Rocket Science Musical

Rocket Science Musical – A Musical About Teen Love


Love isn’t supposed to be rocket science. So says Hal Hefner in the 2007 film, “Rocket Science.” But as complicated as life may seem for the teen stutterer, this musical theater delight, adapted from the film, is easy to enjoy, not just for the original coming-of-age story, but also for the poetic songs on topics ranging from life and friendship to the virtues of folding laundry in Trenton. 

One of 35 productions in this summer’s Festival of New American Musicals, the show “Rocket Science” had its first of two staged readings – or more accurately, “singings” – in Los Angeles at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre Aug. 3. (Read about the Festival’s Songwriters Showcase here and the Festival’s Closing Party here.) 

The Rocket Science musical – composed by Stephen Weiner with book by Patricia Cotter, left, and lyrics by Jason Rhyne, won last year’s Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The story, having nothing to do with science at all, revolves around a stutterer who joins the high school debating team. As illogical a choice as this may be, the team’s superstar – his dream girl – has plucked him from the crowd, telling him she sees his special gifts.

Coby Getzug and Reba Buhr sang the roles of Hal and Jenny, played in the original non-musical film by Reece Thompson and Anna Kendrick, since nominated for an Academy Award for “Up in the Air.”  Also in the Rocket Science musical cast:  Trey Ellett, Andrew Kluger, Heidi Godt, John Massey, Brian Pugach, Justine Woodford, Tiffani Ann Mills, Steve Limones, Tyler Milliron, Tyler Ledon, Penelope Yates and Chrissa Villanueva. Richard Israel directed the play with Darryl Archibald as musical director.

ASCAP and the Festival teamed up to present the Rocket Science musical readings/singings with ASCAP’s Michael Kerker and the Festival’s Marcia Seligson as co-producers.

Photo, from left: composer Stephen Weiner, center, with Patricia Cotter and Jason Rhyne.



Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick and More Line Up for Hal David 90th Birthday Salute 

New Songwriters Showcase of Tomorrow’s Award-Winners

John Stamos, Kristen Bell, Rita Wilson Sing for Festival of New American Musicals

A Few Words About Gil Cates, producing director of the Geffen Playhouse


[nggallery id=39 template=caption]


Rocket Science Musical

Published Aug. 28, 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA