Adventure and redemption are at the heart of a new musical inflected with the rich musical sounds of the Appalachia region. Third Street Theatre and West Coast Ensemble Theatre present the West Coast premiere of “The Burnt Part Boys” by Mariana Elder (book), Chris Miller (music) and Nathan Tysen (lyrics).
Richard Israel directed an unforgettable coming-of-age story that follows a group of teenagers in West Virginia's coal country on their life-altering journey to “the burnt part” – the section of the coal mine that took their fathers’ lives. Musical director Gregory Nabours shepherded the vocally complex score inflected with the rich acoustic sounds of rural Appalachia.
“The Burnt Part Boys" is an engrossing story in which a group of friends goes up a mountain as kids, but comes back down as adults,” says Israel. “By setting the story in the West Virginia coalmines of the early 1960s, the creators look at the American idea of expectation versus aspiration – how we fulfill the life that has been set out for us, and what we do when the path our fathers took isn't necessarily the path we choose for ourselves.”
Daniel David Stewart stars as fourteen-year-old Pete, struggling with the death of his father and lost in his own imagination. Aaron Scheff plays his older brother Jake, working his way up to foreman at the Pickaway mine that took their father’s life. Adam Dingeman, Joe Donohoe and Lauren Patten round out the leading roles as Dusty, Chet and Frances. The ensemble features Rich Brunner, Richard Hellstern, Philip Dean Lightstone and Matt Musgrove.
“The Burnt Part Boys” was a finalist for an American Theatre Critics New Play Award and received an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award. It premiered Off-Broadway in 2010 as a co-production by Playwrights Horizons and Vineyard Theatre in 2010, receiving a Lucille Lortel nomination for Best Musical.
“The Burnt Part Boys” performs 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through October 20, 2013. Tickets range from $29-$34 (reserved seating); children 16 and under are $15 with purchase of an adult ticket - use promo code KIDS. Call 323-655-9232 or visit www.thirdstreettheatre.org.
The Third Street Theatre is located at 8115 W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles.