By now, almost everybody has seen or heard of ‘Pump Boys’…the show took the “musicians’ theatre” concept pioneered by Diamond Studs to new heights, earning a Best Musical Tony nomination on Broadway in 1982, becoming the longest-running musical in Chicago theatre history, and has become a hardy perennial among American shows. (Click on Bio for more.)
We began life as a band in New York clubs, not the usual path to Broadway. I’ll never forget the “gypsy run-through,” a Broadway tradition. At 11 PM the night before we opened at the Princess Theatre, the theatre and aisles were jammed with Broadway performers who had come over after their shows to see our performance.
The enthusiasm which greeted us as we came out on stage was unforgettable. There may have been a little extra joy in this room full of performers, knowing that the six of us—the entire cast—had created our own show as writer/singer/actor/musicians—again, not the usual path to Broadway. It’s always a treat to run into other folks who have done the show. Patricia and I were in an art gallery in San Diego admiring some Dr. Seuss sculptures and got to talking with the manager, introduced ourselves…’Pump Boys’ came up and she talked about singing a particular song, and mentioned that her husband had played “Jim” on tour. Then she exclaimed, “You’re Jim!”