The musical, inspired by the 1976 John Travolta TV movie "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" (which was, in turn, based on a true story) has a book by Rinne Groff, with 1970s rock-style music and lyrics by Groff, Michael Friedman and Joe Popp. According to Dominic Missimi, a Northwestern theatre professor and head of the university's musical theatre program, the musical is "not as lightweight" as the film, or the 2001 film version "Bubble Boy," starring Jake Gyllenhaal. "It has a lot of other twists," he says.
The musical runs through Aug 12, and will star Northwestern University students and professional actors. The set is designed by David Korins. Northwestern previously presented a workshop of the musical in December.
The Public Theater's artistic director Oskar Eustis has been attached to the project as a dramaturg. Eustis' involvement signals that the work could have a future life at the Public.
The musical is being presented through the university's American Musical Theatre Project, an institution for musical theatre education and development of new musicals.
Greif is the director of Grey Gardens and Rent, both currently running on Broadway, and will direct Romeo and Juliet in Central Park this summer for the Public Theater, with music by Friedman. His other credits for the Public Theater include Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day, Connie Congdon's Casanova, Jose Rivera's Marisol, Shakespeare's Pericles, Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters and Suzan-Lori Parks' Fucking A. Greif also directed Never Gonna Dance on Broadway, and his other Off-Broadway credits include, most recently, Landscape of the Body, Beauty of the Father, Mr. Marmalade, The Distance From Here, Cavedweller and Betty Rules.