Story to Stage: B.O.O.B. Girls Premieres at the JCC

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July 25th, 2017

Photo courtesy of The Circle Theatre

Omaha, NE—July 22, the Circle Theatre will premiere an original musical at the Jewish Community Center, The Burned out Old Broads, BOOB Girls for short. The show is based on the eponymous book series by local author, Joy Johnson, and blends comedy, romance, adventure and mystery—and begins in a retirement community. The girls’ adventure begins after the loss of their husbands, showing that there’s life after grief.

Mark Kurtz, lyricist and composer for BOOB girls had read the books just before meeting for a casual lunch date with Johnson.

Now, about three years later, the show is ready to debut. No answer yet on whether the musical will be serialized as well.

Kurtz discussed the Circle Theatre’s craft of putting this musical together.

“The challenge in this show is partly because they go on so many adventures, how do you show all of these different places and situations on stage happening in real life?” Kurtz said. “If it were a movie, you could just cut from one location to the other, but we’ve decided to let the audience imagine a lot of all these different places, so the set is fairly abstract and we give in each scene just a bit of a suggestion of the place that they’re in but really it’s mostly about the performances. It really is all about the characters—the four women.”

Kurtz is primarily an organist, but his diverse musical background influenced the show. The BOOB Girls will feature some jazz, blues, Latin, and country western.

“One of the things that Joy told me early on when we started working on this was, if you listen to the girls—the characters—they will tell you what they want to do, and I found she was really right on about that. She did a wonderful job crafting the characters in the book and they really do each have their own kind of unique world, but then as a group that’s a whole other entity that they form.”

Johnson’s material gave Kurtz with more than enough to work with.

“When I started writing songs for them, I had to really think, ok, what would these characters want to sing about, and this reminds me of something that I heard someone say once, which is ‘singing begins when speaking is no longer adequate.’ So I had to think about what are the moments for them that they would need to sing, what are the times of either great joy or great sorrow, or in a couple of cases where big changes are happening. What would move each of these characters into song?”

The Circles Theatre’s, The Burned out Old Broads Musical, or BOOB Girls, will run this weekend, July 22nd and 23rd, and next weekend, the 19th to the 30th at the Jewish Community Center. For Tickets, visit circletheatreomaha.org.

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