Roadhouse The Musical: “It’s a good night. Nobody died.”

Photo courtesy of Renee Bessette

The Wilbury Theatre Group recently presented Roadhouse: The Musical at Proclamation Ale House. An original play directed by Brien Lang, Roadhouse tells the story of James Dalton, portrayed by Patrick Swayze in the 1989 film, a professional bouncer called a “cooler” who is hired to manage security at an unmanageably unruly bar in Jasper, Missouri called the Double Deuce. This musical re-imagining of the classic film is clever and fun. If you are a diehard fan of the film and love camp, you’ll appreciate an evening of laughter; also featuring country, blues and rock music. 

Brien Lang is the director and also plays lead guitar. Lang explains how this unlikely production fortuitously came to be. “The whole idea of a musical based on Roadhouse had been a running joke for years with my theater and music friends. At one point, I had only written ‘Guys Like You’ but Susie Schutt, who was the director of New Works at Wilbury at the time, was mistakenly told that I had a whole show in the can. She asked if we’d like to do a workshop production and I kind of thought she was kidding. But when I said yes, she put us on the calendar and I was forced to write the damn thing in about two months’ time!”


This night, Proclamation Ale House served as the bar setting. Vocals were a bit hard to hear during Act I, but were corrected during intermission. It can be difficult to get the sound mix right in a large, open space with high ceilings, coupled with the booming sounds of the warehouse atmosphere. Projections were aimed high to reach some white space on the wall, making it sometimes difficult to view. Methinks that, while a roadhouse-style production in a warehouse makes sense in theory, as a play this will be better viewed at the Wilbury Theatre.

“Once we did the workshop, we thought it was fun and we had gotten it out of our system,” explains Lang. “To our surprise, a number of people clamored for more and offered us bookings. So between theaters, breweries and music venues, Roadhouse: The Musical refused to die and here we are!” The long-awaited return is here! You’ll love the big, penultimate number from Act 2, ‘Guys Like You.’

These performers have lots of heart, breathing life into this fun concept with adult themes and lots of witty laughs. 

Cast includes: Pat Barone, as James Dalton, MA; Meg Sullivan as Dr. Elizabeth ‘Doc’ Clay, MD/Emmett; Vince Petronio as Brad Wesley and on the harmonica; Brien Leng as Wade Garrett/Red Webster/Jimmy and on guitar; Matt Requintina on lead guitar; Tom Grace on drums; and Dave Carney on bass. 

Spectators were able to grab a Saugy and beer, then kick back on a bench to the boot-stompin’ tunes. 

The 15-minute intermission gave everyone a chance to try a different beer at Proclamation. The remaining shows will be performed at the Wilbury Theatre.

Event is 21+ and runs through February 24. For more information, visit