Since childhood, Ricky Glore has been steeped in the culture surrounding the 1977 classic, 'Smokey and the Bandit.' His father, Rick Sr., would take the entire family on vacations to the Burt Reynolds Museum. On one occasion, Glore's father met and took a photo with Burt Reynolds, pictured above. In another instance, Glore and his father met Jerry Reed, pictured below. Now, the 31-year-old Chicago-based playwright is looking to further immortalize the classic film by adapting it to the stage.
'Smokey and the Bandit,' as many may surely remember, is a high-octane, car-chasing thrill ride. As such, the film presents certain challenges when adapting it to the stage. To overcome this obstacle, Glore and his production crew have built elaborate car fronts that cast members will utilize as they pass across the stage. Most importantly, the adaptation will lean heavily on the use of a live backing band on stage with the actors. (This presents one of the economic hurdles the production faces.)
"This show is a labor of love," Glore said. "I cannot tell you how many times I have watched these movies and sang along to these soundtracks on road trips." In 2017, 'Smokey and the Bandit' will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Rick Sr. will celebrate his 60th birthday as well, and thus, Glore's upcoming musical is dedicated to his father.
The musical is currently being developed as Glore's final show in the Chicago area by his production company, weAREproductions. Thrilled about the prospect of helping bring 'Smokey and the Bandit' to the stage as a musical, professional artist Tim Williams, currently based in Georgia, has provided the production with original artwork, showcased below...