"The Sounds of Simon" in Boca Raton

From "The Sounds of Simon" (l to r) Jon Yepez, Lauren Bell, Brettnie Blake, Joel Alfonso, Elijah Word, Ben Solmor and Alissa Kane (Phil Hinton / July 11, 2013)

It’s simple: Simon.

Paul Simon’s music is celebrated in “The Sounds of Simon,” an original musical by the local theater impresario Gary Waldman. It’s running through July 28 August 4 at the Studio Theater of Mizner Park in Boca Raton.

Like the 12-time Grammy winner it centers on, the show has a storied history. The show first opened in 2005, when it was more of a revue, at Waldman’s Atlantis Playhouse in the Boynton Beach. Two years later, it played Pensacola, and in 2008, it had a brief run at the 26th Street Theatre in Wilton Manors.

“It’s such a good show,” Waldman says. “But I needed to stop just restaging it. … Instead, I totally reconceived the show. I doubled the cast size. My producing partner, Jamison Troutman, came in and saw a rehearsal and said, ‘I never saw this show before.’ “


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Waldman says the show is now a proper musical with a narrative told by a male lead, four principal actors and six dancers.

“They aren’t musical dancers. They are dancer dancers,” he says. “They serve as a Greek chorus for some of the dramatic ballads.”

Adding drama is the main change in the show, Waldman says.

“Now there are characters … people with a story to tell,” he explains. “It’s more of a pop-rock opera. It’s not a revue. We use his lyrics to drive the story along.”

Waldman confesses that he has been a “Simon and Garfunkle addict my entire life. As an adult, I started paying more attention to the lyrics, and I became fascinated with how good a poet Paul Simon is. He’s probably a better poet than he is a musician.”

“The Sounds of Simon” is at Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, 201 Plaza Real, in Boca Raton. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $35. Call 561-600-0495 or go to SoundsOfSimon.com.