Pump Boys And Dinettes was a Tony and Drama Desk nominee for Best Musical, and a Drama Desk nominee for Best Score.
The London West End production was an Olivier nominee for Best Musical; a Toronto production won Canada’s Dora Award for Best Musical; and it became the longest-running musical in Chicago theater history.
Different productions have toured the UK, Europe, South Africa, Korea, Australia and the Czech Republic. 2014 saw a notable revival in New York for City Center’s Off-Center Encores! Series (NY Times: “Hums along like a vintage Mustang”); in April 2016 an innovative production triumphed at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, in a season that saw Paper Mill win the Tony Award for Regional Theatre.
And in 2018 the original cast, minus the late Mark Hardwick (the excellent Bob Stillman played his role) performed a concert version of our show at 54 Below, a Broadway hangout, to sold-out audiences and standing ovations as we made our way to the stage. We felt the love.
Deb, Cass, John, John and I zoom regularly and a TV pilot is being written. I wrote a new song for Northlight Theater’s Chicago production in 2021 (video above and review below), featuring a black creative team and mostly black cast, a milestone. Another milestone: February 2022, the 40-year anniversary of opening on Broadway. We shake our heads, and on we go.
“Wonderfully Nostalgic and Wildly Exuberant.”
“The show is now being brought back to vivid life in a terrific production devised by director Daryl Brooks, music director Robert Reddrick and choreographer Rueben D. Echoles (all three are stellar “alums” of Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater).”
“And they have assembled a supremely multi-talented, highly caffeinated cast of six actor/dancer/musicians that includes: Frederic Harris (the superb, and decidedly droll pianist); Billy Rude (lead guitarist and girl magnet); Ian Paul Custer (the laid back rhythm guitarist); Rafe Bradford (the enigmatic bass player); and Shantel Cribbs (Prudie Cupp) and Melanie Loren (Rhetta Cupp), as the Cupp sisters, the sassy waitresses who are not about to put up with male nonsense (just listen to Loren sing “Be Good or Be Gone,” and Shantel describe “The Best Man”.) They also team up to sing winningly about the importance of tips.”
“And by the time the show reaches “Closing Time,” you wish you could grab a menu and place the last order of the night.”
Original Cast and Creators: