NASCAR themed musical set for world stage debut

A pop rock musical set at Daytona in the 1960s is set to make its world debut in September.

According to the theatrical news publication Playbill, Helldrivers of Daytona is a musical production where “tensions flare as drivers compete for the top slot in the 1965 Daytona Speedway Jackpot 500.”  The producers call the show a “NASCAR-themed musical full of girls, cars, and rockin’ guitars.” According to press notes: “Amidst a sea of tanned surfers, speedway groupies, motorheads, and bikinis, Lucky Stubbs must find a way to win his dream girl, Pepper Johnson, from rival driver Count Porcini Portobello, a dangerously enticing European hotshot. The race for love and glory is on in this spoof of 1960s rock n’ roll movies that’s fast, furious and funny.”

The show is meant to be a spoof of 1960s Elvis-style rock movies. Elvis did make a NASCAR themed movie in 1968 featuring shots of Richard Petty, Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough and Tiny Lund.

The show as had stagings and workshops in Texas, Wyoming, Illinois and California.
The show as had stagings and workshops in Texas, Wyoming, Illinois and California.

Music for Helldrivers is by Berton Averre of The Knack, and is based on a book by Emmy award winner writer Mark Saltzman who calls the show “Big, loud, vulgar, sexy fun.” The show is directed and choreographed by Danny Herman with co-choreography by Rocker Verastique with musical direction by Linda Madonia.

The show begins previews September 8, prior to an official opening September 12, at The Royal George Theatre in Chicago.  The production has been in development since early 2015 when the production team developed the show in residence at the Department of Theatre and Dance as part of the Texas Musical Theatre Workshop. The show as had stagings and workshops in Texas, Wyoming, Illinois and California. The debut is being billed as a “pre-Broadway tryout.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.