Chip Rosenbloom & John Torres Compose Genius Music and Lyrics for the Hilarious Production of “Bronco Billy – The Musical

Based on the 1980 Warner Bros film of the same name, starring Clint Eastwood, Bronco Billy – The Musical is a new take on the Wild West story. The show, directed by Hunter Bird, was a hit when it debuted in Hollywood two years ago.

The Skylight Theatre Company brought the musical to life with premier shows taking place in Los Feliz back in April 2019. The musical bonanza was the result of a collaboration between Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres, who created the music and the lyrics—with Michele Brourman adding lyrics too. The final showcase is a celebration of the classic tale with added hilarity.

Dennis Hackin wrote the screenplay and the book, Bronco Billy. The story was a homage to his parents, who moved from Chicago to Arizona to live out their cowboy-inspired dreams. To produce the Warner Bros movie, he teamed up with Neal Dobrofsky. Flash forward to the musical’s release, and Dennis Hackin has tweaked the initial plot to fit a new format.

“We’ve always wanted to start developing musicals. A couple of years ago Dennis Hackin, Chip Rosenbloom, and John Torres approached us about teaming up to create a fresh approach to the 1980’s film,” explained the Skylight Theatre Company’s artistic director Gary Grossman at its initial release. “We’re grateful it all came together so beautifully, and that Warner Bros. entrusted us with their project.”

The action of Bronco Billy – The Musical whisks audiences back to 1979, placing the plot in the middle of civil rights battles and partisan politics. The protagonist, Bronco Billy, is having trouble keeping his Wild West show going. After five years on the move, he and his ragtag gang meet Antoinette Lilly and soon recruit her as an assistant.

Little do they know that she is secretly an heiress of a chocolate bar company who is hiding out from her family while they scheme against her. While Lilly joins the traveling show, her husband, stepmom, and family lawyer get to work masterminding her ultimate demise. The plan is simple: the three will hire an assassin, get rid of Lilly, and inherit the family fortune. With the Wild West show gathering momentum and a paid killer hot on their heels, there’s yet another twist in store. Lilly and Billy find unexpected love amongst the chaos.

“Bronco Billy is so much about identity,” Hunter Bird told Broadway World at the show’s release. “Rather than accepting the roles we’re given, we always have the ability to create our own realities, our own families, and our own identities. While the show takes place in 1979, I think our audiences will appreciate this upbeat musical about reinvention, identity, and living your passion. We’re so lucky to have this powerfully talented cast of fourteen to bring it to life for the first time.”

Full of hijinx, laughs, and a whole lot of tunes, the musical is a fast-paced jaunt into the weird and wonderful world of the Wild West. The newfound musical element of the plot truly drives it forward. Co-writers Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres really captured the theme within their songs. Packed with twenty-eight musical numbers, the show is all about extremely catchy hooks and well-timed reprises. Highlights of the musical include the foot-tapping songs “It’s Gonna Be Great,” “I’m Gonna Be Strong,” and “Ride With Us.”

“This is exactly the type of organization that we had hoped would take the lead in the development of Bronco Billy – The Musical,” Chip Rosenbloom, the musical’s co-composer, said upon the show’s premiere. “Skylight’s Gary and Tony have been intuitive and very nurturing throughout the entire process.”

The musical production was not Chip Rosenbloom’s first foray into songwriting and composing. He has previously written numerous songs for musical artists, such as Sheena Easton, Rita Coolidge, and Dayna Lane. The filmmaker has also won a myriad of awards for his remarkable cinematic work. In 1997, he won the Best Film Award for Shiloh at the Chicago International Film Festival. He also took the Best Documentary Audience Award in 2008 at the Sundance Film Festival for his movie, Fuel. He is also the founder and owner of Open Pictures and the president of Rosenbloom Entertainment. Rosenbloom and Torres are currently collaborating on future projects as well.

About Chip Rosenbloom

Chip Rosenbloom is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, composer, and songwriter. He has produced more than 30 movies for both television and the big screen. His film producer credits include Eight Days a Week and The Call.

His productions have garnered much acclaim over the years. One of his most famous releases, Shiloh, took the Best Film Award at the 1997 Chicago International Film Festival and Best Feature Film at the 1998 Genesis Awards. Another of his well-known releases, Fuel, took the Best Documentary Audience Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Photo by Gwen King on Unsplash

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