR-themed musical featured music by Berton Averre (The Knack), lyrics by Rob Meurer (Platinum Records with Christopher Cross), and book by Emmy Award-winner Mark Saltzman (The Tin Pan Alley Rag, The Adventures of Milo and Otis).
The official description read: "In HELLDRIVERS OF DAYTONA, tensions flare as drivers compete for the top slot in the 1965 Daytona Speedway Jackpot 500. Amidst a sea of tanned surfers, speedway groupies, motorheads and bikini babes, Lucky Stubbs (James Nedrud) must find a way to win his dream girl, Pepper Johnson (Samantha Pauly), from rival driver Count Porcini Portobello (Jeff nominee David Sajewich), a dangerously enticing European hotshot. The race for love and glory is on in this spoof of 1960s Elvis-style rock movies, a ride that's fast, furious and funny."