Take a dollop of “Grease,” mix in some “Pump Boys and Dinettes” and add a generous dose of “Forever Plaid” and you’ve got the high-octane fun of “Route 66.” Roger Bean’s jukebox comedy about a gang of rowdy Chicago service station attendants who take an imaginary road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles, singing tunes by Willie Nelson, Woody Guthrie, Roger Miller and the Beach Boys, just to name a few, opens at the Fallon House Theatre in Columbia on March 15.
They sing, they dance and they “act up” in this fast-paced show for the entire family. Songs include “Dead Man’s Curve,” “King of the Road,” “Little Old Lady From Pasadena,” “Beep Beep,” “Six Days on the Road,” “Little GTO,” “Fun, Fun, Fun” and many more.
Bean is the creator of the long-running off-Broadway hit “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” which has played in hundreds of theaters around the world. Bean also created two popular sequels for the song leaders from Springfield High: “The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns” and the holiday celebration “Winter Wonderettes.” Additional jukebox hits from Bean include “Summer of Love,” “The Andrews Brothers,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” and the doo-wop hit “Life Could Be a Dream,” recipient of the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, the L.A. Weekly Theatre Award and the Backstage Garland Award for Outstanding Musical.
Sierra Repertory Theatre’s production of “Route 66” is directed and choreographed by Adam Estes, who appeared as Miss Texas in 2018’s “Pageant.” Music direction is by John Jay Espino, who has provided music direction for many SRT productions such as “The Andrews Sisters: Christmas of Swing” and “The Taffetas.”
Serving up the fun, the cast of “Route 66” features Griffin Barr (Sierra Rep’s “Pageant” and “ My Fair Lady”), Jerry Lee (“Intimate Apparel” and “Man of La Mancha”) and Stephen Markarian and Miguel Ragel Wilson, both making their Sierra Rep debuts.
“This show is truly a tour de force for four actors,” said Estes. “It’s a high energy, all singing, all dancing, comedic joy ride. The audience can expect to be singing and toe-tapping along with hit song after hit song, as well as delighted by a few songs they might be less familiar with, but equally entertained. I was a part of the original production of ‘Route 66’ at Milwaukee Rep in 2010, which was directed by the author Roger Bean. It will always be one of the highlights of my career.”
“Route 66” opens at 7 p.m. Friday, March 15, and plays at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through April 21 at the Fallon House Theatre, 11175 Washington St., Columbia.
Ticket prices range from $20 to $47 at sierrarep.org or 532-3120.
A post-show Talk Back is staged after the Friday, April 12 performance, included in ticket prices.