Bradley Beach Residents Pen Show for ReVision Theatre
By Ed Salvas
May 27, 2010
Ray Roderick and Jim Hindman may make their living on Broadway, but their hearts are on the Jersey Shore.
The two men, who each have homes in Bradley Beach, are about to see the results of their two-year writing effort. In August, ReVision Theatre of Asbury Park will present the world premier of their new show, The Bikinis, at the Carousel House at the beachfront.
The story of The Bikinis is about as Jersey Shore as you can guess.
The plot revolves around four girls who form a vocal group in 1964 and win a Belmar talent contest wearing their bikinis. The boardwalk crowd falls in love with the four teenagers, Jodi and Annie, sisters from Paramus; Karla, their “slightly manipulative cousin” from Philly, and their best friend Barbara from Staten Island. The Bikinis are an immediate hit and their record is played on the radio, but like many groups, they break up and go their separate ways.
Fast-forward to 2000, and The Bikinis are getting back together to help raise money for the Sandy Shores RV Resort. Roderick and Hindman, along with musical arranger Joseph Baker, have put together a score that includes 15 musical numbers, mostly familiar tunes from the 60’s and the disco era, as well as several new songs they’ve written specifically for the show.
“It’s a coming of age story for women coming of age,” according to Roderick, who says it’s “about women discovering who they are and what matters in life.” Hindman says that from the time they started writing the show, “our dream was to find a place in Asbury to do the show.”
Hindman is currently working on Broadway in the musical Mary Poppins where eight times a week for the last three and a half years he’s been the Park Keeper and understudy for the Father in the popular Disney Musical. He’s been a Bradley Beach resident since 2002.
Roderick has had a home in Bradley Beach since 2001 and is married to actress Karyn Quackenbush, who he describes as a “Real Jersey Girl” whose Jersey shore stories provided much of the material to make The Bikinis a true to life Jersey shore musical. Quackenbush is also in the show, playing the role of Karla.
Roderick also spent many years working on Broadway as a dancer and singer but has recently turned to full time writing and directing. He and Hindman met when Roderick directed the national tour production of The Music Man and he recently adapted the script and directed the first national tour of Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang and is currently writing a musical based on the George and Ira Gershwin songbook, called S’ Wonderful, which will begin a national tour later this year.
Among the songs for The Bikinis are many instantly recognizable hits. “It’s In His Kiss,” “Chapel of Love,” “Mambo Italiano,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I will survive,” and “Last Dance.”
In addition, Roderick and Musical Arranger Joseph Baker have written four new songs for the show.
Casting for The Bikinis has been completed and the four women in starring roles in the show have extensive stage and film credits. Cheryl Freeman as Barbara starred on Broadway in The Who’s Tommy. Annie Golden as Annie starred in the film version of Hair and on Broadway in Xanadu and The Full Monty. Kathy Morath as Jodi has a career in the theater that spans three decades, including The Pirates of Penzance and Nick and Nora on Broadway and off-Broadway in the original Sullivan Street production of The Fantasticks. Karyn Quackenbush as Karla is currently appearing in the off-Broadway production of Nora Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore, and was on Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun where she was the stand-by for Bernadette Peters and Reba McEntire.
The story of how Roderick and Hindman got ReVision Theatre to include The Bikinis in their 2010 season is one of luck and timing. A mutual friend who appeared in ReVision’s 2009 production of The Full Monty agreed to introduce them to ReVision Producers Tom Morrissey and David Leidholdt who quickly agreed to stage their show at the Carousel.
The Bikinis will run from August 12 to the 22nd as the middle show in the ReVision Theatre’s 2010 season, which opens with The Who’s Tommy from July 8-25, also at the Carousel, and ends with The Rocky Horror Show from October 21-31 at a venue to be announced.
While Roderick and Hindman are excited at having The Bikinis produced on stage before a live audience, they have even bigger plans for the musical. “We are building the show to tour,” according to Roderick, who says they have plans to take The Bikinis on tour to regional theaters around the country. With the hugely popular Jersey Boys still filling the house on Broadway and the hit MTV series “Jersey Shore,” America seems to have a continuing love affair with Jersey, its music and culture.