By MIA BASS
Kyle Bass, 48, is an ordinary guy. He works in marketing at Blue Cross Blue Shield, sings with the quartet Southern Harmony and goes golfing on the weekends. He just happens to be my dad, and somehow in all the free time that comes with raising two kids, he wrote a musical, The Pablo Cruise Incident.
The musical profiles a middle-aged banker and what happens after a producer in the music industry purchases Sam’s old reel-to-reel tape deck.
“I wanted to talk about a kind of everyday man,” Bass said. The idea was in his head long before it hit paper. He began writing in late 2009, and now, on March 9-11, The Pablo Cruise Incident will debut at the Virginia Samford Theatre.
Bass was lead guitar and vocals in a band, Skyline, in high school. Like many kids, I grew up hearing about his high school days and his band. My younger brother and I joked about his “imaginary band” for the majority of our childhood and into our teenage years before he whipped out an old Skyline shirt from the attic. All the stories about playing at high school proms and graduations seemed at least a little more plausible with a T-shirt.
Although the musical was inspired by real events (like Sam, Bass also worked as a bag boy at the Piggly Wiggly in his high school years), Bass insists the musical is embellished in many ways. His musical follows Sam as he tries to unite his old high school band and make it big in the music business.
Bass grew up Mayberry-style in Rogersville, Ala., before attending Birmingham-Southern College. He fell into the theatre scene in Birmingham and was a part of First Stage Players, a theatre company run out of First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham. He later founded the Trinity Players out of Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood. “It’s a great place to live,” Bass said, “it’s cool to see how people from areas like Homewood are investing themselves in the city as a whole.”
The show stars Jennifer Price, Beth Kitchin, Jennifer Gamble, Scott Stewart, Andrea Brown-Hubbert, Marietta Lunceford, BJ Underwood and of course, Bass. The Buddy Love Band will also be showcased in The Pablo Cruise Incident.
The Pablo Cruise Incident will be performed at the Virginia Samford Theatre March 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and March 11 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. For more information, visit www.thepablocruiseincident.com or www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org.