Two Harbors resident to debut musical at Minneapolis' Ritz TheaterTwo Harbors resident Tom Broadbent found inspiration close to home for his new production “Deal! The Musical,” which debuts in Minneapolis later this month.
Two Harbors resident Tom Broadbent found inspiration close to home for his new production “Deal! The Musical,” which debuts in Minneapolis later this month.
“Deal!” tells the trials and tribulations of a rural Minnesota family as they go through the 1950s and 1960s. The family bonds, argues, and laughs through their weekly poker games. Broadbent said the story is based on his own family, particularly his mother and grandmother.
“When I was growing up, my parents and my grandparents and miscellaneous others would play poker. My parents would play poker once or twice a week,” he said. “But they took it seriously. Mom wasn’t going to cut Grandma any slack when they played poker.”
Broadbent said he thought it was an interesting way to tell a story.
“The idea was because of the banter of a poker game, people connect,” he said.
Broadbent interviewed his own mother while writing the play.
“It was really interesting to talk to her and about her childhood,” he said. “I just think as a society we’re not really good about documenting that kind of thing.”
However, Broadbent said that while the play is based on his own family and while some of the events correlate to actual family history, it is not altogether about them or completely true to life. “As I told my grandmother, it is a story about her story,” he said.
Broadbent says he tells his friends everybody has a story. “Every life is full of tragedy and full of triumph and good times and bad times and love. If we wanted to write a musical about anybody, we could,” he said.
He said his play is about real life. “There isn’t a family that hasn’t been touched by terminal illness or cancer. There isn’t a family out there hasn’t been touched by alcoholism or hasn’t been broken. Most of us come through it.”
Broadbent has been writing music throughout his life and has written other musicals like “Henrietta” and others for children. He said his concentration right now is on the music for “Deal!” and he wants it to be right. Broadbent began writing the “Deal!” musical during a two-year songwriting contract with Tyrol Hills Music a few years ago. The musical is now being executive produced by Tyrol Hills Music’s Jim Foltz. Broadbent co-wrote the script with playwright Jerry Seifert.
Broadbent says he’s mostly excited about the musical. “But I’m a writer. I have an imagination and I can imagine the worst at any point in time,” he said.
However, he says he’s been blessed by the people he’s been working with on the musical. “When the creative process works well, everyone who dips their fingers into it makes it better,” Broadbent said.
But Broadbent says his greatest supporters have been his family. “I’ve got terrific family support. You can’t do it without it. It’s too demanding,” Broadbent said. “It takes so much time away from your family to do these things. If you don’t have the support, you can’t do it.”
The world premiere of “Deal! The Musical” will take place at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis April 20. The show runs through May 6. Tickets are $29 and available at the Ritz box office or by calling (612) 436-1129.