‘Bums!’ now playing at Spanish Fork’s Angelus Theatre

From left, Gabi Grooms, Gary Taylor and Brandon Pack perform in Stephen Gashler’s original musical “Bums!” at Angelus Theatre in Spanish Fork. (Stephen Gashler)

A musical about a businessman who turns to live on the streets to escape the stress of life is now playing at Angelus Theatre in Spanish Fork.

“Bums!” was written by Stephen Gashler and is directed by Matthew Davis. Gashler first started toying with the idea for the show back in high school.

“As a teenager, while my peers were into sports stars and teen idols, my friends and I were into bums. We liked to roam around the city barefoot, talking in broken English, daring each other to eat the trashiest things and sleeping on park benches,” Gashler said. “It was a rebellion against society in a comical way.”

Actors Andrew Whittaker and Chelsea Tramell perform “Bums!” at Angelus Theatre in Spanish Fork. (Stephen Gashler)

Gashler’s teenage interest with street-dwellers evolved into a full-length musical with developed characters and jazz music which he described as “big band” and “high energy.”

“Bums!” takes place in 1929 America. Edward, a businessman who feels trapped by his mundane routine, meets a homeless man on the street who inspires him to leave the restraints of life behind and enter the unstructured world of the street-dwellers.

Edward faces resistance from loved ones and his workplace when he “literally becomes a bum and figuratively throws his life away,” Gashler said.

The show has been performed before, but Gashler said the newest incarnation of “Bums!” will be the biggest yet.

From left, Ashley Porchelli, Amanda Wilson and Madison House perform in Stephen Gashler’s original musical “Bums!” at Angelus Theatre in Spanish Fork. (Stephen Gashler)

“This time we have double cast the whole thing … It’s just gotten a lot bigger and better,” Gashler said. “We have better sounding jazz instruments and production quality and lighting and costumes and all that.”

Audiences will laugh at the farcical comedy, but they should also expect deeper, more meaningful messages from the musical as well, Gashler said.

“It’s an over-the-top comedy, so just expect to have a good time and laugh a lot,” Davis said. “(Audience) reactions have been really positive.”

The musical opened March 15 and runs through March 27. The show plays from 6-10:30 every night. Tickets are available on http://bumsthemusical.com.

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