BRONCO BILLY Comes to Skylight Theatre
Skylight Theatre Company (Producing Artistic Director, Gary Grossman and Co-Artistic Director Tony Abatemarco) announced today the world premiere of BRONCO BILLY - THE MUSICAL, It marks the organization's first world premiere musical production. The new musical, based on the Warner Bros. film Bronco Billy, features a book by Dennis Hackin, lyrics and music by Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres, with additional lyrics by Michele Brourman. Hunter Bird will direct. Preview performances begin on May 10, with the official press opening on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The limited engagement plays through June 30 at the Skylight Theatre, located at 1816 ½ North Vermont in Los Feliz, Ca. Tickets are now on sale now at http://www.SkylightTix.com.
In Bronco Billy - The Musical, the country's going crazy; partisan politics, civil rights threatened, technology exploding. That's right, it's 1979! Somewhere in America's heartland, with more heart than sense, Bronco Billy struggles to keep his traveling wild west show alive. But when Billy and his ragtag troupe of misfits meet Antoinette, a Manhattan heiress on-the-run, the ride gets even wilder as she turns Billy's world upside down.
For over 30 years Skylight Theatre Company has been a leading figure in the Los Angeles intimate theatre scene. Known for developing original plays and new playwrights, Bronco Billy - The Musical marks STC's first musical production.
"We've always wanted to start developing musicals. A couple of years ago Dennis Hackin, Chip Rosenbloom, and John Torres approached us about teaming up to create a fresh approach to the 1980's film," says Skylight's artistic director Gary Grossman. "We're grateful it all came together so beautifully, and that Warner Bros. entrusted us with their project."
"This is exactly the type of organization that we had hoped would take the lead in the development of Bronco Billy - The Musical," explains co-composer Chip Rosenbloom." Skylight's Gary and Tony have been intuitive and very nurturing throughout the entire process.
"Bronco Billy is about living your passion. About being part of a family even if you have to create your own," says writer Dennis Hackin. "I'm really looking forward to Bronco Billy's new journey with my new musical family."
Hunter Bird directs (Roundabout Theatre, Ars Nova, Lincoln Center Education, 59E59, La Mama, and The Getty Villa) with Anthony Lucca as Musical Director (Mutt House at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, Cult of Love at IAMA) for David O's arrangements/orchestrations, and Janet Roston choreographing (The Boy From Oz - Ovation Award & LADCC Award; The Color Purple - Ovation Award, NAACP Award, LA Weekly & LADCC Nom. at Celebration Theater; Mutt House at the Kirk Douglas Theater)
The cast features Eric B. Anthony as "Bronco Billy" (Broadway - The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Hairspray; Recorded In Hollywood at Kirk Douglas Theatre, Rent at the Hollywood Bowl) Amanda Leigh Jerry as "Antoinette" (Mutt House at Kirk Douglas Theatre, Once at South Coast Rep), and rounding out the cast are Michelle Azar, Benai Alicia Boyd, Marc Cardiff, Randy Charleville, Fatima El-Bashir, Kyle Frattini, Bella Hicks, Chris M. Kauffmann, Anthony Marciona, Jamie Mills, Pat Towne, and Michael Uribes.
Director Hunter Bird, in discussing what drew him to the show, said "Bronco Billy is so much about identity. Rather than accepting the roles we're given, we always have the ability to create our own realities, our own families, and our own identities. While the show takes place in 1979, I think our audiences will appreciate this upbeat musical about reinvention, identity, and living your passion. We're so lucky to have this powerfully talented cast of fourteen to bring it to life for the first time."
To help STC on their inaugural musical journey Skylight enlisted the talents of John Iacovelli (Scenic Design), Anne Closs-Farley (Costume Design). Brian Gale (Lighting Design), Cricket S. Meyers and Daniel Tator (Sound Design), David Murakami (Projection Design), Kevin Williams (Properties Design), and Michael Donovan (Casting), and Associate Producer Danny Hackin. Gary Grossman and Tony Abatemarco produce.
