Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Paradise Park Is Coming!

Paradise Park is coming to the stage this summer. A new musical adaptation of Daniel Boyd’s most personal movie has been in the works for some time, and it’s cool to see it finally come to fruition. Theatre West Virginia will be bringing this to the stage, with music by Larry Groce and a book by Boyd, this June.

I’ve known Danny for nearly thirty-five years, and it’s cool to see him get to revisit his magnum opus in a new medium. After decades establishing himself as a director, author, professional wrestler, teacher and Pro Bull Rider (briefly) he can now add “Playwright” to his résumé.

The video at the head of this post was produced last year, and since then Paradise Park The Musical has been cast, and is in rehearsals now. It’s quite an impressive cast that includes Amanda Brigette, Eliska Hahn, Allie Patton, Jake Kinney and many more of our state’s finest performers. You can find out more about the show by visiting the Theatre West Virginia website.

In addition to the above video by our friends at Cucumber and Company, we have a wealth of PR material to share, so let’s dive in:

“God’s comin’, and he’s gonna grant us all a wish.” Paradise Park The Musical has been adapted for the stage by acclaimed West Virginia filmmaker, director Daniel Boyd. Mountain Stage’s own Larry Groce has written a new and extensive score for this premiere. The story contains themes familiar to citizens of West Virginia; poverty, religion, hopes and dreams and centers on people caring for other people, through hard times, through natural disasters and through everyday life.

While these themes are all too familiar to West Virginians, Daniel Boyd said; “It is set in one particular community but the story is universal.” Composer Larry Groce chimed in with; “When I first read the script for Paradise Park The Movie, back in 1991, I loved the heart of the script. I loved what this script was really about. It symbolizes, in many ways, what I found in West Virginia. I came here 45 years ago and I found people who care for other people. That’s what this story’s about.” Theatre West Virginia General Manager Scott Hill had this to say about the show; “You may know Paradise Park the film that was 25 years ago. Larry Groce was in it, Danny Boyd directed it, but we’re turning that into a musical. We’re turning that West Virginia story about God coming to a trailer park into a play, a musical, at Grandview for Theatre West Virginia.”

This cult classic will make its way to Theatre West Virginia’s 1,260 seat Cliffside Amphitheatre at Grandview in the New River Gorge National River outside Beckley, W. Va. beginning June 15. With show dates including June 15 through 17, June 20 through 24, and June 26 through July 1, performances begin nightly at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting the Theatre West Virginia Box Office or by calling 304-256-6800.

Your PopCulteer will be travelling the first two weekends of this show, but we’re going to move Heaven and Earth to see it during the final weekend.

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Barbara Snyder

    All of the reviews fail to have mentioned the female lead in the original move, Lina Basquette. Lina was, perhaps, the most distinguished member of the original cast, a former silent film star, one of Hitler’s mistress, as well as an AKC dog show judge. I knew her personally when he was breeding and showing Great Danes from her Honey Hollow Kennels in Wheeling, WV. The dogs were actually taller than she was. She passed away in 1994.

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