Hit San Diego Musical The Boy Who Danced on Air to Be a First For Off Broadway’s Abingdon Theatre
By: Ellis Nassour
Following its successful run in San Diego, the musical The Boy Who Danced on Air, a modern-day love story set in rural Afghanistan, which one critic termed “An absolute must for lovers of new musical theater at its most innovative and exhilarating,” will become the first musical presented at New York’s Abingdon Theatre Company.
The musical, “a fable about love, tradition, morality, and the strength of the human spirit,” with music by Tim Rosser and book and lyrics by Charlie Sohne, winners of 2015 Jonathan Larson and Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Awards, will play four weeks, May 15 – June 11. Opening night is May 25. It received across the board raves and the 2016 San Diego Theater Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Score.
The New York premiere in the company’s June Havoc Theatre is being directed by Abingdon’s artistic director Tony Speciale, director of the San Diego production. David Gardos is music director, with choreography by Nejla Yatkin.
Headlining the five-member cast are Troy Iwata (The Lightning Thief, TheatreWorksUSA) and Jonathan Raviv (Atlantic Theatre Company’s Drama Desk-nominated and Lortel Award-winning and NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best/Outstanding Musical The Band’s Visit ; Aaron Posner’s adaptation of Chaim Potok’s My Name Is Asher Lev, OCC Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play) will reprise roles played during the San Diego premiere at the Diversionary Theatre, founded in 1986 to provide quality LGBT theater.
They portray poor Afghani boys Paiman (Iwata) and Feda (Raviv) who are drawn into the world of “bacha bazi” where they are taken in by wealthy men called playboys, trained to dance, dressed as women, treated as chattel, and made to perform at parties and private events – where much more is expected of them. Events unfold that change the course of their lives and set them on a journey to find their independence.
The musical was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) Festival in 2013 and received a Writers Residency Grant at NY Theatre Barn.
Tickets for The Boy Who Danced on Air are $65. Purchase at www.abingdontheatre.org, where you’ll find showtimes and more information.