This hippie, trippy musical from Wonderettes creator Roger Bean features the powerful music of the late 1960s. When a conservative runaway bride discovers the countercultural revolution of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, the hippies and dropouts of Golden Gate Park teach her to “Make Your Own Kind of Music”! With such hits as “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “War,” “One Tin Soldier,” “Piece Of My Heart,” “Spinning Wheel,” and, of course, “San Francisco,” you’ll love this flower-power, feel-good musical experience.
It is summer of 1967 at the edge of the Haight-Ashbury, near Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Our tribe of hippies spills out of a psychedelic VW bus (“Grazing in the Grass”) to proselytize and prepare for the evening’s ‘music pow-wow in the park.’ Holly, an outsider, rushes on in the middle of the revelry, suitcase in hand and dressed in full wedding regalia. River & Saige welcome her to the park (“People Got To Be Free”), inviting her to stay with the Tribe for the evening’s festival. Holly decides to stick around as she tries to figure out what she’s running from (“Valley of the Dolls”). Mama, the matriarch of this ragtag family, helps guide Holly on her new journey (“Make Your Own Kind of Music”), even though Holly is still unable to explain her reasons for showing up in the park. As the tribe gathers around to show support for Holly on her quest, army vet Rufus leads the tribe in a raucous affirmation of their beliefs and political views (“War”), and the Tribe chases after a departing Grayline Bus Tour to continue their protest march. Janis and Daisy stay behind to recruit Holly into their “Theatrical House of Mercy,” as they expound on their personal vision of peace throughout the land (“One Tin Soldier”). Holly next meets Coyote, a runaway from Salk Lake City, who helps instruct her on the many different kinds of love in the world (“Somebody to Love”). The entire Tribe joins in, but the celebration is short-lived as Holly’s jilted fiancé Curtis unexpectedly interrupts the proceedings and attempts to drag Holly home. As square a person as Holly has described to her new friends, Curtis professes his stilted version of love for Holly (“This Guy's in Love with You”). When Holly runs away from him again, Curtis blames the Tribe, and River counters with a blistering take on Curtis’ claim to authority (“Signs”). Curtis looks for solace from Mama, who in turn tries to open his mind to new adventures and avenues of learning (“Do You Believe in Magic?”). Curtis’ entrance into this new world has helped Holly articulate her reasons for leaving, and she now reappears to explain to Curtis why she left him at the altar (“Different Drum”). She has decided to stay in San Francisco and become a “proud member of the United States of Hashbury,” and begs Curtis to go back home to the life he knew before (“Let Me Be”).
Later that evening the Tribe sets up for the music pow-wow (“San Francisco [Flowers in Your Hair]”), and our flower children circulate throughout the theater passing out flowers and fliers to the evening’s event. As the concert winds down, the Tribe wraps up in blankets and shawls to sleep in various places around the park (“Dream a Little Dream”). Curtis arrives in the middle of the night to search for Holly and is confronted by Mama, eager to show Curtis a new direction in life (“Get Together”). Curtis leaves as the Tribe wakes for breakfast, and Saige conveys her growing discontent concerning her relationship with River & Daisy (“Piece of My Heart”). Holly watches the escalating fight between this threesome, realizing that love is not as simple or easy as River had suggested earlier (“One”). When the Tribe members return from their free breakfast at the Digger Truck, Dizzy returns with a special dessert for everyone: small tabs of a newly acquired hallucinogen (acid), purchased with money stolen from Holly’s purse. Holly is curious about the drug, but Mama takes her away to leave that experience for another time. Curtis, on the other hand, returns in the middle of the morning ritual (“Crystal Blue Persuasion”), and decides to join the Tribe in an attempt to find out what Holly and the rest of the Tribe are looking for. River helps take Curtis on the ride of his life (“Spinning Wheel”), and the entire stage throbs with the spinning lights, fog and projections of the inner workings of Curtis’ hallucinations as the acid takes effect (“White Rabbit”). At the height of the trip Curtis is left alone in his mind, vulnerable to the images and sounds of a hurtful society that his mind has shut out for the past decade (“Darkness, Darkness”). Holly appears at the end of Curtis’ long trip, contrite and anxious to take Curtis back to where she thinks he belongs. Now free from his earlier inhibitions, Curtis has expanded his views and hopes to stay and make a new life in the city with Holly and her new friends (“You've Made Me So Very Happy”). The Tribe explodes in celebration as a new mind is opened, and a new truth is learned (‘Share the Land”).
Pure perfection! Foot stomping standing-ovations!
–Portland Daily Sun
Holly: Early 20s, a runaway bride. Sweet, innocent, thirsty for knowledge and understanding. She is wide-eyed and loving beyond her years. Act one is Holly’s journey to discover her future.
