Broadway Bound?

"Robin and the 7 Hoods" hopes to continue San Diego's Broadway tradition

Craig Schwartz

Will Chase loves sold-out theaters and standing ovations, but like everyone else associated with the musical "Robin and the 7 Hoods"  -- making its world premiere at the Old Globe Theater -- what the actor really wants is to take the show home to New York.

"I have a gut feeling about this show, absolutely," said Chase, a seasoned Broadway actor who plays the role of Little John in the show. "There is no reason why it wouldn't do well -- and why wouldn’t audiences come to see it? The music is so infectious."

"Robin and the 7 Hoods," an updating of the traditional story of "Robin Hood," is set in 1960s Chicago with big dance numbers and familiar music featuring the songs of Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, including ("My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)," "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" and "Call Me Irresponsible," and many more.

The musical’s producers are hoping it will be the next show to ride the San Diego-to-New York connection. If the path seems like a familiar script, that's because it is. Dozens of shows that premiered in San Diego have gone on to the bright lights of Broadway, including "Jersey Boys," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "Damn Yankees" and, most recently, the La Jolla Playhouse's "Memphis."

"In New York City, it's a known thing that coming to the Old Globe means something special," said Stephanie Gibson, who plays in the ensemble and is also married to Chase. "It's a big deal to be coming out here. It's a big deal because they know they're serious about getting that show to New York."

Like most everyone else associated with the show, Chase and Gibson are from the Big Apple, and while their bank accounts hope they return to New York with the show, they say it's been very nice to spend the summer in San Diego.

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