July 17, 2014: A little strip of lonesome highway somewhere in the South in has plopped down at City Center, where a flavorsome revival of the chicken-fried musical revue Pump Boys and Dinettes plays through Saturday as part of the Encores! Off-Center series. Should you pull off the road for a fill-up, a Coke and a piece of pie, you’ll find amiable company in the show’s beaming cast members, who make like a big old human jukebox as they sing of the daily grind in a gas station (the pump boys) and the roadside coffee shop nearby (the dinettes). First seen Off Broadway in 1981, the musical was a homespun collaboration among the men and women who performed it. The book, music and lyrics are by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann — all of whom were on hand to celebrate on Wednesday’s opening night. The little show moved uptown the next year, to big bad Broadway, where it ran for more than a year and subsequently spawned countless regional and amateur theater stagings. (A planned Broadway revival announced a couple of seasons ago never materialized.)READ THE REVIEW
Pump Boys and Dinettes OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
- Opening Night:
- July 16, 2014
- July 19, 2014
Theater: New York City Center / 130 West 55th Street, New York, NY, 10019Synopsis:BUY TICKETS BUY GROUP TICKETS
A hybrid of country, rock and pop music, Pump Boys and Dinettes is the story of four gas station attendants and two waitresses at a small-town dinette in North Carolina. Originally performed by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann, who accompanied themselves on guitar, piano, bass, fiddle, accordion, and kitchen utensils, the show is a musical tribute to life on the roadside. Pump Boys premiered Off-Broadway at the Chelsea West Side Arts Theatre in July 1981 and opened on Broadway on February 4, 1982 at the Princess Theatre, where it played 573 performances and was nominated for both Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Pump Boys and Dinettes