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The magic of Glenn Miller comes to Lowestoft stage

PUBLISHED: 22:32 01 July 2011

A MAJOR new musical production exploring the life and work of legendary bandleader Glenn Miller is set to gain its UK premiere in Lowestoft this September.

The Marina Theatre has teamed up with playwright Den Stevenson and producer Bruce James to bring the show, Bugle Boy, which was last performed on Broadway, to the region.

What happened to Glenn Miller remains as much a mystery today as when the iconic American band leader went missing towards the end of the second world war.

Now a new play, complete with orchestra on stage, is scheduled to make its professional UK debut in this region – an area that Glenn Miller visited much of during the war.

The production will then transfer to London’s West End.

Bugle Boy, by English playwright Den Stevenson, traces the life of Miller, from leaving college to play in various bands including his own as he searches tirelessly for over 20 years, with the constant support and love of his wife Helen, for a unique band ‘sound’.

When he eventually succeeds in his quest, he and his family only enjoy the fruits of fame for three short years.

When America joins the second world war, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he joins the army, forms the subsequently famed AEF Band and flies to Europe to play to the Armed Forces.

Miller was never seen again after a light aircraft, in which he was a passenger bound for France, disappeared after taking off from a base in Bedfordshire.

Stevenson became obsessed with making a musical about Miller when he scheduled engagements for Glenn’s younger brother Herb Miller and his Orchestra, honing his unique concept on English soil before presenting the show in America – firstly in Virginia and then on Broadway where it was choreographed by Duke Ellington’s granddaughter, Mercedes Ellington.

Bugle Boy will be presented at the Marina from September 15, and is already the first and only Glenn Miller musical ever staged anywhere in the World.

Featuring all of Miller’s famous and instantly recognisable tunes, from Little Brown Jug to String Of Pearls; Moonlight Serenade to Pennsylvania 6-5000 and Chattanooga Choo Choo to Kalamazoo; this new Musical is set to put audiences… In The Mood.

Speaking about the show, writer Den Stevenson said: “Glenn Miller had a dream; to find a unique big band sound.

“Bugle Boy is my dream; to establish a lasting tribute to the music of the iconic band-leader. Glenn succeeded! Hopefully it will be... One more time; twice.”

Producer Bruce James added: “We are delighted to be starting off this exciting new production at the beautiful Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

“With such a great story, iconic tunes and appeal to audiences of all ages, I am certain that Bugle Boy will bring a new lease of life to the superb music of Glenn Miller”

Bugle Boy plays at the Marina Theatre Lowestoft from Thursday, September 15 to Saturday, September 17, nightly at 7.30pm, with a matinee performance on Saturday at 2.30pm. Ticket prices range from £8.50 to £19.50 with concessions and party booking discounts also available.

For more information or to book seats please call the Box Office on 01502 533200.

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