BWW Interview: Paul Kalburgi talks BROADWAY OR BUST! and Falling in Love with Texas
Paul Kalburgi on Broadway or Bust and Falling in Love with Texas
A native of London and a current resident of New Zealand, Paul Kalburgi is an accomplished playwright, screenwriter, and TV Producer, set to open his next show in Dallas, Texas at the Bath House Cultural Center! Kalburgi's show, Broadway or Bust, is a celebration of community theatre: the journey, the tribe, and everything that comes with it. I spoke with him last week about his own journey, and the burning question on my mind was... why Dallas?
Kathleen Morgan: So you're British, you live in New Zealand, but Broadway or Bust is opening in Dallas, Texas. Tell me more about how those dots connect.
Paul Kalburgi: Well, I grew up in the UK, but I always wanted to live in America at some point. My husband ended up getting a banking job in Plano, Texas in 2015, and I completely fell in love with Texas. My first production was In the Tall Grass produced by Bishop Arts Theatre Center and even got funding from the City. I met lots of fantastic people in Dallas. I taught with Theatre Britain for a time, which sadly isn't there anymore. It was Sue from Theatre Britain who said, "When you find a theatre, you find a family," and I've found that to be so true.
Kathleen: Tell me a little about Broadway or Bust.
Paul: I wrote Broadway or Bust as a love letter to theatre, like LaLa Land was a love letter to Hollywood. I wanted to shine a spotlight on community theatre. The idea had been niggling away and it's been a work in progress for about 10 years. All the characters and themes in the show were there in the theatre scene in Dallas, so after reworking the show and re-writing half the songs, it's now set in Dallas. I wrote "the show that really could be" and I'm beyond excited!
Kathleen: How did you end up in your current home of New Zealand?
Paul: My husband and I have two children, and he's from New Zealand. We wanted our extended family in the same place, so we decided to come here. My own family lives about six hours outside of London.
Kathleen: You mentioned that you "fell in love" with Texas. Tell me more about that.
Paul: Texas surprised me. If you had asked me where I wanted to move to in America years ago, I would have said New York, or Los Angeles, or Las Vegas. One big concern was, what does living in Texas look like for an LGBT family? Luckily, we reached out to Rainbow Roundup, a group with families like ours in the North Texas area, and they were really welcoming and supportive. Besides that, living in London, what I was used to, was crazy- the tubes, the rat race, all of it. Meanwhile, in Texas, we could get a 5 bedroom house with a pool and drive everywhere. It was a great change of pace.
Kathleen: Why should audiences see Broadway or Bust?
Paul: Anyone who loves theatre should see this show. It's about ordinary people coming out to create with their tribe. I think of it as a mix between Stepping Out and Noises Off- with the soundtrack of 42nd Street. Broadway or Bust is a backstage comedy like Noises Off, is a show within a show, and has that old-time Broadway Sound. People don't do community theatre because they think they're putting on the greatest show, they do it for the journey, and that's what this show is all about.
Find out more about Paul Kalburgi and Broadway or Bust! here.