A story by Brian Daly from 2019

Jake Clowes made this sizzle reel from footage he shot at a rehearsal.

I wrote the book, music, and lyrics for COME OUT SWINGIN'!, a musical comedy that premiered at the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston in 2019. This is what the show is about:

It's May of 1965, just months after the assassination of Malcolm X, and the controversial Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston heavyweight title bout has been moved at the last minute to Lewiston, an unlikely venue for a world championship fight. Mickey St. Pierre, the second assistant deputy city manager of Lewiston, sees the fight as his hometown’s chance to take its place among the world’s great cities, and he gets the people of Lewiston fired up to play host to celebrity jet setters and the world’s top sportswriters, but then word gets out that hit men who followed Malcolm X instead of Elijah Muhammad when the Nation of Islam split up are on their way to Lewiston to murder Ali in the ring.

The fight took place in an era when boxing was more popular than it is now, and Ali was a charismatic champion, so for a short time Lewiston was in the news worldwide. Sportswriters filed glowing stories about Maine and Lewiston, and then the fight ended abruptly in a disputed way, and the writers turned on Maine. According to them, we couldn't do anything right. Even though COME OUT SWINGIN'! is a fun show, it deals with the serious topics of Mainers' self-image and the discrimination faced by Franco-Americans.

This is the poster for COME OUT SWINGIN'! Photo by DNA Photography.

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