Musical Director is Anthony Lucca (Mutt House at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, Cult of Love at IAMA,), Choreographer is Janet Roston (The Boy From Oz - Ovation Award & LADCC Award; The Color Purple - Ovation Award) with Arrangements/Orchestrations by David O (Soft Power - Ahmanson Theatre, 13, and Wild Party - Mark Taper Forum).
Dennis Hackin (Book) wrote the novel and the film version of Bronco Billy, co-produced with Neal Dobrofsky. The story was created in homage to his parents who wanted to be cowboys and moved their city slicker family from Chicago to Arizona to live out their dreams. The film was released by Warner Bros. Additional novels include Star Boy, Android Roy The Paranoid Android, and H: Forbidden Love. He is founder of The Invisible Theatre in Tucson, AZ.
Chip Rosenbloom (Music & Lyrics) has composed songs recorded by artists such as Sheena Easton, Rita Coolidge, Dayna Lane, John Torres, and the Jones Project. He has twice earned a place on the Oscars Best Original Song shortlist ("Saving Shiloh," and "Fame High"). In 2019, the Budapest Symphony recorded an album of Chip's instrumental compositions for a new project called "Artstra."
John Torres (Music & Lyrics) has had his music featured in The Real World and Alias, earned a John Lennon Songwriting Award, American Independent Music Award nomination, and was on the short-list with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for "Fame High." As a vocalist, he originated the lead roles of Peter in Bare: A Pop Opera, and Drew in Rock of Ages and has performed at venues such as Disney Concert Hall and Dodger Stadium.
Michele Brourman (Additional Lyrics) composed the music for several theatre scores including The Belle of Tombstone with lyricist Sheilah Rae (Off-Broadway) and the musical Dangerous Beauty with collaborator Amanda McBroom (Pasadena Playhouse). With McBroom, she's written the songs for 18 animated features for Universal Studios, including the beloved "Land Before Time" series, writing for Reba McIntyre, Donny Osmond, Olivia Newton-John, and a host of other singer/actors. Her song "My Favorite Year" (lyrics by Karen Gottlieb) has become a cabaret standard, with recordings by Michael Feinstein, Margaret Whiting, and Dame Cleo Laine.
Hunter Bird (Director) is a recipient of Manhattan Theatre Club's Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow (2017 & 2019). He has directed and developed work at stages such as Roundabout Theatre, Ars Nova, Lincoln Center Education, 59E59, La Mama, and The Getty Villa. Upcoming: XY (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Workshop, Village Theatre Workshop, NAMT). Accolades include The UCLA Emerging Director Award (2011), Gilbert Cates Fellowship (2009).
SKYLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY is honored to be presenting their multi-award winning production of Rotterdam at Center Theatre Group's Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre March/April 2019. The production won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award in 2018 for Best Production. Additional LADCC awards for Rotterdam include Writing and Lead Actress. It also received top honors at the 2018 Stage Raw Awards, winning Production of the Year and Leading Actress awards. Recognized as a "powerhouse of new play development" by Dramatist Magazine, many of Skylight's World Premieres have gone on to be performed nationally and internationally; Church & State opened Off Broadway in 2017, has had 33 productions with 14 more scheduled; Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea (a co-production with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble) received the prestigious Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association Citation. Skylight's resident writers PlayLAb, helmed by Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing, includes alumni that have enjoyed productions nationwide, the prestigious USA Ford Fellowship in Theater and Performance (Sigrid Gilmer, 2014), and a winner in the Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize winner (Louisa Hill, 2015 - Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers).
Bronco Billy - The Musical opens at 8:30pm on Saturday, May 18, and runs at 8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays, 2:00pm Saturdays and Sundays through June 30, 2019. Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, LA, 90027. Tickets are $29 - $55, except opening night, $75. Information and reservations: (213) 761-7061 or (866) 811-4111. Online ticketing: http://SkylightTix.org.