‘So Proudly We Hailed’  –  A Musical Salute To The Brave

By Ernest Kearney — I sat through one presentation of this three-person musical, then immediately sat through a second presentation with a different cast.

The 1970 Broadway hit The Me Nobody Knows was a musical based on the writings of children of low-income housing units in New York City. 

In So Proudly We Hailed Producer Scott Guy and Director John Cappola have reframed that concept to the writings of men and women who have served in the armed forces of this nation, and the results are inspiring beyond words.

Based on the web series of the same name, each performance features three short musicals with books and sometimes lyrics by those who have served.

All six mini-musicals were strong and some exceptional, but the standout of the first program were the performers; Taji Coleman, John David Wallis, and Elliot White.

While each tale told had its moments, it was the last segment, You & Judy & Me that hit the mark.  With book and lyrics by J.A. Moad II and music by Kurt Kuenne, it related how Moad (White), sat by the bed of his dying father, the man who had inspired him to join the armed forces.  Sitting there, Moad recalls how he and his father would attend Broadway musicals. The memories that flood over Moad were the happiest they, both, experienced.  As White wraps himself in a series of familiar show tunes the artist in the warrior is revealed.  It is a moving story and White is superb in it.

The second program was the stronger of the two as far as the trio of stories.

Both Ends of the Barrel, by Aramis Calderon with music and lyrics by Dusty Sanders, relates Calderon’s disturbing flashbacks of his own childhood while on patrol in Iraq and benefits from a terrific performance by Armand Barboza.

A Single Vibration, based on Robert W. Mitchell’s writings with lyrics and music by Michael Finke, is a harrowing glimpse into the effects of PTSD finely realized by performer Jabari.

Platinum Medal

But for me, the high point of the two programs was The Jumper based on the experiences of Shannon Corbeil, with music and lyrics by Natalie Rebecca Lovejoy.  Credit for this must go, in no small part, to Brooke Moltrum whose outstanding performance took command of the Broadwater stage and Santa Monica Blvd from Vine to the Pacific Ocean.

If judging on just the first program, I would probably call this production a Gold, but with the second program added in, a Platinum Medal goes to Guy, Cappola, and all those involved.

Learn More at nmi.org/veterans


So Proudly We Hail playing at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2023
The Broadwater (Studio) in Hollywood.

For Hollywood Fringe Festival Details, So Proudly We Hail Show Information, and Tickets Click HERE.


Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

No comments


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.