I write about dogs and cats in my "day job" but on the side in my so-called spare time I'm an actor. And now I've combined the two with my writing partner, OH-MY-HEAVENS-TO-MURGATROID!
Yes, we've written a musical comedy, complete with 8 actors and 12 songs, full orchestration (I was a music major in another life), and this week we premier the show. It runs three nights only March 1, 2, 3 at the newly-renovated Rialto Theater in Dennison, Texas. Wow.
It's been quite a journey. Frank Steele and I began writing the show October 2010, over ice tea at a local pub/hang out (Yes, I swear it was ice tea!). The result is a funny, quirky and poignant story that takes place in MAXINE'S, a woman's gym located in Kurves, Texas. The idea was to create a script that featured fun ensemble characters with depth that also could be performed by high school to college, church or community theater, regional or professional groups. Based on reviews, we've succeeded.
Meet Maxine, the cross-dressing owner of a run-down woman’s gym–a safe hangout where friends gather to work on problem thighs and problem lives. Mabel is the many-times-married director of a soup kitchen. Mousey poetry teacher Jane wants to make an impression at her next high school reunion. And insecure newlywed Ronnie grew up on the wrong side of the tracks but married the “town catch” and feels unworthy of his love.
Two inept small-time crooks throw curves into everyone’s lives when they break into the gym and hold up the women. Boots needs money to buy a cool car to attract that perfect lady–he can’t resist spouting pickup lines with each breath. Fingers quotes movies so he won’t sound dumb and guards his treasure-filled Superman lunchbox to avoid ridicule.
When a familiar-looking stranger arrives, Celia discovers a decades-old betrayal after the robbers break the key in the door and everyone gets locked inside. Tempers flare, romance blooms and secrets are confessed—just why has Maxine/Max masqueraded as a woman for 30 years? Only the arrival of the “town catch” assistant district attorney Troy reveals the truth behind Max’s secret life.
We had a preview performance last week to an invited audience including media, and received some GREAT reviews, among them:
- “Kurves provides comedy mixed with original music
- “…I recommend Kurves…it’s fun!”
- “…they’ve brought the top-notch talent audiences have come to expect . . .”
- “Before the two-hour play is finished, the audience learns about each [character] via conversations and original songs–some poignant and some extremely funny.”
- “Kurves is musically entertaining…just what the doctor ordered.”
“Punch lines come fast and furious in Steele and Shojai’s challenging script that is matched perfectly with a cast that seems equally adept at tossing out jokes or belting out show tunes.” Allen Rich –North Texas E-News review & pictures
That's me with my writing partner, the brilliant actor Frank Steele who also directs the show (I directed the music). I hope anyone who ever has a dream about reaching for that brass ring will take the chance--as some of the songs say, "Life Happens" but you gotta "Suck It Up, Sweetheart."
Feel free to learn more about the show KURVES, THE MUSICAL including a YouTube link to the overture with lyrics. And if you're in the North Texas area, please stop in this Thursday, Friday or Saturday night and set a spell.
Causes Amy Shojai Supports
Cat Writers Association, Winn Feline Foundation, AKC Canine Health Foundation, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)