Wednesday, December 10, 2008

next stop, broadway: the musical derails

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

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

"Back in aught-nine, the Purple Line was still a fairy tale," says Helina to Duran in the second act. "Now it's real. Now we've met. Because people like us believed."
In an attempt to find money, Stregevsky launched a website for the project, complete with a synopsis, song clips, and videos from their pitch to PLN and ACT. Stregevsky also poured some five thousand dollars of his own money to keep Denhard and White at work, acknowledging that they wouldn't be willing to press on otherwise. "Neither of them had enough faith to work for free . . . which disappointed me," he says.

To finish the project, he's looking for an additional ten to twelve thousand dollars to continue production. The money's needed to pay Denhard, the composer and to hire professional singers for a new recording of the songs.

Tracks has also been entered in the Strathmore Music Center's twenty-fifth anniversary contest for new works of art. The winning piece gets performed in 2009 with a real orchestra. "I think all of the entries will be fine arts . . . this won't," says Stregevsky. "It'll be a hometown favorite."

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

Despite putting in so much time and effort into a musical about the Purple Line, Stregevsky doesn't have much to say about the actual thing. He hasn't done a lot of research on the project, and living over twenty miles from the nearest Purple Line stop, chances are he may never ride it. But he looks forward to seeing his muse come to fruition one day. "I hope the rich people of Chevy Chase don't get their way, and we plow through their golf course," says Stregevsky, referring to the exclusive Columbia Country Club, which has attempted to stall the Purple Line since its conception twenty years ago. "It's only going to be built if it's surface instead of cut and cover."

But whether or not the Purple Line ever actually happens, it seems that Tracks will have a legacy of its own. "I wanted to make a difference," says Stregevsky. "Every writer wants to make a difference in the world . . . it's good to know there's so many people who believe in my dream and try to support me."

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