Pin-up girls − those iconic, perfectly proportioned beauties who have adorned magazine pages, posters, calendars and bedroom walls for more than a century – will come to life in a new musical set to debut with a New York staged reading this July.
The new show – Art of the Pin-Up Girl − is the culmination of a decade-long dream for Heather Storm, the Jupiter, Fla., based playwright, lyricist and singer/songwriter who has lovingly crafted the book and lyrics.
Originally inspired by a coffee table book, The Great American Pin-Up, Storm set out to create a story that weaves tales of actual people and events into the tapestry of a glorious musical trip through the time and space of Pin-Up Art in America. “Those women were real women, live models for the artists. They lived fascinating and often scandalous lives,” Storm says. “Their stories are firmly rooted in the lore of our American theatrical and entertainment culture – from the richness of the burlesque to the Greenwich and Ziegfeld Follies, to the Golden Age of Hollywood and yes, even Playboy.”
The 15 original songs in the musical were composed by Gregory “Popeye” Alexander, Storm’s husband and a well-known South Florida composer, producer,singer and radio personality. Alexander is lead singer for the International Players and Memory Lane and also plays bass and keyboards for PoKoLoko based in West Palm Beach. The music was co-produced by Alex J. Weir of PokoLoko at Dreamhouse Studios in West Palm Beach.
Familiar characters who leap off the pages in Art of the Pin-Up Girl include pin-up legends Bettie Page, Anna Mae Clift, Lena Horne and Rosie the Riveter, as well as acclaimed artists Alberto Vargas and Baron von Lind – who has created an original pin-up girl poster to promote the new musical. Lind’s lifelongobsession with pin-up inspired the narrative for the play, Storm notes.
“I am a believer in the idea that truth is way more interesting than fiction,” Storm says. “And since we can trace the origins of Alberto Vargas’ humble beginnings directly to his work painting the Ziegfeld Follies girls for the posters in the New Amsterdam Theater lobby, the need for this story to be a musical was carved in stone.”
The staged reading, directed by Susan D. Rubin, is scheduled for Saturday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Theatre 54 at Shetler Studios & Theatres, 244 W. 54th St. between Broadway and Eighth Avenuein New York. Casting for Art of the Pin-Up Girl, which was funded through Kickstarter, will be announced in the near future. To reserve a seat for the reading, call 561-222-5546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To listen to musical excerpts from Art of the Pin-Up Girl and learn more about its origins and the pin-up icons who inspired it, visitwww.artofthepin-upgirl.com/.