Interview: Jonathan Sangster Talks Creating BOY: A NEW MUSICAL and its Concert Fundraiser at SDMT Stage

Don't miss this one-night concert fundraiser on Monday, May 16th at 8pm.

By: May. 12, 2022
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Interview: Jonathan Sangster Talks Creating BOY: A NEW MUSICAL and its Concert Fundraiser at SDMT  Stage San Diego has proven to be a great place for new plays and musicals and for audiences, to discover new and emerging works. Luckily, the opportunity to see a concert of select songs from the new musical "boy: a new musical" not only gives audiences a chance to support this new show and also offers performances from some of their favorite San Diego and Broadway performers as well. Jonathan Sangster who created the musical, and who has entertained San Diego and nationwide audiences in his many roles including touring with THE BOOK OR MORMON talks about what people can expect from this opportunity to hear it in concert Monday, May 16th at 8pm.

"boy: a new musical" tells the story of Peter, a young man who has lost his father and moved to a new town with his mother and sister. As he struggles to find his footing in this new place, his relationship with the local pastor proves to change his life forever.

Sangster, who is a triple threat on this as book writer, conceiver, and co-lyrist of this new musical says that this was inspired by his love of Peter Pan, and the sense of never losing your imagination or youthful exuberance. Instead of retelling this story, he chose to find new ways to look at the story with the lens of where Peter's animosity towards adults and authority figures comes from, but in a modern perspective.

"I found myself wondering "why doesn't this character we know so well from Disney, Peter Pan, want to grow up and why does he hold all this animosity toward grown-ups??" And that's the story *I* wanted to explore. And I knew I wanted it to be about the dark traumas so many of us face, and the grief from the loss of innocence due to sexual abuse from those we are supposed to trust. In this stories case, from the Church."

Knowing that he wanted this to be a musical, Sangster reached out to a friend Matt Hornbeck, who Sangster had worked with in college on some projects, to help him create this musical with him.

"Matt had such a wealth of knowledge of sociological ideologies, theological ideologies, and theatre for social change. The best part of creating a new musical is how many iterations of the story we go through, and the development that takes place. And I am SO happy with where the story as a whole has landed at this point."

Interview: Jonathan Sangster Talks Creating BOY: A NEW MUSICAL and its Concert Fundraiser at SDMT  Stage

With some extra time on his hands since the pandemic had closed theatres, Jonathan decided not to waste the time and opportunity and started working on this show.

"When the pandemic first hit and THE BOOK OF MORMON tour shut down, I knew I had to remain creative. It was the perfect opportunity to get back to telling this story. I reached out to the Assistant Music Director of the tour, Daniel Klintworth, who I knew was an incredibly talented orchestrator and arranger sent him the materials we already had for "boy." He jumped on board as our Music Supervisor and Orchestrator/Arranger and we've been working on demos, table readings, and this concert ever since."

At the beginning of this year, Sangster said he was excited to welcome Rachel King to the creative team to work on music and lyrics as well.

"The extremely talented Rachel King, joined us writing music and lyrics for a handful of new songs and rewrites of others. Rachel and I met doing a production of GREASE at The Welk Resort back in 2014, and in addition to musical theatre, she has established herself as an incredible singer/songwriter."

The concert of the musical is not just a celebration of this new musical and features 13 songs from the show but is also a fundraiser for funds needed to produce an Industry Reading for potential Producers and Investors in New York. The show will have some dialogue for context and offers a chance for audiences to both support a new work and experience a pop/rock musical whose songs are inspired by everything from Broadway show tunes to Metallica.

"The music in "boy" is definitely Pop/Rock Musical Theatre. The show is set in the late 80s into the early 90s, so we've had a lot of fun playing with the sounds of those eras within different songs and where they land in the timeline of the story. We've pulled inspiration from Merry Clayton to Metallica, to Natalie Imbruglia, and musicals such as NEXT TO NORMAL, BARE, and more."

The show also features an extraordinary cast full of performers San Diego and Broadway audiences will recognize- and many who are close friends with Sangster which makes this experience even more unique for everyone involved.

"I've gathered 13 amazing performers including Jacob Haren (THE BOOK OF MORMON on Broadway, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS at The Old Globe, and UP HERE at La Jolla Playhouse), Ari Afsar (HAMILTON, BHANGIN' IT at La Jolla Playhouse), and many San Diego favorites including Bethany Slomka, Zackary Scot Wolfe, Luke Monday, Sarah Errington, Ron Christopher Jones, Katie Sapper, Lauren King Thompson, Ron Christopher Jones, Nancy Snow Carr, Leo Ebanks, Lance Arthur Smith, and Erin Vanderhyde.

They will be led by Music Director extraordinaire Taylor Peckham, and a LIVE BAND including piano, guitar, bass, and drums!"

At this exciting moment to present this show to the world Jonathan says that he is thrilled he can do this in San Diego.

"I'm over the moon to be sharing this moment with so many friends, and the community that has felt most like home!"

How To Get Tickets

You can see the fundraiser concert of "boy: a new musical" Monday, May 16th at 8:00pm located at the SDMT Stage (4650 Mercury St. For ticket and show time information go to You can also follow the musical on Instagram @boyanewmusical

Photo Credit: Jonathan Sangster and "boy: a new musical"


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