New to the Stage

Heartbreak USA: An Original Musical

An homegrown musical makes its debut in the Heights.

By Maggie Berardo May 18, 2015

Just a hint at the romantically charged comedy in this musical.

More than a year ago, at a BJ’s Brewhouse table, three men began talking about an idea for a musical. Soon writer Michael Weems, composer Timothy Boaz and director Vance Johnson started working on the project in earnest. They called it Heartbreak USA. 

Produced, performed and perfectly pitched right here in the Heights, the original musical centers around a couple stuck in a passion-less relationship. Missy wants more excitement, and Jerry sees nothing wrong with the situation. The couple splits, retreating to their respective friend groups to seek solace and advice. 

“I wanted to write about one of those stupidly stubborn characters,” Weems explained, talking about Jerry at the Obsidian Art Space Theater. The character, he explained, is “the kind of guy who will sit on his porch come hell or high water." He's "someone who isn’t a bad person, but is an idiot.”

As for the music, Boaz described it as “show tunes meets Top 40 meets classic country.” His goal, he said, was to have audiences leave each show with his songs stuck in their heads. “It’s going to be foot-tapping. There’s a little bit of everything, with some blues and modern stuff brought into it.” A live band will be part of the performance at the intimate, 80-seat theater, and there's even an album in the works.

Heartbreak USA runs through May 30 at Obsidian Art Space and is brought to us by Standing Room Only Productions.

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