‘Bronco Billy–The Musical,’ traveling Wild West show at the Skylight Theatre, May 10-June 30

‘Bronco Billy – The Musical’ has a crazy troupe of misfits defining love & family, fresh & funny at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angels’ eclectic Los Feliz Village in East Hollywood.

“The time is right for ‘Bronco Billy – The Musical’,” says Gary Grossman, the show’s producer and Artistic Director of Skylight Theatre Company. “It’s set in an era when the country’s going crazy with partisan politics, civil rights threatened, technology exploding. It’s 1979, but it could be 2019.”

 Grossman explains, “It takes place in America’s heartland, where the cowboy code that respects a handshake, and regard for your fellow man still means something. Billy is struggling to keep his traveling Wild West show alive, but his world turns upside down when Antoinette, a New York heiress on-the-run, joins the band of misfits. The show has a hopeful spirit and positive energy that we need right now.”

 With tremendous pride Grossman noted that Bronco Billy is the first original musical developed and produced by the Skylight Theatre Company. “There’s joy in being part of a musical and having music in your day. We get to whistle while we work.”

Eric B. Anthony & Amanda Leigh Jerry in the World Premiere of “Bronco Billy – The Musical” at the Skylight Theatre May 10-June 30. (photo by Ed Krieger)

 Starring as Bronco Billy, the leader of a ragtag group of performers in a broken-down Wild West show, is Eric B. Anthony, who enthuses, “If you have a hankering for a night of uplifting entertainment it is a must-see show. It is a celebration of love, hope and joy.”

 Anthony says, “Love of family and the family you create, is also a theme. It’s a show for all ages and walks of life with singing and dancing, pretty women and sexy guys. I do quick-draw fancy gun tricks too. So if you love to laugh at crazy shenanigans, come see our show.”

Skylight Theatre’s creative team for “Bronco Billy – The Musical” is (L-R) John Torres, Chip Rosenbloom & Dennis Hackin. (photo courtesy Skylight Theatre Company)

 In addition to Skylight producer Grossman, who showcases all original theatrical productions, there are a lot of creative forces at work on this world premiere musical, including co-composers and lyricists Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres, who have created songs you can walk out humming; Michele Brourman provides additional lyrics.

 “We needed a variety of styles to tell the story; there’s country, popular music, disco, and classic Broadway,” says Rosenbloom about the mix of songs performed by the cast of 14 talented professionals.

 Torres says, “Bronco Billy covers different locations with characters from across the U.S., including some New York villains. That’s a great backdrop to work with and it kept calling for different genres of music to express real feelings in the songs. We want the villains to be real and we want the good guys to express sincere emotions. It’s meant to inspire audiences.”

 Brourman notes, “There are more than 20 new songs in the show to enjoy. Audiences will appreciate the upbeat musical about reinvention, getting to choose who you want to be, and our hero, Bronco Billy, inspires them to make good choices.”

Rosenbloom says, “All of the characters are lost and alone in some way and they find this family and their purpose together and take a journey to follow their passion. Our music has been inspired by what Dennis Hackin has written.”

“The show’s musical talent lights up these characters,” raves Dennis Hackin who also wrote the novel and then the film version of Bronco Billy, starring Clint Eastwood for Warner Bros. “The story is a homage to my parents who wanted to be cowboys and moved from Chicago to an Arizona ranch to live their dream. Bronco Billy is about living your passion. Now we’ve created this new musical family for everyone to enjoy. I hope audiences will whistle a happy tune after they see the show.”

 Living their passion on stage is the stellar cast lead by Eric B. Anthony (seen on Broadway in The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Hairspray) as Bronco Billy, with Amanda Leigh Jerry (Kirk Douglas Theatre’s Mutt House) starring as Antoinette in the new wild west road show extravaganza.

 The rest of the talented troupe includes Michelle Azar (La Boheme with Placido Domingo) as Constance; Benai Boyd as Doc; Marc Cardiff as Lawyer Lipton; Randy Charleville as Two Gun Lefty Lebow; Fatima El-Bashir as Lorraine; Kyle Frattini as Lasso Leonard James; Bella Hicks as Mitzi; Chris M. Kauffmann; Anthony Marciona; Jamie Mills; Pat Towne; and Michael Uribes as Big Eagle.

 “Bronco Billy – The Musical,” is at the Skylight Theatre with previews May 10, 11, 12, and 17; opening Saturday, May 18. Schedule: 8:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays; 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays through June 30. For Reservations: (213) 761-7061, (866) 811-4111 or online at SkylightTix.org. Tickets are $29-$55 (Opening Night $75-$85). Discounted tickets—Previews: $29-$42; Students $20 (cash at the door) valid picture ID required. Location: Skylight Theatre, 1816 ½ North Vermont, Los Angeles. More information: skylighttheatre.org.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.