From Can't Hardly Wait to Superbad, debauched teen parties have long been a theme on the big screen. But in live theater? Not so much. So when Girls vs. Boys opens at the Adrienne Arsht Center November 1, executive vice president Scott Shiller says, it could attract a new type of theater patron.
"It's not South Pacific. It's not The Sound of Music. This is a musical for our generation," he says.
The show follows a handful of teens preparing to attend high school, some for their senior year and others as freshmen. At one of those high school parties with red Solo cups galore and no parental supervision, relationships are formed and tested, with repercussions that ripple throughout the rest of the show. "The stakes are so high when you're an adolescent," Shiller points out. "Every little glance, every breakup... has life-or-death consequence."
Girls vs. Boys owes its very existence to young people. The show was written by founders of the House Theatre of Chicago, the company that's brought The Sparrow and Death and Harry Houdini to the Arsht. Writers Chris Mathews, Jake Minton, and Nathan Allen tested Girls vs. Boys at Northwestern University as they wrote the story, culminating in a 2010 workshop production of the musical in Chicago. But they thought it still needed some tweaking, so when the Arsht asked to restage Girls vs. Boys this season with the University of Miami's Department of Theatre Arts, they saw it as a chance to finally put on the finishing touches.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m. Starts: Nov. 1. Continues through Nov. 18, 2012