next year the ‘little’ musical sherwin and i wrote will be 29 years old. we’ve been invited to revive the show and produce 5 performances at the ferarra theater in st. louis during the summer of 2016.
we first wrote and staged the show in 1987. over 4 hours long, we only had two live performances in boston at the famous, and ancient, boston opera house. we videotaped a matinee and evening show live with over 100 people involved in the production, not including the camera crew who flew in to join the madness. over 5000 people attended.
the second act had never been rehearsed in its entirety… we didn’t have time for a complete dress rehearsal… for those of us involved, it was epic. it was crazy. and it was summer. the boston opera house has no air conditioning. what am i saying? boston has no air conditioning anywhere. so those two shows were hot as blazes. we all sweated through it, audience and cast and crew alike. if you were there, you, uh, are old.
and if you were there you probably have stories to tell.
seven years later, 1994, we trimmed the show down, wrote some new songs and did a ‘revised’ version. weighing in at two hours and thirty eight minutes long, we call it the ‘short version’. people who saw the original are fairly split on which one they like the most. children grew up watching vhs tapes of the original and think it’s the bible and shouldn’t be altered. children who grew up watching the second version don’t know what vhs is.
sherwin and i are old and cranky now. well, i am. he still looks like him, i look like ice cream melting. he’s still nice and gets invited out; mothers take children off the streets when i approach and for some reason even my closest friends have taken to wearing garlic cloves around their necks if i’m around. but, we’re a team, sherwin and me. a continent apart, we’re working our hearts out getting ready for upsidedown 2016.
our kids are grown up and are joining us in producing this new version of the show. we’ve never had upsidedown published with music and lyrics so we’re very excited by the opportunity to finally get this all down in a version that will hopefully last long after we die; or at least until sherwin starts melting.
social media is pretty baffling to me. no big deal, i baffle easily. i still have a vhs player; the clock still blinks; it still has a pied piper’s video stuck in it with cheerios, a broken lego and a 20 year old macdonald’s french fry hanging out the slot. but our plan for casting and crewing this mammoth undertaking is just now taking shape and our main way of spreading the news is… not myspace. we have a fb group page https://www.facebook.com/groups/upsidedownmusical2016/ and will use it… a lot… to get the word out. meanwhile, you can help by praying, tweeting, texting, twirling… but no twerking.
the ferrara theater has 1411 seats. we plan on 5 performances. you need to buy your tickets, uh, now. yesterday. immediately. only they’re not ready yet. so when we tell you on fb or wherever to go buy a ticket, please, at that time go buy a ticket… for everyone you know.
here’s a picture of the president on the ferrara stage.
maybe we can get him to play Jesus…
My wife and I were able to see the production in Dallas (I think it was 1997), It was so emotional to see live. Loved it.
We have own and have watched both the long and short version (Yes, we still own a functional VHS).
I can’t wait for the next live production.
Thank you and Sherwin so very much. The new generation of Disciples need this experience.
Remember the Lord.
Love in Christ,
YES – that Boston Opera house was especially HOT after 4 hours in a car AND I was 8+ months
pregnant! I all never forget it. My kids grew up singing all the songs and in love with Abby!
I still vote for the original 4 hour one – because I didn’t want it to end!!! Look forward to St. Louis 2016! (funny article, btw)
so excited to see this on stage! I had the VHS versions that someone borrowed and never returned. When we heard they were again released, but on DVDS, we bought them! My now 12 year old daughter LOVES them! Thank-you to you and Sherwin for the willingness to do it again, for the impact it has made on my daughters, and anyone who has been crazy willing to sit and watch with us! EPICNESS!!!
Very inspiring to see different things take shape for Upside Down! This post is hilarious too!! I’ll be praying…and taking out a second mortgage to buy tickets for all 1,684 of my Facebook friends. Lol (that means “laugh out loud” NOT “lots of love) :)
Steve, as with everything you guys develop and produce, I know the Lord’s hand will be on this latest and greatest addition to the classic UPSIDE DOWN! As a new generation of disciples learn Prayer for Boldness, Remember the Lord and so many other great ballads, the rest of us melted folks will be impacted all over again.
Now that we have been back here in St. Louis for over a decade now, my wife Sylvia and I are excited that the new production will be in our home town.
So excited to see this one! Love both productions in their own way. Can’t choose between the two!
Hey Steve, Brother, I know this next production will be amazing, although it’s hard to imagine it being better than the previous ones. Did I ever tell you, that Jenny and I got engaged just before coming to the Show at the Opera House in 1987. We were so pumped. Jenny mentioned how hot it was, and I was like “No baby, it’s like Jerusalem!” Your show and that day has turned my life “Upside Down.” Love you brother, Guy
Just started watching for probably the 30th time. Was able to obtain dvd and love it. I was in Gainesville when Sherwin was a pup. Not that long ago.lol. I thank God that he put it on your hearts to allow Him to use you in this way. We have 4 generations that have grow up on Upside Down!