Cruisin’: The Musical

About

General Show Information

Cruisin’: The Musical is an exciting new musical filled with comedy, pathos and catchy musical numbers with songs in the style and spirit of the pioneers of rock ‘n roll.

It tells a vibrant, energetic and engaging musical story that follows Vinnie Russo, a young Italian kid as he struggles to escape from his Papa’s expectations, to take his place in the modern 1950’s world of motorbikes, rock and roll – and girls!

In 2003, CRUISIN’ was staged in Sydney to capacity crowds. The Sydney Morning Herald described the show as ” Footloose” meets ” The Shifting Heart” and ” CRUISIN’ the new Australian musical is the best culture shock this season!” In 2007 Cruisin had an outstanding season at the Regal Theatre in Perth starring Glenn Shorrock of Little River Band fame and Courtney and Chris Murphy from Australian Idol.

With 21 original songs fully scored for a 12 piece band, a vocal and piano score and rock and roll and dance numbers, Cruisin’ is a show that appeals to all ages and cultures.

Below you will find video footage of the musical numbers from our October – November 2007 Regal Theatre production. Click the play button on the YouTube viewer below to begin watching them. They will play in order or you can navigate using the arrows.You will also see highlights from the second half of the show.

The Story

Vincenzo Russo emigrated in 1948 to enjoy the new opportunities in Australia, leaving his family behind in Italy. With his friend Johnny DiMaccio and others in a similar position, he is waiting at the docks for his wife Rosa and their children Vinnie and Maria. He is ‘old school’ and dreams that his children will grow up in the traditional family – the Italian way.

The years pass until 1959 when Vinnie at seventeen and in his final year at school finds that he is torn between his love for music and his family traditions. His father thinks that Vinnie is wasting his time with rock and roll music instead of concentrating on his Italian heritage and a solid career in the family smallgood’s business.

Conflict comes to a head when Maria, Vinnie’s younger sister, leaves home to be with Phil (the guitarist and lead singer in the band Cruisin’) and Vinnie joins the band at the local Rock and Roll Club run by Johnny DiMaccio, who is now a streetwise entrepreneur, calling himself Johnny Angel.

It takes courage and determination for Rosa and Johnny Angel to convince Vinnie’s father that this “crazy rock and roll music” may not be such a bad thing after all.

Eventually, the traditional family values stay intact and the Russos come to terms with the new Australian way of life. Music becomes the instrument of reconciliation, bridging the generation gap and creating a new cultural harmony and optimism for the future.

Characters

Principals (5m, 4f)
– Vincenzo Russo – early 40’s, Italian, quick-tempered, domineering but humorous.
– Rosa Russo – late 30’s, Italian, compassionate, well-meaning, protective, gentle
– Vinnie Russo – 17, feisty, musically ambitious, loves girls, Elvis and rock ‘n roll
– Maria Russo – 16, appears innocent but loves boys, fashion, music & dancing
– Johnny Angel – mid-30’s, an Italian immigrant, street-wise with connections.
– Pamela Sanderson – 17, blue-eyed blonde, trend-setter, good singer & dancer
– Giovanna Paparde – 16, ordinary with glasses, shy, reserved, a ‘good Italian girl’
– Phil Stanton – 18, a teddy-boy, rides a Harley Davidson, leads the Cruisin’ band
– Rory Storm – late teens, leads a rival band (singing role only)

Support (3m, 5f plus non-speaking roles, plus ‘bands’, singers & chorus)
– Sister Immaculate – a typical ‘old-school’ Nun
– Brother Rodney – the school Principal
– Bianca – a bride (non-speaking)
– Gino – a bridegroom
– Carmella – Giovanna’s mother
– Young Rosa – late 20’s, newly arrived from Italy
– Little Vinnie – 9, newly arrived from Italy
– Little Maria – 7, newly arrived from Italy

The ‘Bands’ : (none play live music)
– Cruisin’ – Guitar, Bass & Drums, with Phil as vocalist
– Rory Storm and the Hurricanes – Guitar, Double Bass & Drums, with Rory as vocalist
– Wedding Band – Organ, Drums, Double Bass, with Vincenzo as leader
– Backing Singers : 3 x ‘Doo Wop’ girls

Chorus :
Singers and dancers (as many as possible), school students etc


The writers: Rod Christian and Peter Waterman

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