Curtis: Handsome, square, conservative. Jilted at the altar by Holly, follows her to the Haight-Ashbury to take her back to where she belongs. Act two becomes Curtis’ journey to discover truth, and the consequences that come with all actions.
River: late 20s - 30s. The leader of the tribe. Charming, knowing, sexy, sharing. Usually ‘live and let live,’ confronts Curtis to protect both Holly and his tribe. Saige is his common-law wife, yet also in a relationship with Daisy.
Mama: 50s/60s. Came to the park to find peace after her son died in early involvement in Vietnam. She is the matriarch of the group, a hippy sort of den mother. Teaches Curtis how to find the path to enlightenment.
Coyote: 20s. Runaway from Salt Lake City, a former Mormon who came to San Francisco to escape his upbringing and explore his newfound sexual freedom. Boyfriend of Donovan.
Saige: 30s, African-American. Full of heart. Welcomes Holly into their group with open arms. Her sweet spirit covers the internal pain she carries deep inside from sharing River with Daisy.
Rufus: late 20s, African-American. War vet, now opposed to the escalation in Vietnam. Angry, resentful, yet loving to those upon whom he depends.
Janis: 20s - 30s. Slightly vacant and full of life, Janis is the storyteller and poet of the group. Along with Daisy, a member of a mime troupe called “Our Lady of Theatrical Mercy.”
Donovan: 20s. Sweet, loving boyfriend of Coyote. Came to the city to be an artist. A true flower child, he hasn’t a bad word or thought for anyone. Would share with and care for the entire world if he could.
Willow: 20s. Her name says it all – lithe, willowy and always slightly stoned. The more hair, the better. Incredibly tight with Dizzy, her main squeeze. She watches out for herself and Dizzy.
Dizzy: 20s. A real scamp, always looking for a quick way to achieve his goals, resorts to theft on occasion. Also always slightly stoned, Dizzy is the tribe’s main procurer of all things both mellow and psychedelic.
Daisy: 20s. Asian-American. River’s young girlfriend, has taken a vow of silence against the war. Dances and interprets Janice’s storytelling for crowds to raise bread when needed for the group. Speaks and sings only during the finale.
Setting: Summer of 1967 in and around Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
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“Critic’s Pick! Writer-director Roger Bean's formula of wrapping chart-topping songs of a specific era around a nostalgic story earned him blockbuster success with such shows as "The Marvelous Wonderettes," "The Andrews Brothers," and "Life Could Be a Dream." His latest jukebox musical takes us on a fun-filled journey to San Francisco during the flower-child movement of the late 1960s, recounting the story of a rocky romance set right. Think "Hair" meets "Mamma Mia!" Yet exuberant spirits predominate, courtesy of Bean's charming script, the to-die-for score, a prodigious ensemble cast, and a gorgeous production design, all graced with Lee Martino’s knockout choreography.”–Backstage
“Much like the crowd-pleasing hit jukebox musical “Rock of Ages,” the ad hoc plot in “Summer of Love” cheekily serves as a springboard for these great songs, and Bean seems to be having a lot of fun in the dialogue that pre-launches each musical interlude in this appealing new show.”–Broadway World
“I enjoyed every minute of “Summer Of Love,” a summer that was a good deal more exciting than my own at the age of seventeen. “Summer Of Love” made me nostalgic for what was and what might have been had I gone to San Francisco with flowers in my hair, and has me once more celebrating the excitement of welcoming a brand new American musical into our midst.”–Stage Scene LA
"Summer of Love is an ode to freedom of choice that celebrates the beloved aspects of the '60s, not the least of which are classic tunes by the likes of The Mamas & the Papas, Sly and the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, and Blood, Sweat & Tears executed by a bona fide rock 'n' roll band and 4-piece brass section. This is a night of feel-good reminiscence, a real trip from the past with a message that will transcend time."–GreaterLongBeach.com
"...a natural high! ...Broadway caliber! Masterfully designed. Every performer a standout! Michele Lee knows how to sell a song. Brilliant lighting! Exquisite choreography! Pure perfection! Power house vocals! This Summer of Love is a musical you should not only see, it's a counterculture trip you MUST experience!"–Portland Daily Sun
"Summer of Love has a dynamite ensemble that moves and grooves."–broadwayworld.com
"A sweet and creamy treat!"–Stage and Cinema
"Has heart and soul! A very entertaining trip down memory lane."–Portland Press Herald
"Ogunquit Playhouse's Summer of Love powerful, riveting, entertaining! Two thumbs up. A powerful and talented look at the morays and the message of the 1960s...a cast of characters that brought the audience to its feet."–Foster's Daily Democraft
"Outstanding performance! Michele Lee...powerful!"–Gay Ogunquit
Materials: Your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production. They can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for Summer of Love includes: