Surf's up June 21-22 for a New York City reading of Go Go Beach — The '60s Beach Party Musical, an original musical comedy that exploits the fun-in-the-sun era of Annette and Frankie, the Beach Boys and bikini-clad Hollywood starlets.
Industry insiders are invited to this first glimpse of the show by lyricist librettist John Wimbs Jr. and composers Brent Lord and Mike Shaieb. The presentations are at the Duke in the New 42nd Street Studios.
Inspired by the beach-party movies that flourished in the mid 1960s, the show has 18 original songs inspired by pop music from the decade: "the surfing sound, girl groups, go-go music...and a little flower power as well," according to an announcement.
Go Go Beach is "a love story about a surfer who gets into trouble with his girlfriend when he falls for a teen pop star" and how "a world weary flower child...helps him get back in touch with the waves."
The reading cast includes Joe Machota (Tulsa in Gypsy with Betty Buckley) as Woody, the "cool surfer," opposite Erin Leigh Peck (I Love You, You're Perfect...) as his "overbearing girlfriend," J.J. The "teen popstar," Mindy Chinchilla, is played by Melissa Dye. The flower-child, Bulldog, is played by Cristina Fadale (Rent). Evan Pappas (My Favorite Year, Parade) plays movie producer Sammy Leech, Jr. An additional cast of 12 Broadway actors and singers round out the company: Alison Cimmet, Misty Daniels, Ãlan, Sara Gettelfinger, Mandy Gonzalez, Chris Hall, Kirk McDonald, Kevin Odekirk, J. P. Potter, Aaron Ramey, Andrew Rannells and Kristin Woodbury. A demo recording of eight songs is being shopped around. Alice Ripley, Miriam Shor Sara Ramirez and Gavin Creel are heard on the demo. Song titles include "Go Go Beach," "A Day Like Today," "Hollywood Girl," "Surf's Up!," "Don't Look the Other Way," "The Love That Cannot Be" and "It's All About Love."
Shaieb and Lord are graduates of the NYU Musical Theatre program, and their separate works have been heard in New York readings.
Stafford Arima, associate director of Broadway's Ragtime, Seussical and A Class Act, helms the reading. Mary-Mitchell Campbell is musical director. The reading is produced by Jonathan Schwartz.
— By Kenneth Jones