New Line Theatre, “the bad boy of musical theatre,” has announced that one of the most popular shows in the company’s long history is returning — the outrageous rock musical “Cry-Baby,” based on the iconic John Waters film, a wild and wacky fable about class, justice, and rock and roll, featuring classic songs like “Girl, Can I Kiss You With Tongue?”, “The Anti-Polio Picnic,” “Screw Loose,” “Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby (Baby, Baby),” “I’m Infected,” and many more.
The show will run Sept. 26-Oct. 19 at the Marcelle Theater in the Grand Center Arts District, to open New Line’s 29th season. The other two shows in the season have not been announced.
It’s 1954. Everyone likes Ike, nobody likes communism, and Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker is the coolest boy in Baltimore. He’s the bad boy with a good cause — truth, justice, and the pursuit of rock and roll. Wayward youth, juvenile delinquents, sexual repression, cool music, dirty lyrics, social rejects, and at the center of this world are the star-crossed lovers, Cry-Baby and the square rich girl Allison, the good girl who yearns to be bad in Cry-Baby’s arms.
Fueled by hormones and the new rhythms of rock and roll, she turns her back on her squeaky clean boyfriend Baldwin to become a “drape” (a Baltimore juvenile delinquent) and Cry-Baby’s moll. At the other end of the topsy-turvy moral meritocracy of 1950s America, Baldwin as king of the squares leads his close-harmony pals against the juvenile delinquents, who are ultimately arrested for arson, sending the drapes all off to prison.
It’s Romeo and Juliet meets High School Hellcats. Director Scott Miller says, “After a disastrous original run on Broadway, we proved that this razor sharp, wickedly funny show is so much better than people thought. The authors commissioned new orchestrations just for New Line, and we brought the show back to life. Now, productions are happening around the country, which is so wonderful.”
The critics were unanimous in their praise for New Line’s American regional premiere of “Cry-Baby” in 2012. Judith Newmark wrote in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “If you just want to have a great time, then pick up tickets for New Lilne’s latest giddy extravaganza, Cry-Baby. You’ll laugh too hard to catch all the hilarious lyrics.” Mark Bretz wrote in The Ladue News, “A glorious and infectious American regional premiere by New Line Theatre. Under Miller’s devoted and painstaking direction, this Cry-Baby rocks the room with an effervescent energy, exploding across the stage.” Richard Green wrote for BroadwayWorld, “I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing through this stage-musical version of John Waters’ film, though I have to admit I never really tried. From the opening chords, which (of course) sound like some 1950s movie about teen rebels, we know we’re in for a counter-cultural extravaganza.” Chris Gibson at BroadwayWorld wrote, “At times, it’s like watching a throwdown between Little Richard and Pat Boone over who really sings ‘Good Golly, Miss Molly’ the best. This is a rockin’ good show! Go see Cry-Baby and enjoy!”
Open auditions will be held in June. Details will be posted to the New Line website.
Season tickets will go on sale in May. The season will include two more shows which will be announced soon.
ABOUT NEW LINE THEATRENew Line Theatre is a professional company dedicated to involving the people of the St. Louis region in the exploration and creation of daring, provocative, socially and politically relevant works of musical theatre. New Line was created back in 1991 at the vanguard of a new wave of nonprofit musical theatre just starting to take hold across the country. The company has given birth to several world premiere musicals over the years and has brought back to life several shows that were not well served by their original New York productions. Altogether, New Line has produced 86 musicals since 1991, and the company has been given its own entry in the Cambridge Guide to American Theatre and the annual Theater World. New Line receives funding from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
New Line is very proud to announce that season tickets sales for the 2018-2019 season skyrocketed, a massive 258% increase over last season! New Line’s 28th season also includes “La Cage aux Folles” in March, and the St. Louis premiere of the new rock musical “Be More Chill” in June.
For other information, visit New Line Theatre’s full-service website at www.newlinetheatre.com. All programs are subject to change.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.