The highlight of the Royal Palm Players season last year was provided by the one-man antics of Reyn Guyer of Boca Grande.
History is expected to repeat this season at two showings of an intense new 75-minute musical, which is a complete departure of the variety show Guyer put on last season.
"Last year was just a treat," Guyer said. "That was for fun. This one we worked hard at. We've gathered a fabulous cast from New York. As singers and actors, they are incredible."
Welcoming a four-actor cast and director from New York, the Royal Palm Players benefit will feature "Stained Glass," a $7 million original musical written by Guyer and his writing partner, Jeff Harrington.
"It should be very attractive to the male audience because it's very intense," Guyer said. "And it's over in what is a very short-time for a full-length musical."
"Stained Glass" is an intimate story about four people whose lives are linked by a mystery they work to resolve. With a melodic and driving pop/folk-infused score, it celebrates the power of love and the freedom truth can bring.
Who: Reyn Guyer of Boca Grande
What: original musical debut performance
When: 8 p.m. March 9-10
Where: Boca Grande Community Center
Why: Royal Palm Players benefit
How: To purchase tickets call the Royal Palm Players office at 964-2670 or go online to royalpalmplayers.com.
Michele Strauss said Guyer's island resident status helps him receive unabashed honesty about his works here on Boca Grande, which is invaluable to the producer.
"He's one of them. He lives here," she said. "He's going to get some feedback on what works and what doesn't."
Guyer and Harrington began the unusual step Sunday of filming the production at Dicapo Opera Theatre in New York so they can shop it digitally to investors before critics have their say.
"We want to curtail the risk of raising $7 million and having some reviewer shooting it down," Guyer said. "So we concocted the concept of going in and shooting it. We'll end up with an elegant video we can show around. This is a unique approach that has not been done in theater business. "
The inspiration for the new musical arrived during a brief brainstorming session in Norwich, Conn., five years ago, Guyer said.
"My writing partner, Jeff Harrington, and I looked at each other one day and said: 'You know, I think we could write a musical together.' "
The cast includes Broadway veteran and leading lady Lynne Wintersteller.
"She is beautiful," Guyer said. "We were very fortunate to be able to attract her to the project. She's an experienced veteran of musical theater and an absolutely amazing actor and singer. People in Boca Grande will find her a great treat."
The rest of the cast includes Jessica Grove, Adam Monley and Ben Davis.
Director Annette Jolles has won Emmies for her video work.
Performances will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, at the Boca Grande Community Center. Tickets are $50 each.