Aaron Thielen, the co-artistic director of the Marriott Theatre, has adapted the World War II-set, big-band film for the stage. The musical incorporates songs from the film, including "PS I Love You," "GI Jive," "Stuff Like That There," "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "What a Wonderful World." New orchestrations are by David Seigel.
Jeff Award winner Marc Robin directs and choreographs For the Boys, which continues through Oct. 16.
For the Boys charts the relationship of two performers, starting with a 1940s USO tour. It moves through the decades and into other wars. Tony Award nominee Marshall Brickman (Jersey Boys, The Addams Family) penned the screenplay to the film along with Neal Jimenez and Lindy Laub.
Michele Ragusa (Young Frankenstein, Urinetown) and Timothy Gulan (Blood Brothers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) play big-band singer Dixie Leonard and entertainer Eddie Sparks, respectively. The Twentieth Century Fox film starred Bette Midler and James Caan.
The cast also includes Anne Gunn as Loretta Brooks, Summer Smart as Margaret, Michael Lindner as Sam Schiff, Bernie Yvon as Wally Fields, Johanna McKenzie Miller as Luanna Trott, Holly Stauder as Gloria, Michael Weber as Art Silver, Melissa Zaremba as Victoria Lee, Katheryn Patton as Evelyn, Rod Thomas as the Band Singer and Jameson Cooper as Michael. Ensemble members include John Michael Coppola, Alex Goodrich, Karl Hamilton, Andrew Mueller, Brandon Springman, Zachary Keller, Johnny Rabe, Daniel Coonley and Conlan Ledwith.
For the Boys has music direction by Ryan Nelson, set design by Thomas M. Ryan, costume design by Nancy Missimi, lighting design by Diane Ferry Williams, sound design by Robert E. Gilmartin, projection design by Sage Carter and properties design by Sally Weiss. Patti Garwood is conductor.
According to the Marriott, "For the Boys follows the story of 1940s big-band singer Dixie Leonard and America’s favorite song and dance man, Eddie Sparks. The world was at war and Eddie Sparks was on top. Nobody could out-sing, out-step, or out-charm Eddie, America's premier entertainer, until Dixie Leonard came along. Together they entertained American troops, in times of war and peace, and the world was their stage. Their act was sensational and their relationship extraordinary. Offstage, they fought their own personal war, but when the nation needed them they were there. For over 30 years, three wars, and hundreds of shows, they did it all 'For the Boys.'"
For tickets phone (847) 634-0200. Visit MarriottTheatre.