September 14, 2006

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Long strange journey
Manchester native stages musical, with eye on New York
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

Peter Baron was listening to The Who’s Tommy in his car when the former rock singer realized that his song, “No More Football, Dad,” was actually a start for a musical.

Fifteen years after playing guitar and singing in the Bronin Hogman Band in the 1980s, Baron, a Manchester native, set to writing Boomers: Promises Made Not Kept. In 2004, Actorsingers in Nashua staged the epic, “a personal journey of a baby boomer through three decades, with the culture shock of the Boomers’ history as a backdrop.”

Now Boomers will be produced at Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, later this month complete with orchestra conducted by Thomas Cavendish, chorus, rock band, actors from national Broadway tours plus Manchester talent. The hope is that the show will help Boomers make it off-Broadway in New York City in the spring. He’s also applied for a Broadway Asia license, Baron said.

“Boomers is something that came from inside of me that could not be denied ... [writing] is something that you have to do and not just want to do. In fact there are times when I don’t want to do it. It’s a very exhaustive and tormented way of life and financially exhausting,” Boomers said.

A friend in Florida approached investors, who opened Boomers Productions, LLC. Baron said when he got the call, the investor asked, “Why haven’t people been knocking your doors down?”

“Well, my show is a tree that fell in New Hampshire—did you hear it?” Baron replied.

Baron flies to Fort Lauderdale and back every four days, while balancing his other jobs as a plumber and DJ. He’s mortgaged his house and sunk his savings into Boomers, he said. “I just can’t ask for money, I don’t know why,”

But support keeps him going. He received an e-mail from a dad who hugged his son after watching Boomers.

“It’s about caring about the person that’s right beside you. That just absolutely told me I’m going in the right direction,” Baron said.

Another woman told him after a show that Baron must be a women trapped in a man’s body to write “Candlelight Dinner,” a song about a wife’s ignored attempt to rekindle her 15-year marriage.

Close to 35 local people are going to Florida to help. Local Joe Rojek is directing. Actorsingers members will perform. Wally Palunelt, a theater professor at New England College who went to high school with Baron, will stage manage and design the lighting.

“I’m one happy guy, and I’ll tell you what, I’d rather jump off a bridge than let these people down that are behind me,” Baron said. He credits the Actorsingers’ production with giving the show more validity, and tips a hat to the late Joe Lajeunesse, the former Hippo theater writer, for giving encouragement.

Currently, Baron is working on Brother’s Keeper, a musical that requires only four actors and four musicians.

Check out browardcenter.org or boomersthemusical.com to hear music clips from the show.


09/07/2006 Curtain Calls
08/31/2006 Curtain Calls
08/24/2006 Putting kids in charge
08/17/2006 Curtain Calls
08/10/2006 All theater, all summer
08/03/2006 A Jesus musical, reworked
07/27/2006 A match made in Maine
07/20/2006 Variations on a theme
07/13/2006 I Hate Hamlet
07/06/2006 Serious theater
06/29/2006 L.A. in Peterborough
06/22/2006 Da Vinci to Rube Goldberg
06/15/2006 Peter Bridges remembered
06/08/2006 From Hairspray to monkeys
06/01/2006 Special Theatrics
05/25/2006 Live Brit-com
05/18/2006 Evil stepsisters earn the yuks
05/11/2006 A message to mom
05/04/2006 Meet the cast
04/27/2006 'I hope i get it'
04/20/2006 Find yourself in Yonkers
04/13/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
04/06/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
03/30/2006 Cabaret is Mnchester bound
03/23/2006 A 42nd Street detour
03/16/2006 Actor-director wants your ideas
02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
01/26/2006 Spring theater season warming up
01/19/2006 Gearing up for the big night
01/12/2006 This Phantom is not a menace
01/05/2006 Jim Kelly, sci-fi writer and alternate historian
10th anniversary at Capitol Center
10 Ways To Survive The Audition
A Chorus Line
A Figaro Worth Cheering
A 'Living Newspaper' on stage
A tale of two wives
A Tribute To Music
Actorsingers Deliver On Superstar
Beauty and the Beast
Bedford Off-Broadway Gets Spooky
Being The Beatles, 1964 The Tribute
Bringing NYC to Wilton
Creating the venue from antiques
Crimes Of The Heart
Curtain to rise on Dana Center
Dana Center Takes Center Stage
Ensemble elevates Palace’s Godspell
From stage to the silver screen
Great play, too bad it’s over
Greater Tuna
Humble Boy
It’s cabaret, hear it sing, joke, tease
It's Child's Play
Jesus Christ Superstar
Kids Tackle Edgar Allan Poe
Local boy hits the big time, doesn’t lose his head
Lowell theater opens with a winner of a satire
Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Meet John Sefel, Director
Meet Suzanne Delle, Yellow Taxi’s driver
Music Man to run three weekends
New Thalian Players
Palace announces 2005-06 season
Peterborough Players’ Solidarity is solid gold
Plaid
Plaid (II)
Playing with man’s best friend
Proud of the Peacock
Racy, crazy blast at the Palace
Reviving His Passion
Robert Dionne, The man behind the Majestic
Rosemary Dann
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Short-Attention Span Theater
Side Show
Sideshow slips sideways
Spending The Summer On Stage
Stages of learning
Steel Magnolias
Suessical: The Musical
Theater Of The Imagination
Theater Kids Without A School
Theater in the park draws big
The Drawer Boy
The Festival
The Five best shows of 2005
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Russian/American Kids Circus
The Senator Wore Pantyhose
The Tony Awards, they're grrrrreat
The Warmth Of The Cold
Three nights, three shows at the Palace
Tosca

Under the Caribbean with the little mermaid

Wake up to ‘night Mother