“Becoming Nancy,” a musical about a teenage boy playing a girl in a high school play, is the Alliance Theatre’s latest production.
The Midtown venue is hosting the world premiere of the musical set in 1979 London.
"My character is quite brave considering the times in 1979, when the thought of him playing a girl in a high school production at that time wasn't necessarily accepted and for a teenage boy to like the things he likes," said Zachary Sayle, who portrays the main character, David Starr. "This (musical) is about a boy learning not to be ashamed or afraid of who he really is through the course of the show."
Based on the best-selling 2011 British novel by Terry Ronald, “Becoming Nancy” will be presented Sept. 6 through Oct. 6, on the newly renovated Coca-Cola Stage.
According to a news release on the production, the musical features an international creative team, including well-known director, choreographer and two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell, and was taken from a book by Elliot Davis. Its score is composed by the songwriting team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
In the musical, the news of David being given the female lead in his high school’s play sends shockwaves through his small town, first with David and then with his parents, aunt and classmates, the release stated.
Before long, it seems like everybody has an opinion on whether David should go on with the show. This production “is the huge-hearted new musical that weaves a story of family bonds, first loves, and the courage it takes to find your own spotlight,” a release stated.
In addition to Sayle, Matt Hetherington plays Eddie Starr, Sally Ann Triplett portrays Kath Starr and Jessica Vosk plays Aunt Val.
Sayle said he enjoys portraying David because his character is passionate and unapologetic. He loves pop music, musical theater and fashion, "and puts his whole spirit and soul into it," he said.
Sayle said there are many elements of the show which makes it special.
“The genre of ’70s music and all the characters are so likable, save for a few objectively bad guys,” he said.
Triplett said her character is a very normal, down-to-earth mother who loves her children and her husband, although their relationship slowly disintegrating.
"This production is special because many stage plays today try to be political and different, but this show is very innocent," she said.
Tickets start at $25. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org.