Long time, no see! Here in 2023, we are still beaming over the massive achievement that was the successful premiere of Safe Travels: A Jukebox the Ghost Jukebox Musical! Two months of time have done nothing to dull the gratitude, camaraderie, and awe that came with bringing this show to life.
Safe Travels has been a show nearly four years in the making. What started as a story treatment typed into a Google Doc after a long shift of work back in the winter of 2017 quickly took on a life of its own when Tony Patryn, our friend and collaborator at Patrynize Productions, got his eyes on my outline and saw the potential for the real deal. After developing the treatment into a script and instilling it with personality, characters, and humor, Safe Travels revealed itself to be the contender of a show that it is, and once we added the idea of myself doing bolder, newer arrangements of the songs, we had a show we could really call our own. We’ve been huge fans of the band for years, bonded over their work when we were roommates in Hell’s Kitchen; it was an honor and privilege to dress up their work with what we do best. It’s been both a deeply personal project and a professional fulfilling one for the two of us, and with the theater world so open and willing to accept original works, we simply had to take our risks and put it out there.
And so it’s out there! We staged a sold-out reading at the Nubox Theater in Manhattan, premiering our arrangements live for the first time with Dan Wilson on piano and myself on guitar. The impression couldn’t have landed better: cheers, tears, even a standing ovation. Just ask Jenny Hanrahan, originator of the role of Diane, who made this post on her Instagram account when she caught herself pondering the “wonder of bringing new work to the stage.” A thing like that reminds creators like us that there are people out there who dream, maybe in a different way, but about just the same things as we do, a footprint left behind by that beautiful thing we call theater.
It was truly nothing but magic from rehearsal to cast party. And stay tuned for more, folks. There’s not much we won’t do to give a special show like this just a little more light of day.