Writer and actor Bruce Vilanch, who has been seen on Broadway in Hairspray, hopes his jukebox musical featuring the songs of Petula Clark—seen this summer at Goodspeed Musicals’ Norma Terris Theatre—will hit Broadway in a year’s time.
The project, titled Sign of the Times, is in its third year of development. “Things happen years down the pipeline,” Vilanch said in an interview on the podcast Party Foul Radio with Pollo & Pearl. “Hopefully the next year or so, it’ll end up on Broadway. We’re working our way there!”
When describing the musical, he said to “think Mamma Mia!” The musical pulls from the catalogue of Grammy Award-winning ’60s British pop artist Clark and other artists, including Leslie Gore (“You Don’t Own Me”), Nancy Sinatra (“These Boots Are Made for Walking”), Dusty Springfield (“I Only Want to Be With You”), and more.
The show has an original story by Richard Robin and an original book by Vilanch. The score includes such period hits as “Downtown,” “Call Me,” “Don't Sleep in the Subway,” and “The Boy From New York City.”
Gabriel Barre directed the musical at Goodspeed. It tells the story of a young woman named Cindy who comes to New York in 1965. According to production notes, “Unexpected friends, lovers, careers, and conflicts are all a subway ride away in a pop-fueled new musical. Forget all your troubles, forget all your cares—go ‘Downtown’ and find out who you are!”
Cindy was played by Ephie Aardema, who appeared in the Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County. Robert Lenzi from Broadway’s Tuck Everlasting and South Pacific played the role of Brian. Also in the cast were Bryan Fenkart (Broadway’s Memphis), Nick Bailey (Broadway's Casa Valentina), and Crystal Lucas-Perry (Little Children Dream of God at the Roundabout Theatre).