People in New York City enjoyed the Off-Broadway sensation Little House on the Ferry when it premiered back in 2011. Now the musical is being performed in South Florida for the first time, as the designated cultural event for Stonewall Pride in Wilton Manors. Little House on the Ferry comes to the Abdo New River Room at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) for three performances: 6 p.m. on Friday, June 13; 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 14; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 15.
The musical, which boasts 15 unique songs, tells the story of a man visiting the popular gay vacation spot of Fire Island, New York. He is suddenly faced with a dilemma when he has to choose between his current relationship, which has hit a snag, and a past lover who wants to whisk him away. This is all set against the backdrop of Fire Island as it celebrated its first year of marriage equality (much like the entire state of New York did in 2011).
I got to speak with Little House on the Ferry‘s creator and producer, Rob Gould, about its South Florida premiere.
Tell us a little bit about the plot without giving too much away.
It’s a love triangle. It’s set in a time where the right to get married finally comes, and when that time comes, where does love fit into that? It’s also a coming of age story which will leave everyone hopeful that they can find their own path.
There are 15 original songs in this production. Which one was your favorite?
My favorite is “We’re on Fire Island,” which is the theme song. Everybody really connects with it, the clapping and the fantasy aspects…the idea is that the audience appreciates that the characters are all going to go on a fun trip. It’s a retro song, and it really fits into the theme and idea of “fun.”
I watched the YouTube promotional video…can you explain to me the significance of the deer?
When you get to Fire Island, it’s almost like it’s a petting zoo. The deer there are wild animals but they are also very docile. They’re sort of the symbol of Fire Island, and in the play…without giving too much away…they come alive and sing.
Is this musical based on true events or a true story?
I was having a little bit of a mid-life crisis. I was interested in expressing myself artistically, perhaps by writing a novel or a play, after I had accomplished so much in my professional life. I was sitting on my deck with my Froot Loops and reading my New York Times crossword puzzle, and the deer was grazing on some grass, and then it jumped over the fence, and I had an epiphany moment just then. I realized why the deer jumped over the fence, and it was because the grass is always greener on the other side. So that was also the moment when I realized that this wasn’t going to be a novel or a play, it was going to be a musical. [laughs]
Tickets cost $30 and can be purchased directly through Rob Gould by calling him at (646) 342-7738 or by visiting the tickets page at littlehouseontheferry.com/tickets. To read more about Stonewall Pride in Wilton Manors, visit stonewallpridewiltonmanors.com.