Old Globe Turns ‘October Sky’ Into New Musical
Friday, August 26, 2016
Photo by Jim Cox
Back in 1999, the movie “October Sky” told the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner’s son who dreams of working for NASA.
Now, the Old Globe brings that story to us in the form of a musical. At a recent rehearsal, the cast and crew discussed why this tale was adapted for the stage.
The musical, like the film, was inspired by the reaction to the launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957. Instead of being afraid like many of his neighbors were, the international event inspired Homer to dream of a life outside his West Virginia town.
This hopeful reaction was why Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein said he was attracted to the show.
- Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego
- All ages / $39 - $99
"The country got scared when Sputnik came overhead. Homer decided to build a rocket," he said. "And that impulse, the drive to create as the right response to fear, is one that I love, and that this piece reminds us to embrace. I think it's a tonic for all of us right now."
He says turning to big, seemingly impossible ideas is a theme that should resonate with San Diego’s large scientific community.
The show was created in Chicago by Brian Hill and Aaron Thielen with music by Michael Mahler. That team, along with some of the actors and acclaimed director Rachel Rockwell, are on board for the San Diego production.
The show also picked up some San Diego actors, including Austyn Myers and Ron Bohmer.
Along with its strong scientific themes, "October Sky" is being described as a wholesome show that’s appropriate for all-ages.
Special Feature KPBS/Arts Events Calendar
Find San Diego's best arts events on the KPBS/Arts events calendar.
"It has a certain kind of warmth and sincerity," Edelstein said. "And if I may say, even a wholesome quality - a word that's been wrenched and robbed of its value. But this wonderful show restores to it a genuine sense of what it can mean."
"October Sky" runs Sept. 10 through Oct. 23 at the Old Globe.
To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.