The Flunky the Musical is about a guy, Jackie Baker, who hangs with the Hollywood stars. He doesn’t work, never picks up a check and he doesn’t own a thing in the world. However, Jackie lives the life of the rich and famous and gets all the perks that come with it. For example, free room and board while living in the guesthouses of celebrity mansions. How is this possible? Jackie’s got what it takes! He knows how to become their “Best Friend” with his cool good looks and charm. But what he doesn’t admit to himself is he’s not their best friend at all. He’s not even their friend… He’s the flunky. And every star needs a flunky.
Everything goes wrong when he moves into the guesthouse of an insane aging rock-star (Tyler Mann). They not only fall in love with the same girl, he even takes the rap for an unthinkable crime committed by Tyler in the ultimate flunky sacrifice!
Can the love of Jackie’s life, Sandra, get him to realize his potential?
This dark comedy will keep you in stitches along with posing a poignant question about being “one’s own man.”
The musical made its debut in Venice Beach California at The Electric Lodge Theater in an exclusive rehearsal showcase presentation. It starred Jimmy Van Patten, music icon Deborah Gibson and P.J. Griffith. The Book and Lyrics were written by Jimmy Van Patten. The Music and Lyrics by Deborah Gibson. It was directed by Kay Cole, Choreography by Eddie Bennett, and cast by Brad Gilmore. The show is a very exciting work in progress and soon to be a great musical comedy for audiences to enjoy!
Jimmy Van Patten
James Van Patten (Jimmy) is an accomplished actor, writer, and producer with a lifetime involvement in the entertainment industry, encompassing, film, television, and theater. He has been critically acclaimed as an actor and has received awards for screenwriting and producing. His independent production company, which he co-founded with his brother, released its first feature film to theaters in 1996.
Born and raised in New York, Jimmy followed in the footsteps of his father, Dick Van Patten as a professional actor by age twelve. When he was a teenager, the Van Patten’s moved to Hollywood, where Jimmy was immediately case as a reform school boy in the hit television series, “The Odd Couple”, launching a successful acting career.
Jimmy literally grew up guest starring on television series, mini series and feature films. As an adult Jimmy also starred in two television series of his own. He starred opposite Robert Preston in the award winning series “The Chisholm’s” for CBS, playing the role of “Bo Chisholm.” He also starred in Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment’s comedy series “Poison” for Showtime, opposite Andrea Martin and Bud Cort.
Van Patten also has impressive film credits with roles in over 30 motion pictures, including “The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again”, “Freaky Friday”, (opposite Jody Foster) “Roller Boogie”, “Life Guard” and “California Dreaming”, “Don’t Be A Menace In South Central” and two of Mel Brook’s productions, “Life Stinks” and “Robin Hood: Men In Tights”. He also received critical acclaim in the feature film “Young Warriors” released by Cannon Pictures in theatres worldwide. Most recently, he has appeared in the popular horror film franchise, “Saw IV” and “Saw VI” as Dr. Heffner and will be reprising his role in the soon-to-be-released “Saw VII” in 3D on Halloween 2010.
Jimmy’s theater experience includes “Mr. Roberts” at The San Antonio Fiesta Theater, “Breakfast with Les and Bess” at the Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theater, he toured with the world debut of “Passengers” with the Frank Kenley Players. Jimmy also went on the road with the critically acclaimed national tour of “The Sunshine Boys” where he performed in over 100 cities as Ben Silverman, 2001-2002. Working with Frank Gorshin and his father, Dick Van Patten, he also appeared in “Harvey” with Charles Durning at the Laguna Playhouse and at the Cord Theater on Broadway (2004). Jimmy once again did a run of “The Sunshine Boys” in Boston in 2005 where it received “Honorable Mention” by the New England Theatre “Addison Awards” – Boston area’s equivalent of the Tony.
