"It was really a major success at the Simon Studio. The thing really gelled. We really worked at firming up the three main love relationships and, most importantly, we may have made some good connections in New York.
"After the workshop at the Simon Studio, I started sending Greenbrier out to regional theaters. The artistic director at the Greenbrier Valley Theater in Lewisburg, West Virginia, was very interested. Lewisburg is an artist-colony-type town about ten miles from White Sulfur Springs, where the Greenbrier resort is located. Lewisburg had just built the brand-new 150-seat Greenbrier Valley Theater, which was looking to stage something regional. They like things that have a direct appeal to their audience.
"Last February, the theater's artistic director accepted Greenbrier. On May 15, I and Steve Prussing flew out to West Virginia. We had our first rehearsal the night we arrived. We had only three weeks to get everything ready -- rehearse, build sets. The artistic director also had some changes of her own she wanted made. We ended up writing four new songs for the show and further clarified the love relationships.
"Lewisburg ended up liking Greenbrier. We were scheduled for an eight-performance run, and six of those performances sold out, and on the other two nights we got a pretty good crowd."
(Lewisburg's local paper gave the musical an enthusiastic review: "Greenbrier offered its audience a spirited ride the way a catamaran with a colorful sail sweeps over glittering waves toward a blue horizon.")
Having now spent $10,000 of his own money to launch his musical, Sickman hopes to steer Greenbrier toward even bluer horizons. He's submitting it for consideration to other small theaters in West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He also wants to get on what he calls the "New York track."
"Two directors and one producer who saw Greenbrier at the Simon Studio showed considerable interest. This is a viable piece of musical theater.
"The fact is that I'm having better luck in other places and other cities than in San Diego. You've got to go where you think you're going to have success."