Friday Night Cats: Romberg’s new Broadway musical soars


Nobody will ever talk about the 2015-2016 school year without mentioning the varsity football team’s state championship win over Blessed Trinity. Students, teachers, and alumni all cheered over the miracle victory, but no one was more excited about the win than head varsity football coach Gerry Romberg. For a week after the championship game, Romberg did not go anywhere without that enormous golden trophy in his hands, taking it to Publix, Tommy’s Barber Shop, and even showering with it (according to anonymous sources). After such a big win, the question on everybody’s minds is what will Romberg do next? Will he coach next year’s team to victory? Will he retire?

“I’ve thought a lot about what my next steps are going to be after this year’s state win,” said Romberg. “And all my life I’ve had such a passion for musicals and the theatre that I’ve never really been able to express, but now inspiration has really struck. It’s time for me to write my own Broadway musical all about the Cats’ victory.”

Titled Friday Night Cats, Romberg’s new musical will chronicle the team’s road to victory for the state title; from their first win over Lovett (featuring the senior players mohawks that really looked like just a waterfall of hair down the back of their necks), to some of their crushing losses in the season, to their rematch with BT in the Georgia Dome. Romberg claims the musical will be a cross between the fan favorite TV show Friday Night Lights and the Broadway musical Cats.

Friday Night Lights and Cats are my favorite things in the entire world,” said Romberg. “That time Tyra read her University of Texas college essay to Landy made me tear up just a little and then in Cats when Grizabella was chosen by Old Deuteronomy to go to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn to a new Jellicle Life, man, I just sobbed.”

Some members of the team have been resistant to Romberg’s idea to write the musical, as they are worried it is taking him away from his other duties.

“When I heard that Coach was writing a musical I was pretty pumped,” said senior quarterback Rankin Woley. “Friday Night Lights is one of my favorite TV shows, but I had no idea what Cats was, I had to go look it up. Now I’m not so sure about Coach writing this musical. Cats has got all these creepy people dressed up as actual cats like licking themselves and swinging their tails, it’s a little too much for me. When I went to go talk to him the other day, he tried to make me try on some paws! I ran away.”

Romberg has in fact stated that he wants all of the football players in the musical to transform into cats when they play their games. Each football game will then be a complex ballet and fight scene sequence. To keep with the Friday Night Lights theme, Romberg will also showcase the team’s struggle with FAMILY and the dramatic team dynamics.

“I don’t know man,” said junior running back Zay Malcome. “This show just sounds weird.”

When Romberg first came up with his idea for this new musical, he knew just the man to consult: senior Jake Smith. Smith has already written two musicals in his four years of high school and is quite experienced with coming up with song lyrics and plot lines.

“I had no idea Coach Romberg even liked Broadway musicals, but man this guy knows his Andrew Lloyd Weber from his Stephen Sondheim,” said Smith. “He was super enthusiastic about the whole process of writing a musical, but I have to admit his ideas are a little weird. He wanted to have all the football players play themselves onstage and I tried to tell him that not everybody could reach the high notes in the songs, but he brushed me off, assuring me that he’s heard Matt Howard sing and apparently the man can belt.”

Some of the football players, however, have felt uncomfortable with the idea of performing their victory onstage.

“No way am I putting on a cat suit,” said senior punter Blake Gillikin. “You couldn’t pay me enough money to look like a cat. Romberg’s gone crazy.”

Director of the theatre department and veteran Broadway performer  Kate Morgens has a different take on Romberg’s musical.

“I am all about interdisciplinary projects and Romberg’s musical is a great example of combining sports with theater,” said Morgens. “I do agree that his idea is ambitious but that’s how every Broadway musical starts. I remember when Jake Smith came to me with his first idea for a musical, he wanted there to be an actual TV onstage- there’s no money in the theater budget for that!”

Romberg is estimating that the costs for the musical will go well over a million dollars and so he’s planned to put some of the football budget towards his new musical. Interim principal of the Upper School, Jim Justice, however, was uncertain about this idea.

“Yeah no,” said Justice. “He can’t take any money out of the football budget for this musical. I have a feeling no one’s going to come see it.”

Despite his critics, Romberg is optimistic about the performance and is hoping to get a reading of the musical produced by this summer.

“Who doesn’t want to see a bunch of high school football players in tights?” said Romberg.