You’ve heard of “High School Musical”? Well, there’s a new musical in town that goes beyond high school, and the world premiere will be right here in Redlands. Love U. (The Grad School Musical) opens April 3 at the University of Redlands Glenn Wallichs Theatre. A partnering production of the Riverside School for the Arts, Riverside Community College School of Music and the University of Redlands Theatre Arts Department, Love U is a new romantic musical comedy that spoofs two worlds—academia and performance art.
“The idea was to be as politically incorrect as possible. That was the fun part—offending everyone,” says Canadian novelist and journalist Joel Yanofsky, who wrote the book for Love U. The music and lyrics for the show are written by Peter Curtis, professor of music at Riverside Community College. Curtis was inspired by the songs of the Tin Pan Alley era.
“There are also influences of jazz, klezmer, hip-hop, bossa nova, gospel and whatever else fit the characters and story,” Curtis says. “It’s an eclectic mix held together, I hope, by my sense of humor and musical tics.”
“The show’s part Cole Porter, part Cornell West with some ancient Jewish wisdom and wisecracks thrown into the mix,” says Yanofsky, who likens his boy-meets-girl love story to the Hollywood screwball comedies of the ’30s and ’40s—but with a postmodern twist. Directed by Chris Beach, UR theatre arts professor, the show features a young but accomplished cast.
“I aim to create a joyous current of fun for the audience to ride on,” Beach says of the upcoming production, which promises to be “both a delightfully old-fashioned and refreshingly original night of musical theatre.” (DJ Small)
Love U. (The Grad School Musical) at the Glenn Wallichs Theatre Mainstage, University of Redlands campus, (909) 748-8028, April 3–5 at 8PM; April 6 at 2PM. For more info visit: http://www.redlands.edu/x34741.xml, or to listen to music from the show www.myspace.com/loveuthegradschoolmusical