Like it or not, Idaho is being memorialized in a new theatrical project: “Idaho: The Comedy Musical.”
Notice it’s not billed as a musical comedy. According to its writer, Buddy Sheffield, that’s because the comedy and satire drive the action and the music, not the other way around.
With a book by Sheffield and music by Sheffield and Keith Thompson, it has been in the works since 2006. It received a showcase at the New York Theater Festival in 2008. Now it will get a full production at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nev., as part of its Broadway series.
The show is a camp send-up of “Oklahoma!” the creators told the Las Vegas Sun Times: Think Rodgers and Hammerstein meets Mel Brooks. The fact that it’s set in Idaho is kind of random.
While they were developing the show, neither Sheffield nor Thompson, who live in Vegas, have ever been to Idaho.
However, recently Sheffield, Thompson and he creative team made a trip to Idaho led by Las Vegas Sun editor-at-large John Katsilometes, who grew up in Pocatello and has family there and in Boise.
They visited Idaho City, the State Capitol, the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Lava Hot Springs and the Tiede family potato farm in American Falls, Katsilometes says.
By visiting the state, gave the team a better appreciation for Idaho’s beauty and people. It made him “look at the characters in his play as real people,” he said in a statement. “Now, there’s much more of a story, a human story about real people who really care for each other and their Idaho homeland.”
The story is about about a mail-order bride who arrives in Boise, only to meet the love of her life — though not the man she is to marry.
The show will get it’s first full production this summer with previews Wednesday, July 6 to Friday, July 8, opening on Saturday, July 9. It will run through Sunday, July 17. Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased at The Smith Center box office, by phone at (702) 749-2000 or at TheSmithCenter.com.
This is the second homegrown production out of Las Vegas the center has produced.
Listen to “Heck, It’s a Helluva Day” from “Idaho: The Comedy Musical.”