Fans of the Backstreet Boys can now share their love of the boy band with a new generation, thanks to a family musical theater production making its world premiere at The Rose in 2020.
The show, written by band member Howie Dorough (aka Howie D) with Tor Hyams and Lisa St. Lou, is a semi-biographical account of Howie D’s middle school years, his introduction to music and his path to finding his voice.
“Howie D: Back in the Day” follows the life of middle-school-age Howie (long before his fame with the Backstreet Boys). Dorough, who will appear in The Rose debut, is navigating Lakeview Prep, managing bullies, his big sister and his enthusiastic parents. It soon becomes clear that he must separate what others want for him from his own hopes and dreams.
The journey incorporates musical forms and middle school norms, vibrant characters and catchy, never-before-heard-music performed live by Howie D, considered by Digital Journal to be “one of the most underrated male vocalists of our time.”
The score includes select songs from Dorough’s new children’s album, “Which One Am I?” — praised by People magazine, the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed and Entertainment Tonight — and his celebrated anthem, “The Me I’m Meant to Be.”
“When I started writing these songs, it became clear that together, they revealed my story,” says Dorough. “These songs are about a kid who conquers a myriad of his own fears and learns to accept himself for the unique person he really is.”
The soundtrack of this powerful, thought-provoking production is sure to leave families singing and dancing in the aisles.
“I went through a lot of common issues that a lot of kids go through nowadays, including worrying and being shy, feeling small, being in somebody’s shadow, monsters in your head, bad dreams,” Dorough says of the storyline. “I was definitely always trying to find my place and where I am and how I fit in with people. Eventually I did find my place, and I’m very proud that I stuck to my ground of knowing that I was a true entertainer.”
“Howie D: Back in the Day” joins a 2019-20 lineup at The Rose that’s intended to inspire, educate, and, of course, entertain children of all ages.
Artistic Director Matthew Gutschick hopes shows like “Howie D: Back in the Day” will encourage families to see the world through new eyes, to delve further into educational topics and to enjoy the magic of the arts.”
And if a show inspires a new love for a certain boy band?
“That’s just one more way for parents and their children to share a connection,” Gutschick says.
That special bond through theater might be one of the best reasons to bring kids to “Howie D: Back in the Day.”
The production runs Jan. 31 to Feb. 16 with performances Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 with reserved seating. Members receive discounted tickets. For more information, visit www.rosetheater.org. Tickets are available now.