Former teen heartthrob Leif Garrett is all grown up and mellowed out, playing a mobster in the new rock musical, Old Timer, getting its premiere July 31-Aug. 12 at western Michigan's venerable Barn Theatre in Augusta.
The new show has book, lyrics and direction by Brendan Ragotzy, son of longtime Barn operator Jack Ragotzy and the late Betty Ragotzy, and a score by Troy Benton.
Gone are the onetime pop star Garrett's 1970s curls, traded in for a slicked-back look as he plays an abusive mobster named Molano, who is involved with the daughter of the title character. Released from jail after being wrongfully imprisoned for 30 years, Clay Miller, played by Barn regular Scott Burkell, is on a mission to find his only relative, his daughter, Juanita (played by Penelope Alex). Clay, the "old timer," heads to Hollywood and befriends a cowboy who tells him of the movie business. In California, he is reunited with his daughter — and meets Molano.
Garrett is known for his chart-topping 1978 hit, "I Was Made for Dancin'," and for acting roles in films such as "Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion" and "Skateboard," "The Outsiders" and "Thunder Alley."
Songs in Old Timer include "Ridin' the Rails," "Hollywood" and "Waitin' for You." Charlie Misovye choreographs. Benton is musical director. Designers are Dusty Reeds (set), Elaine Kauffman (costumes), Brian Proball (lighting) and Luke Lytle (sound). The company includes Howard McBride, Andrew Call, Robin Haynes, Kay Stephens, John C. Brown, Carrie Wickham, Eric Parker, Leslie Diamond, John Newton, Edward Hodge, Nathan Morrison, Caley Oakes-Bisson, Emily Dorsch, Brooke Evans, Heather McCornack, Kendra Smith, Ben Nahum, Jermaine Blackwell, Adam Cullin, Jonathan Hack, A. Michael Tilford, David White, Ricky Merpi, Robert Weiner, Andrea Skafish, Susan Saladino, Anna Roberts, Cheryl Jennison, Margeaux Heaton, Dana Aber, Joel Kipper, Gavin Waters, Alison Mahoney, Natalie Priest and John Woll.
Tickets range $24-$26.50. The Barn Theatre, operating since 1946, is on M-96, one mile west of Augusta, MI. For information, call (616) 731-4121 or visit www.BarnTheatre.com.
— By Kenneth Jones