A New American Musical
Presented by The Royal Underground Theatre
Directed by Enrico Banson
Starring Jason Aaronson (Andy)
Ivan Hardin (Jack)
Chris Morrell (Skip)
Jepoy Ramos (Will)

Moving on is simple. It's what we leave behind that's hard.
Author Unknown

You cannot see this coming-of-age musical without remembering your own high school angst. Those four years of almost everyone’s life are a heady combination of excitement, uncertainty, hope and despair. Remember? We try to succeed in the adult definition of the world and no matter how we try, it is hell….maybe not for those quiet, acquiescent and frightened souls who obeyed their mommies….. but for most of us… unbearable hell. “GLORY DAYS isn’t just about youth and friendship; it’s about change and accepting change with or without the deep personal/familial/friendly connections around you,” observed director Enrico Banson. “Even though we are surrounded by friends, relatives and loved ones, we need to be able to write our own stories.”

GLORY DAYS is the story of 4 misfits who bonded together in high school because they were not part of the “in” group. After they graduated and each went his own way, they discover that they cannot recapture the camaraderie and support they once gave one another because in that very short 365 days they became different people. Indeed, the conflict of being what the world tells us we should be and discovering who we really are is the most frightening and often alienating event of our lives. Graduation from high school is a stepping stone so daunting that too many of us retire into a fantasy life we create to cushion us from reality. We go to college; we live at home; we refuse to admit that now it is time for us to become ourselves. And so, we stay the same. Andy (Jason Aaronson) in GLORY DAYS is one of those who cop out. Jack (Ivan Hardin) seeks the open road and finds the new person he never knew he could be.

Every audience member will relate to one or more of the characters on the Royal Underground Theatre stage singing their hearts out about their growing pains. They reminisce about the year they have spent away from each other and how much they miss what they had before they left to become adults. The question is, “Did they all really grow up?”

And the answer is “not yet.”

The four boys in the cast do an amazing job of becoming the characters they play. It is hard to realize the Jason Aaronson (Andy) is not really a boring conformist desperate to remain “one of the guys” or that Ivan Hardin (Jack) is not really an 18 year old who discovers he is gay. Chris Morrell (Skip) reminds us that those Glory Days we all try to recapture vanish forever on graduation day. Life has disappointed him and we all understand why.

The original music by Nick Blaemire, while a bit monotonous, is sung with such energy and emotion that it doesn’t really matter. No one will soon forget the touching lyrics of Jack’s “Open Road” admission that he is not what they think he is, or Skip’s powerful and totally believable take on the world: “Generation Apathy.” We have all been there…we have all wept those disillusioned tears.

The pace of this production is beautifully orchestrated, and each character has his moment on stage to expand his character and bring him to life. This is a musical that is far more than its book…Its subtext forces the audience to relive those terrible/ delicious/ scary/ exciting days when they were teens trying to be like everyone else.

GLORY DAYS tells us all that different is inevitable. It says to every one of us who are living a life: “Buddy…high school got you to the diving board. Now it is time to jump. Go forth and become the adult you need to be.

Don't laugh at a youth for his affectations;
He is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own.
Logan Pearsall Smith

GLORY DAYS continues until November 7, 2010
Boxcar Studios
Hyde & G.Gate, San Francisco
Tickets and information:
www. Jerica productions.com