You can drive from Chicago to Los Angeles in about 31 hours — if you stick to the interstates. However, for the road warrior who isn't in a hurry, a cruise along old Route 66 can be an unforgettable journey — one with surprises beyond every curve.
Often called “America's Main Street,” U.S. Route 66 is a retro-fantasyland of art deco motels, roadside attractions, Indian trading posts, novelty drive-ins and old-fashioned spit-and-polish service stations.
The Averitt Center for the Arts is bringing a new musical comedy to town — Route 66, by Roger Bean — that celebrates the golden era of the quirky old highway. Route 66 will be at the Emma Kelly Theater for one show at 7:30 pm., Saturday. Tickets for the show are $25 for adults and $10 for children. Call 212-2787 for more information.
The rambunctious new musical comedy leads the audience along the great “Mother Road” in a nostalgic celebration of music and whimsical highway fun. The high-octane musical is on a 60-city national tour produced by the Georgia-based Springer Theatricals.
In Route 66, a gang of rowdy Chicago service station attendants (played by Brian C. Gray, Dylan R. Hauck, Reid Robinson and Casey Ross) strip off their snappy uniforms and head off on a westward-bound road-trip filled with music, dance and highway mischief.
Directed and choreographed by Kimberly Faith Hickman, the show features rock and pop music from the 1950's and 60's including such hit tunes as “King of the Road,” “Dead Man's Curve,” “Six Days on the Road,” “Hot Rod Queen,” “I Get Around” and, of course, “Route 66.”
Because of its comic antics and tight-harmony vocals, the show has been called a hybrid of “Grease,” “Forever Plaid” and “Pump Boys and Dinettes.”
Springer Theatricals is the touring unit of the Springer Opera House, the State Theatre of Georgia, based in Columbus. The Springer is one of America's oldest and most celebrated theatre companies. Founded in 1871, the National Historic Landmark theatre features a year-round schedule of plays and musicals and operates a nationally-acclaimed Theatre Academy training program.
Springer producer Paul R. Pierce is excited about his company's national tour of Route 66.
“This production is right up our ally,” Pierce said, “And plays to our strengths, too — lots of comedy, music and stage surprises. The nostalgic qualities of Route 66 are irresistible. Route 66 is a reminder of that romance — in all its gas-guzzling, tail-finned, gaudy neon, art deco glory.”