The Alliance Theatre is hosting the world premiere of “Becoming Nancy.” Set in 1979, the musical tells the story of a high school boy, David Starr, who is cast to star in the school’s production of “Oliver” as Nancy.
The drama teacher casts David as the female lead due to his amazing vocal range, but almost everyone in his hometown of East Dulwhich [south of London] has an opinion on the decision.
Lois Reitzes spoke with two-time Tony award winner Jerry Mitchell about choreographing and directing “Becoming Nancy.” Mitchell’s inspiration behind the musical was based on the best-selling British novel by Terry Ronald.
“As I was reading the book, I thought ‘why don’t parents and teachers have the answers for children when they’re growing up and they’re faced with something that they don’t have the answer to?’ Now that is an universal idea in every time period and we are dealing with that now in America,” said Mitchell.
He continues, “And I thought this is what I wanted in 1979, for somebody to tell me that I was okay as a young, gay man and that it wasn’t going to be a problem. I think to have an adult in the room who has the education and knowledge to help you navigate those questions was part of the big reason why I wanted to tell the story.”
The show premieres on Sept. 6 and will run through Oct. 6 at the Alliance Theatre.