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Poor Boys shakes up a Greek legend with a little Nirvana

Somebody must have told Stewart Legere to break a leg: the Zuppa stardid just that a few days before Poor Boy opens at Neptune’s StudioTheatre.

Somebody must have told Stewart Legere to break a leg: the Zuppa star did just that a few days before Poor Boy opens at Neptune’s Studio Theatre.

Legere plays Sherman Oakes, a troubled music superstar burning out fast after his rock diva girlfriend Ella dies. During one scene, he leaps down a set of stairs; Legere landed badly and wound up in a cast. He rushed from rehearsals to hospital, then back to rehearsals.

The only major change is an added line about Oakes going crowd-surfing without the crowd.

“We’re really happy that it happened,” joked director Alex McLean.

“It was totally serendipitous,” Legere agreed. He says his character is broken in every other way, so the leg fit in flawlessly.

Poor Boy, written and performed by Zuppa Theatre, with music by Halifax’s Dave Christensen and Jason MacIsaac, is based around the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.

When Eurydice dies, Orpheus uses his music to charm his beloved out of the grasp of Hades. Hades lets her go, on the condition that Orpheus must not look back at her until they are out of the underworld. At the last second Orpheus turns, only to see Eurydice fade back to the grave.

Zuppa injected a little Nirvana to bring it up to date. Oakes fronted a boy band before breaking off to do a commercial “indie” album, McLean explained.

“Like Robbie Williams,” Legere added.

And like Kurt Cobain or John Lennon, he is drawn to a troubled woman.

“The guy gravitates toward a more mysterious woman to validate himself,” Legere said.

The play tracks Oakes as he journeys to a run-down Chelsea Hotel, where Ella’s life ended. It also follows his inner journey, as long-time friend Desmond Landy (played by Ben Stone) urges him to turn his melancholy into music with an Ella-inspired comeback album.

 
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