BWW Previews: HOWIE D: BACK IN THE DAY at The Rose Theater
Which one is he? He is Howard Dorough, known as "Howie D," a member of the multiple Grammy nominated, gold and platinum selling boy band, the Backstreet Boys. Because of the frequency with which he has been mixed up over the years with singers from NSYNC or Menudo, Howie has written a song entitled, "Which One Am I?" which humorously pokes fun at the mixups. Howie, however, knows who he is.
Howie D grew up in Orlando, Florida with his Puerto Rican mother and Irish-Scottish-American father. Dealing with a mixed heritage background is only one of the things Howie experienced as a young boy. He also wrestled with shyness, the feeling that he lived in his older sister's shadow, and thinking that his parents didn't fully appreciate his passion for performance.
Howie D began musical theatre quite young and by the age of 19 got his break with the Backstreet Boys. This popular boy band has been going strong for 26 years, one of the longest lasting bands ever. They have sold more than $130 million in sales in 46 countries. They have been credited with being the first boy band to top the charts in three different decades.
Besides being a member of this popular pop band, Howie D has launched a solo career. His album, Which One Am I?, was released this past July. Howie had noticed while performing that Backstreet Boys' fans had grown up and now had children of their own at the concerts. He began writing catchy tunes aimed at families; something both kids and parents can enjoy.
For the past three weeks, Howie D has been here in Omaha, Nebraska working on an original musical written in collaboration with Tor Hyams and Lisa St. Lou. Hyams is a Grammy nominated songwriter and producer with a lengthy history in music and film, as well as family music festivals, such as Kidzapalooza and Austin Kiddie Limits. He has his own award-winning children's album, "A World of Happiness" released on Disney Records. St. Lou has Broadway experience and recently debuted her soul album "Ain't No Good Man," which she will be performing at the Slowdown in Omaha on January 29.
HOWIE D: BACK IN THE DAY is semi-biographical and contains songs written specifically for the musical and some that are featured on Howie D's album. Directed by Artistic Director Matt Gutschick with a cast of 13, the musical follows a middle school boy navigating typical problems like bullying, sibling relationships, and parents who want the best for him...but maybe not what he wants for himself. Howie D works out how to follow his own dreams and discover his true self while also finding his unique musical voice.
Howie says about his own life experience, "Eventually I did find my place and I'm very proud that I stuck to my grounds of knowing that I was a true entertainer."
This true entertainer will take the stage at the Rose Theatre from January 31 through February 16. Run time is just over an hour and is suitable for all ages. According to Tor Hyams, the music has touches of Lenny Kravitz and Shakira. Choreography features notable Backstreet Boys moves mixed with a little Michael Jackson. I'm intrigued.
Performances: Fridays at 7:00 pm; Saturdays at 2:00 and 5:00 pm; and Sundays at 2:00 pm. There is an American Sign Language interpretation and captioning service on Saturday, February 8. Audio description services for the blind or visually impaired will also be available at this performance.
Photo Credit: Alex Myhre