Even before Bronco Billy (Eric B. Anthony) and his eclectic crew of “buckaroos” hit the stage, we’re pulled into the spirit of the traveling Wild West show by the smell of popcorn, the colorful and clever set (compliments of designer John Iacovelli), and the anticipation of seeing the 1980 Clint Eastwood-Sondra Locke movie morphed into a musical by its writer, Dennis Hackin.
By Carol Edger Germain
The story lends itself well to a musical transformation and the cast informs us immediately that we are part of the show with the welcoming tune “You Can Ride With Us!” The motley band of friends has bonded as a family and are all equally downhearted to learn they are nearly bankrupt and there may be no more traveling, no more shows, no more living out their dreams. But they’ve still got spirit and humor, and their collision with Antoinette (Amanda Leigh Jerry), an heiress on the run trying to survive long enough to inherit her billionaire father’s estate, is just what they needed to get everyone revved up for helping out a fellow traveler, with Billy clearly wanting to be the most helpful. Antoinette’s stepmother, Constance (a quite sassy and frisky Michelle Azar), insipid husband, John (Chris M. Kauffmann), sleazy lawyer, Lipton (Marc Cardiff), and blathering hit man, Sinclair St. Clair (Pat Towne), whose name was delightfully overworked, are full speed ahead on their plan until they meet Billy’s buckaroos.
The songs crossed a number of styles, were clever and fun, and really brought the story to life with a burst of resolve and enthusiasm. The direction (Hunter Bird), choreography (Janet Roston), and music and lyrics (Chip Rosenbloom, John Torres and Michele Brourman) were all deftly handled and brought the package together, leaving the audience in a smiling, feel-good mood as we left the theater
Bronco Billy – the Musical
• Book by Dennis Hackin
• Music and Lyrics by Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres
• Additional Lyrics by Michele Brourman
• Directed by Hunter Bird
Eric B. Anthony, Michelle Azar, Benai Boyd, Marc Cardiff, Randy Charleville, Fatima El-Bashir, Kyle Frattini, Bella Hicks, Amanda Leigh Jerry, hris M Kauffmann, Anthony Marciona, Jamie Mills, Pat Towne, and Michael Uribe
Skylight Theatre Company
18161/2 N. Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90027
• Through June 30
Fri. 8:30; Sat. 2:00 & 8:30; Sun. 2:00
• $20 – $29
(Discount tickets also available @ goldstar.com)
Various reasonable parking lots within a block or two
Purchase tickets here.
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