“But I’m a Cheerleader: The Musical” slated for two workshop performances in Savannah

I’ve mentioned Bill Augustin previously on this blog — he’s worked with publicist Bobby Zarem in New York for more than a decade. Bill recently came to Savannah for his 11th Savannah Film Festival.

But Bill has been working on other projects for years, including a musical based on the campy 1999 film But I’m a Cheerleader.

Since the filmfest ended, Bill, who wrote the book and lyrics, and his composer Andrew Abrams have been rehearsing intensively with a group of 30-plus SCAD performing arts students for a workshop production of the show.

The workshop performances (actors might carry scripts, won’t perform all the students, etc.) will be at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16th and Thursday, Nov. 17th at SCAD’s Mondanaro Theater in Crites Hall at 217 MLK in Savannah. The theater holds about 150, so seating could be tight. The performances are both free.

So why take the time to see the show? The NYT reviewed an earlier version of But I’m a Cheerleader: The Musical when it was staged during the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2005. Here’s what the reviewer said in part:

Fluffy as a pompom and savvy as an A.V.-club nerd, the new musical “But I’m a Cheerleader” would be just another oversold confectionary treat without its big, beating heart. In their adaptation of the sweet-spirited if self-consciously quirky 1999 film, the librettist and lyricist Bill Augustin and the composer Andrew Abrams have improved on the original by taking its ironies seriously and giving them a bouncing backbeat.

Like the film, “But I’m a Cheerleader” is an idealized coming-out fable more concerned with the blooming of young love than the angst of teenage sexual confusion. [. . .]

The production, directed by Daniel Goldstein and choreographed by Wendy Seyb, looks well on its way to Broadway polish.

But the show’s central triumph is its lovely, utterly uncynical portrait of youth on the verge of sexual awakening.

There’s more info on the Facebook event invitation.