World premiere of new musical

February 12, 2008

On March 5, McDaniel actors will perform the world premiere of “Bring me Giants,” a musical based on Cyrano de Bergerac, created by alumnus Steven Zumbrun ’92.

“Bring Me Giants” was born in the late 1980’s, when Zumbrun met composer Ivan Sherman during a run of the musical “Gypsy.” Sherman wanted to adapt Cyrano de Bergerac, the play about the swash-buckling poet, into a musical. Thus, the two started what has become a nearly 20-year collaboration.

In the years that followed, Zumbrun, who was traveling with national and regional touring musicals, wrote “Bring me Giants” during the dead of night by the overhead light on tour busses as they crisscrossed the country.

“My objective is to tell the story in as clear and vivid and exciting a way as possible, using song,” he says.

Zumbrun describes the musical as “streamlined, lean and mean,” and says he has taken out the frosting – the extra characters and unnecessary subplots. What remains are 10 cast members, four with doubling parts.

“I really wanted it to be something you could do anywhere with a few talented people,” he says.

Professor of Theatre Arts Ira Domser, who knew Zumbrun from his student days, approached him and Sherman, and proposed opening the show at McDaniel.

“It seemed like we hadn’t done a major original play for a while, and it’s a good idea for students to work with playwrights and composers,” says Domser.

McDaniel is the perfect place to premier such a work, says Zumbrun, because it challenges the actors to master music and stage fighting, and have an understanding of dialogue during the 17th century.

“I have so much fun playing this character,” says Andrew Tucker ’10, who plays Cyrano De Bergerac. “He really goes through every emotion known to a human being. He's flashy but has the soul of a poet, and then we learn he is actually very troubled.”

Student performers are rehearsing every night and on weekends to prepare for the show.

“Bring me Giants” runs at 8 p.m. March 5-8 in WMC Alumni Hall. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students. For more information, call the box office at 410-857-2448.