Milling About goes behind-the-scenes with Pump Boys & Dinettes playing The Papermill Playhouse April 6-May 1. Joining host Robin Milling is James Barry (Jim), Julie Foldesi (Prudie), Jason Ostrowski (L.M.), Alysha Umphress (Rhetta) and choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter (School of Rock).
All the action takes place on North Carolina's Highway 57. The Pump Boys at the gas station (James, Jason, Gabe Bowling as Jackson and Sam Weber as Eddie) are a musical foursome, playing all their own instruments in the show with styles ranging from the 30s to the 80s. On acoustic guitar is James who tells Robin he grew up playing in rock bands. He says the music in the show features ragtime to classic country, soul and funk. On piano, percussion, accordian and a 'little tap dancing' is Jason, an accomplished pianist who tells Robin tapping while playing accordian was a challenge, 'It's a funny moment because I'm playing accordian while I'm doing it in cowboy boots!' Jason goes from Sondheim to country rock 'n roll having played piano and bass in Company.
And then there's the Dinettes of the Double Cupp Diner featuring Julie and Alysha as the Cupp sisters. Julie is musically inclined as well playing ukelele, guitar and piano but had to learn accordian and harmonica for the show. She tells Robin, 'I have my own 'Keep Your Eye on Foldesi' band, sort of bluegrassy folk. I have two albums on iTunes and Amazon!' Alysha trades in her taxi medallion in On The Town as a percussive dinette. She laughs, 'I play tubs, a cheesegrater and a whisk. I do oatmeal. Things you never thought could be played, I play!'
Pump Boys and Dinettes premieres April 10 at The Papermill Playhouse. For more information visit www.PaperMill.org/PumpBoys
Music provided by Pump Boys and Dinettes Original Broadway Soundtrack