Performances will take place Sept. 14-23 at 37 Arts Theatre, 450 W. 37th St.
It’s a coming-of-age story about a surfer who gets into trouble with his girlfriend when he falls for a runaway teen pop star, and the flower child who helps him discover the true meaning of life. Go-Go Beach features an original score inspired by the surf sound, girl groups, go-go music and a “little flower power as well.”
Austin Miller, who created the role of Link Larkin for the first national tour and Las Vegas productions of Hairspray creates the role of California surfer Woody, opposite his three leading ladies: Erin Leigh Peck (I Love You, You’re Perfect…, Dance of the Vampires, Grease) as J.J., the Annette Funicello-inspired girlfriend; Coleen Sexton (Jekyll and Hyde, Chicago) as runaway teen pop star Mindy Chinchilla; and Chandra Lee Schwartz (Penny Pingleton in the first national Tour and Las Vegas productions of Hairspray, But I’m a Cheerleader) as flower child Bulldog. Timothy Smith, recently on Broadway in Sweet Charity and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, as B-movie producer Sammy Leech Jr.
The cast also includes David A. Austin (I Love You Because), Michael Buchanan (Kennedy Center’s Mame), Amy Goldberger, Colt Prattes, Shelley Thomas (Zanna, Don’t!) and Savannah Wise.
Go-Go Beach has book and lyrics by John Wimbs, the playwright who won Canada’s Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production for Molly Wood; and music by composers Michael Shaieb and Brent Lord, both alumni of the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, whose work is currently represented in the Vh1 documentary “Last Days of Left Eye.”
Direction is by John Simpkins, a member of the theater faculty at New York University, who has directed regional productions including Cabaret (Sacramento Music Circus), tick tick...BOOM!, Godspell and Chicago; and who has recently directed Things to Ruin: The Songs of Joe Iconis at Ars Nova.
Choreography is by Michele Lynch, the choreographer for the upcoming Jason Robert Brown/Dan Elish musical 13 at the Mark Taper Forum this winter.
Production designer is Michael Schweikardt; costumes designed by Philip Heckman (Shout! The Mod Musical); lighting by Chris Dallos (Mrs. Klein, Kiki & Herb); sound by Ken Travis (The Threepenny Opera, Hurlyburly); and music direction by Karl Mansfield.
Go-Go Beach was first presented in New York as a staged reading in June 2001. It was staged at the Kennedy Center by the CAPPIES (a national youth theater organization), and won the Audience Choice Award at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival in 2003. The show was further developed at University of Northern Colorado, and was given a commercial Korean-language production at the National Arts Center in Seoul.
(Playbill.com is a media partner of the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2006.)
2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival website