Oh, ‘Danny’ boy

Next Stage goes two-for-two by offering another world premiere with its second production, a rock musical by Oklahoma writers.

Wishing to tackle an original musical, the troupe reached out to local composer and actor Jacob Becannen of The Fellowship Students.

“He sent us this beautiful album that he had written and recorded, but not yet released,” said Next Stage co-founder Rebecca McCauley. “The music was so evocative that we knew we could create a world around it.”

The result is Danny These Days, debuting Friday. Next Stage developed it by identifying thematic connections in Becannen’s songs and seeing what kind of story could be constructed.

“I gave them a few songs,” Becannen said, “and within about a week, I was emailed a script that seamlessly integrated my music within a wonderfully crafted, fun script by [McCauley].”

The story is set during a single night in the lives of Danny and his friends and family.

“I wanted the audience to have a true slice of these lives. It’s a night that will feel familiar to lots of folks: hanging out, drinking beer and listening to music,” Becannen said.

Danny marks Next Stage’s second performance at The Boom, a unique venue that has played host to an increasing number of theater productions over the last year.

“The Boom has been a great fit for us as we try to build up an audience and fine-tune how we’ll operate as a theater group,” said Rodney Brazil, troupe co-founder.

McCauley said the opportunity to workshop material in a collaborative process is a blessing.

“The alchemy of this process will translate to the audience,” she said. “They’re going to climb down in that basement with us and laugh, crack open a beer and rock out.”

Becannen’s new album, … and Boy Are My Arms Tired, will be released in conjunction with Danny’s debut.

Eric Webb

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