Get ready for The Kid, starring Joey McIntyre of the cult-favorite supergroup New Kids on the Block, which will have its world premiere in Denver this week. Earlier this month, on the heels of the act's massive, fifty-city tour, McIntyre and Denver Center Attractions announced that they were teaming up to develop a musical that documents McIntyre coming of age as the youngest member of one of the biggest boy bands in history.
We recently caught up with McIntyre to talk about the (welcome) challenge of shifting performance mediums, starring as himself, and the world premiere of The Kid -- in Denver.
Westword: How was The Kid conceived--was it your idea?
Joey McIntyre: I've been on stage since I was six years old; performing is a part of my life. I've done a lot of live performance and some solo stuff that's more interactive, but this is a show: It has a writer and director, a beginning and an end, and a journey. It's very personal, and as much of a challenge as it might be, I've been able to be objective about it. We've done several readings, and sifted through long versions to see what worked. Now the show is down to an hour and forty minutes. As far as creating this, we had the right people.
How does it feel to make a musical about your own life?
It's funny, because it's a unique kind of show, and a one-man show is a lot, it's a huge challenge. I'm comfortable being on stage, but the idea is to go to places that are uncomfortable and get really honest and be human, not a pop star. It's good to be able to show the other side, whether you're a singer, writer, butcher, banker -- it's about finding where you belong and what's important.
We can imagine it's a huge change from touring, too.
It definitely is. New Kids just finished a fifty-city tour. It was amazing, and we were so grateful to be playing arenas, but it's definitely a grind. You're on a bus from city to city, traveling on a bus -- now I'm all set, get me a bed that isn't going seventy miles down the highway and I'm happy. It's strenuous, but it makes you stronger. I learned from that, and taking that journey and showing up every night mirrors life and what I need to do -- it definitely reflects in the show, too.
What brought the show to Denver and to Denver Center Attractions?
We knew we wanted to build it out of town somewhere with a theater company before bringing it to New York City. We were lucky; the facility here is so big that they had the space. They read the script, they saw the readings and they decided to go for it. A lot of it's last minute, and now Denver will always be part of the show. Denver Center is the perfect place for us to build the show, and they've been so helpful in getting this show ready to put out to the public -- I feel very embraced here in Denver, and being in this theater makes me feel like we're on the right track.
What kind of music inspired you as a kid, and inspired the music in The Kid?
I grew up with my dad playing Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole in his car. I had seven older sisters who listened to dance, funk, disco and R & B -- the combination of those influences, my theater experience doing shows like Oliver and the Music Man, and joining New Kids when I was twelve can be found throughout the show. As far as crafting it for the show, it was important for the color of those influences to show through to create a sound and contribute to the overall storytelling.
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The Kid opens Thursday, August 29 at the Garner Galleria Theatre, with shows continuing through September 15. For a schedule and tickets, go to denvercenter.org or call 303-893-4100.