Monday, December 1, 2008

next stop, broadway: making a purple line musical

part ONE of a series on writer Paul Stregevsky, currently working on a musical about the Purple Line. Check out part TWO | part THREE | part FOUR

Paul Stregevsky, writer of a musical about the Purple Line, in the Rockville Library.

It sounds like the plot of a musical: A married father of four decides to write a love story, reminiscent of Rent, between a black Republican and a homeless flower girl. He sets it on a commuter train. With the help of a music teacher and an orchestral arranger, he makes it a musical. A local transit advocacy group, thinking it'd be good for their cause, puts up some money for it. The musical's set to go on at a local high school, but because there aren't enough minorities there, the main character becomes a white Republican. Then the money disappears.

"From the moment that you ride it, you'll feel the love inside it, riding with friends like these," scream a chorus of multi-ethnic transit riders, all of whom sound like Paul Stregevsky. He's the writer of Tracks, the world's first musical about the Purple Line, the proposed transitway between Bethesda and New Carrollton perpetually mired in controversy. We're wearing headphones in a conference room of the Rockville Library, listening to an MP3 player loaded with demos of the soundtrack, much of which is sung by him. The technical writer from Poolesville doesn't yet have the money to hire professional singers. "You can imagine when we get real singers for women," Stregevsky says, laughing.

The cover of Tracks, the musical being written by Stregevsky, Marshall White and Jared Denhard.

Nearly ten years in the making, Tracks has caused Stregevsky to change jobs, change his commuting patterns, and invest significant amounts of his personal savings. And as he gets older, he's increasingly fervent about finishing this project. "I'm fifty-one. The energy isn't there. I want to finish this while I'm alive and have energy," he says. "I want the emotion."


Thomas Hardman said...

Oy gevalt What a crap pile of Schmaltz.


rtsind said...

A musical about the tragic waste of taxpayers money-I don't get it.

Sam Goering said...

Now this is drama..