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.
“The show is about living your passion. About being part of a family even if you have to create your own. With some unexpected turns through love, villainy, show business, and lots of humor, Chip, John, and Michele have beautifully honored the book and enlightened the characters with their magical musical influences,” says Hackin. “All this, during a time when everyone could use a new upbeat musical.”
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.
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.”
Hunter Bird 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).
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 Arrangments/Orchestration by David O (Soft Power – Ahmanson Theatre, 13, and Wild Party – Mark Taper Forum).
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.”
“It doesn’t take too long to figure out who the influencers are in the L.A. Theatre community. Skylight’s reputation precedes it. Gary, Sandee, and Tony are just amazing folks to know and to work with,” says John Torres, “and the network of talented people around them is vast and deep. I feel honored to be in partnership with them.”
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.
Eric B. Anthony* (Broadway – The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Hairspray; Awards – Ovation, NAACP Theatre, Broadway World Awards, Recorded in Hollywood – Kirk Douglas Theatre) stars as Bronco Billy, with Amanda Leigh Jerry* (Kirk Douglas Theatre’s Mutt House, South Coast Rep’s Once, Musical Theatre West’s Carousel, and Mary Poppins) starring as Antoinette in this wild west road show extravaganza.
The talented troupe of characters includes Michelle Azar (La Boheme with Placido Domingo, worldwide solo performances From Baghdad to Brooklyn, My Barking Dog at Boston Court-Stage Raw Award) as Constance; Benai Boyd (Violet at Actor’s Co-Op – LA Times Critics Choice & Ovation Nominated, and West Coast Premiere of The View Upstairs, Disney’s Frozen: Live at the Hyperion) as Doc; Marc Cardiff (Happy Days at Boston Court, An Empty Plate… at the Laguna Playhouse, Juan Peron in Evita in the 25th Anniversary National Tour) as Lawyer Lipton; Randy Charleville (National Tours: The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Flashdance, and The Phantom of The Opera, Tony Awards w/Liza Minnelli, and The ESPY Awards) as Two Gun Lefty Lebow; Fatima El-Bashir (Pasadena Playhouse – Breaking Through, La Mirada’s Empire the Musical, International Tour – Dreamgirls, National Tour – Beehive the 60’s Musical -) as Lorraine; Kyle Frattini (Richard in The Man Who Came To Dinner at the Actor’s Co-op, The Man/Peter/Doctor in The Pride at My Big Fat Queer Theater Company, and Pinocchio in Shrek at 5-Star Theatricals) as Lasso Leonard James; Bella Hicks (Janis Joplin in Beehive 30th Anniversary Tour, Finnick in The Mollyhouse, and American Idiot at La Mirada. Recorded with LeAnn Rimes, Josh Groban, and Lionel Ritchie on multiple David Foster productions) as Mitzi/Female Ens/Covers; Chris M. Kauffmann (Off-Broadway: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Henry and Mudge tour); Regional: Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q-Ovation Nom, 1776 at Goodspeed, and The King’s Face at Blank Theatre) as John Arlington, Big Eagle/Lasso cover; Anthony Marciona (Broadway/National Tours: Gypsy, Zorba, Georgy, Tommy, Starlight Express, has worked with Kirk Douglas, Angela Lansbury, Harold Prince, Stephen Schwartz, and Andrew Lloyd Weber) as Sam/Character Male; Jamie Mills (National tour – Mrs. Donnor/Dolly in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Regional: Annie in Annie Get Your Gun at Candlelight Pavilion; Aquata in The Little Mermaid at Cabrillo Music Theatre, and The Trouble with Words at Coeurage Theatre) as Ensemble/Constance Cover; Pat Towne (Laughter on the 23rd Floor at Garry Marshall, Charles Busch’s Die, Mommie, Die! at Kirk Douglas; Skullduggery at Sacred Fools; Hoboken to Hollywood —LAWeekly Award, Best Musical; Stoneface and Kiss Me Kate at Pasadena Playhouse) as Sinclair; Michael Uribe (title role in Hamlet for the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company, Oedipus El Rey at Boston Court, El Pachuco in Zoot Suit) as Big Eagle.
Rehearsals begin this week at the Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz, California.
The creative team includes John Iacovelli (Scenic Design), Anne Closs-Farley (Costume Design), Brian Gale (Lighting Design), Cricket S. Meyers, Daniel Tator (Sound), David Murakami Projection Design, Kevin Williams (Properties Design), Michael Donovan (Casting). Associate Producer Danny Hackin, Gary Grossman and Tony Abatemarco produce.
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 30 – April 28, 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 in 2019; 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 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. Children under 6 years old are not admitted. Information and reservations: (213) 761-7061 or (866) 811-4111. Online ticketing: http://SkylightTix.org
Calendar Information: Run-time is 2 hours (includes one intermission)
What: “Bronco Billy”
Book by Dennis Hackin
Music and Lyrics by Chip Rosenbloom, John Torres
Additional lyrics by Michele Brourman
Based on the Warner Bros. Motion Picture written by Dennis E. Hackin
By special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures
Directed by Hunter Bird
Musical Direction by Anthony Lucca
Arrangements/Orchestrations by David O
Choreographed by Janet Roston
Produced by Gary Grossman and Tony Abatemarco for Skylight Theatre Company
Description: 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.
Cast: Eric B. Anthony, Michelle Azar, Benai Alicia Boyd, Marc Cardiff, Randy Charleville, Fatima El-Bashir, Kyle Frattini, Bella Hicks, Amanda Leigh Jerry, Chris M. Kauffmann, Anthony Marciona, Jamie Mills, Pat Towne, and Michael Uribe.
1816 ½ North Vermont
Los Angeles, CA. 90027
Parking information: http://skylighttheatre.org/plan-your-visit/
When: previews May 10, 11, 12, and 17
Opening: 8:30pm on Saturday, May 18, 2019
Schedule: 8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays, 2:00pm Saturdays and Sundays through June 30,
Closing: June 30, 2019
How: Reservations: (213) 761-7061, (866) 811-4111 or online at SkylightTix.org
How Much: Previews $29 – $42
Tickets: $29 – $55
Opening night tickets for May 18th: $75
Students $20 cash (at the door) – valid picture ID required
Facebook: SkylightTheatre Twitter: @SkylightThtr