From the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir that inspired the film October Sky, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American tale — a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the dawn of the 1960s, of a mother's love and a father's fears, of a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space … and of those who made their dreams come true.
NASA engineer Homer Hickam’s original book, upon which this musical is based, is a vivid portrait of the harsh West Virginia mining town of his youth, evoking a time of innocence and promise, when anything was possible, even in a company town that swallowed its men alive.
Teenager Homer “Sonny” Hickam, inspired by Werner von Braun and his Cape Canaveral team, decided in 1957 to build his own rockets. They were his ticket out of Coalwood, West Virginia, a mining town that everyone knew was dying — everyone except Sonny's father, the mine superintendent and a company man so dedicated that his family rarely saw him. Sonny’s smart, iconoclastic mother wanted her son to become something more than a miner and, along with a female science teacher, encouraged the efforts of his grandiosely named Big Creek Missile Agency.
Hickam is candid about the deep disagreements and tensions in his parents' marriage, even as he movingly depicts their quiet loyalty to each other. The portrait of his ultimately successful campaign to win his aloof father's respect is equally affecting. A story of growing up and getting out, of romance and loss, Homer Hickam's memoir is a chronicle of triumph, and as the show’s creative team says, “it just sings”.
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