Deborah Gibson (Debbie) exploded on the pop music scene at the tender age of 16. She quickly became the youngest person ever to write, produce, and perform a #1 single (“Foolish Beat”), a record she still proudly holds to this day. Deborah has sold over 16 million albums worldwide to date. Her extraordinary career has garnered her #1 Billboard Hits, Platinum albums, ASCAP Songwriter of the Year honors, sold-out audiences around the world and rave reviews for her starring roles on Broadway. Ms. Gibson has performed for Royalty and Presidents, has shared the stage with idols Billy Joel and Elton John, and continues to forge a path unrivaled by any of her contemporaries.
Growing up in Long Island, Deborah began performing with her sisters in the Community Theatre at the age of five. At age give she wrote her first composition.
By age eight she was performing as part of the children’s chorus at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC with artists such as Placido Domingo. By the time she was twelve years old she was already a professional Broadway actress pursuing a recordingcareer. The dream was realized by sixteen, when Deborah was signed to Atlantic Records. Her first single “Only In My Dreams” went right to the top of the charts around the world.
Following were several more top five hits and the #1 single “Foolish Beat.” Her debut album “Out of the Blue” sold over five million copies. With this, Deborah established herself as a household name and immediately confirmed that position with her triple platinum follow up #1 album “Electric Youth” and the #1 single “Lost in Your Eyes.” Deborah’s recording legacy includes 1990’s Anything Is Possible, 1993’s Body Mind Soul, 1995’s Think With Your Heart, 1997’s Deborah, 2001’s M.Y.O.B., and most recently “Colored Lights” – a collection of Broadway songs.
In 1992, Deborah returned to her theatrical roots by taking a star turn in the Broadway production of Les Miserables as “Eponine.” She broke box office records in the London West End production of Grease as “Sandy,” then took the stage in the U.S. Broadway Tours of Grease and Funny Girl playing “Rizzo” and “Fanny Brice” respectively. Deborah returned to Broadway as “Belle” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, followed by her critically acclaimed performance as “Gypsy Rose Lee” to Betty Buckley’s “Mama Rose” in Gypsy at the Paper Mill Playhouse. In February 2000, Deborah starred as “The Narrator” in the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Then, in December 2001, Deborah starred as “Cinderella” in the national Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella to Eartha Kitt’s “Fairy Godmother.” In October 2002, Deborah graved the stage as “Velma Kelly” in The Boston production of Chicago, a role she reprised in Oklahoma City, July, 2003. In addition, Ms. Gibson has played Meg in Brigadoon, Marta in Company – both for the critically acclaimed Reprise! Broadway’s best in LA. and just finished starring as Nellie in South Pacific for the Fresno Grand Opera Company. That role is “Sally Bowles” which she played in Rob Marshall’s and Sam Mendes’ Tony-Award Winning revival of Cabaret on Broadway at Studio 54.
Adding to her accomplishments, Deborah is also composer and lyricist of two musicals, Skirts with Book by Hilary Carlip and Katie Ford and The Flunky, a collaboration with James Van Patten. Deborah completed work on a feature film “Coffee Date” with Jonathan Silverman, Sally Kirkland, and Wilson Cruz as both an actress and composer. She has also composed original music for ABC Family’s “Beautiful Girl” starring friend and Tony Award Winner Marissa Jaret Winokur as well as appearing as Monica in “Celeste in the City,” also for ABC Family.
“The Flunky The Musical bares all in their “truth-be-told” portrayal of Hollywood phonies. With songs like “Hey Man,” “Too Rich, Too Thin” and “Rock Star’s Life,” The Flunky The Musical employs the ideas and criticisms of things we’ve all seen in grocery store tabloids. The Flunky The Musical left me humming out the door. There is no doubt The Flunky The Musical will become one of Broadway’s finest comedy musicals! Reviewer Ratings: 5 Stars.” -Mia Taylor
Jimmy called into Rick Rockhill’s Blog Talk Radio Show to talk about the making of the show.
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