|The cast of "October Sky", a new musical at San |
Diego's Old Globe Theatre. All photos by Jim Cox.
That small, 180 pound metal ball, however launched more than a scientific experimental race for supremacy in the heavens. It inspired generations of young, eager, and gifted American students to view their world differently, encouraging them to dream about what limitless opportunities the event offered for mankind and for true dreamers.
“October Sky”, now receiving its West Coast Premiere at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, is based on the 1999 movie of the same name, from a screenplay written by Lewis Colick based on a story by Homer Hickam, Jr.
|The cast of "October Sky"|
The story, set in 1957, explores the lives of the Hickam family who are steeped in the tradition and a culture where pride of family, hard work, and loyalty to their community defines who they are.
|Ron Bohmer, Kyle Selig|
in "October Sky"
|The miners chorus in "October Sky"|
|(clockwise from top left) Kyle Selig as Homer, |
Connor Russell as Quentin, Austyn Myers
as O'Dell and Patrick Rooney as Roy
Lee in "October Sky"
|Kerry O'Malley and Kyle Selig in "October Sky"|
Elsie Hickam’s secret feelings favor her son's desire to make a better life for himself above ground has more than merit. It’s what has to take place. She has attended too many miners funerals and she’s determined that Homer will not follow the miner’s path.
|Sandra DeNise and Kyle Selig in "October Sky"|
“October Sky” is an uplifting, feel-good type of play that boasts 19 songs with such numbers as “Look to the Stars”, “We’re Gonna Build a Rocket”, “Stars Shine Down”, “The Man I Met”, and “The Last Kiss Goodbye”, the latter number being especially poignant as sung by the miners' wives and girlfriends.
Ms. Rockwell, making her Old Globe directing debut, stages her production with intelligence and love of the story line. Her traffic management choices and skills are fluidly and seamlessly executed. With a cast of twenty-four it’s pretty easy to get a little crowded on stage. However, with Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet providing a stunning set and space that puts a coal mine entrance with a descending elevator, a school classroom, a family kitchen, a metal work shop garage, and rocket launching pad exteriors, the challenges of mounting this splendid production are a piece of cake. Big productions require big sets. I remember his visually stunning set design of “Sense and Sensibility” in July of this year.
|The young protagonists of "October Sky"|
The Old Globe has few equals when it comes to providing its directors a state-of-the-art technical arsenal from which to choose. I kept waiting to see how Ms. Rockwell and the technical wizards at the Old Globe would convincingly handle the firing of rockets from the stage. I need not have worried… they are flawlessly launched. As a side bar regarding the actual rocket launch in real life by Homer Hickam, the last one soared to over 30,000 feet!
|The cast of "October Sky"|
“October Sky” is a splendid musical production that performs at The OldGlobe’s Donald and Darlene Shiley Theatre through October 23, 2016.
-- Jack Lyons