Trevor – The Musical at Stage 42

Trevor The Musical

The time has come for him to break out of his shell… The time has come for you to meet Trevor.

A story set in 1981 in America, Trevor Nelson is busy navigating adolescence in suburbia while dreaming of an amazing life in the show business. But then, an embarrassing incident at school suddenly puts him completely in the wrong spotlight, Trevor must summon the courage to forge his own path. A deeply moving and funny story of self-discovery and the power of acceptance, Trevor the Musical is about living your very best life with a ton of passion… and a touch of pizzazz.

“A very promising, exceptionally timely and consistently artful new musical.” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“Trevor deserves all of the audience acclaim it surely will enjoy.” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“Trevor the musical is a must-see!” – Jonathan Abarbanel , Windy City Times

“A pleasure to watch! Trevor the musical makes a compelling case for the next generation to put their screens aside and give musicals a try.” – Susan Lieberman, Picture this Post

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Trevor is a quirky and outgoing 13-year-old boy, who enjoys acting and dancing in school plays, he is a fan of singer Diana Ross and wants to dress up as her for Halloween, you could say he’s a force of nature with a very vivid imagination… and he’s Gay, and developing a crush on boy at his school. Because of these differences, Trevor faces discrimination from both his parents and his friends; his parents often try to ignore the fact their son is different, and his friends bully him ceaselessly throughout the school day, making Trevor struggle even more with his identity. One night he tries to take his life by overdosing on aspirin in his room while listening to Diana Ross, commenting “Everybody at school thinks I’m a gay. It must be showing.”

The company will be led by 13-year-old Holden William Hagelberger as Trevor, from Sugarland. His casting follows a national virtual casting call with over 1,300 submissions. Hagelberger will be joined by Mark Aguirre, Aaron Alcaraz, Ava Briglia, Sammy Dell, Ellie Kim, Colin Konstanty, Diego Lucano, Alyssa Emily Marvin, Isabel A. Medina, Echo Deva Picone, Brandi Porter, Dan Rosales, Aryan Simhadri, Yasmeen Sulieman, Sally Wilfert, and Jarrod Zimmerman.

Trevor casting director Merri Sugarman said, “Between the virtual open call, agent and manager submissions, extensive outreach, and casting’s vast files that have been expanding since the very first Trevor: The Musical workshop six years ago, we probably saw close to 2,000 kids for the show, and hundreds strictly for the title role. We knew we were looking for a purple unicorn. That somehow this beautiful, extraordinarily talented boy found his way to us against all odds is beyond thrilling.”

Celeste Lecesne premiered their solo show WORD OF MOUTH at La MaMa where it won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person show. A portion of that show was the story of a character named Trevor. That portion was then filled out to make the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film, “Trevor,” directed by Peggy Rajski and produced by Randy Stone and Peggy Rajski, with an original screenplay by James Lecesne, the film also won the Teddy Award for Best Short in 1995. In 1998, director Peggy Rajski brought fellow filmmakers Randy Stone and Celeste Lecesne together to found The Trevor Project, a 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. The musical first premiered in previews in Chicago at the Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Illinois in August 2017 where it broke all the theatre’s box office records.

Adapted into a stage musical titled Trevor the Musical, with book and lyrics written by Dan Collins, music composed by Julianne Wick Davis, directed and choreographed by Marc Bruni and Joshua Prince respectively, who both worked on Beautiful. The rest of the creative team includes scenic designer Donyale Werle, costume designer Mara Blumenfeld, lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski, sound designers Brian Ronan and Cody Spencer, music director Matt Deitchman and orchestrator Greg Pliska.

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Review of Trevor, a promising musical about a kid who’s easy to love. By Chris Jones, of the Chicago Tribune for the premiere performance at Chicago at the Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL.

Trevor, the hero of the very promising, exceptionally timely and consistently artful new musical from writer Dan Collins and composer Julianne Wick Davis at Writers Theatre, is no ordinary kid. He’s already saved young peoples’ lives since his first appearance in an Academy Award-winning short film led to the creation of the eponymous Trevor Project, an ongoing suicide-prevention hotline for LBGTQ kids. That gives this fictional teen what the business suits call “pre-awareness,” which should help “Trevor the Musical” win a good deal of much deserved love in its world premiere in Glencoe. I suspect Trevor’s story of how an ill-chosen middle school crush leads to his triumph over a soul-crushing humiliation will turn into the biggest hit in this theater’s history.

You maybe gay. Or maybe just sensitive. Or creative. Or overly reflective. Or just a really huge Diana Ross fan. Or a choreographer in the making. But, regardless of what you may be, being different from the jocks in the perilous middle school hallway is enough to cause your parents to worry about your safety, this being the cruel era of 1981 and all.

Collins’ very capable book, Wick Davis’ songs, Bruni’s direction and Tokash’s performance all combine to give you a rich sense of a young adolescent kid whose boundless, unfettered passions are squelched by the ignorance of insecure peers who’ve been carefully taught by similar fearful adults. And, of course, he can’t go to his loving but mostly clueless parents, played with a warm but satirical touch by Sophie Grimm and Jarrod Zimmerman.

You can see the quandary of the creatives. No doubt they want to keep the show suitable for kids of Trevor’s age to see (as they should; that can save lives). And optimism is the oxygen of musicals; “Trevor” can’t be a downer. But the requisite hope comes from Trevor’s indomitable spirit (and that of one of his pals, Cathy, played by the terrific Tori Whaples).

Act 2 does not yet have the escalations in tension it needs and you get the sense that maybe the creatives ran out of time. That’s not uncommon with a new musical. Nor are some of the formulaic character types that need deepening and the plot machinations, such as the betrayal of Trevor by his best pal Walter (Matthew Uzarraga) and his crush Pinky (Declan Desmond). The young actors are great but the characters need deepening so their acts of betrayal don’t seem to cost so little, when in fact such switched allegiances are, on the middle-school battlefield, akin to an act of war against humanity.

And against Trevor. Who is very easy to love in the here and now.

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