Pericles: Prince of Tires

Playwright (Book)

A musical, based on the play by William Shakespeare
Book by Shawn Paonessa & Neil Gobioff

Theatrical rocker Joe Popp and his band had a killer idea: make a musical out of Shakespeare’s play, Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Except make it modern… and set it in New York… and everyone’s a gangster, like in The Sopranos.

Original Cast of Pericles: Prince of Tires. (Photo courtesy Jobsite Theater.)Joe can write some rockin’ tunes, but he needed some help with the play itself. Jobsite Artistic Director David M. Jenkins contacted me and my writing partner, Neil Gobioff. The next thing we knew, we were in a Manhattan pub talking to the band about the script.

Within the year, we wrote the book and workshopped it with Jenkins and the cast. The production was so well received, it was remounted and brought up to New York for its Off-Broadway premiere!

“… if you love the Bard, good rock music, The Sopranos or just edgy theater, Pericles is a must-see. It’s an eloquent reminder of how indispensable Jobsite has become in ten years, and how consistently daring.” – Creative Loafing

“… a raucous force of nature … a butt-kicking, rocked-out adaptation … It’s clear that Jobsite has worked to create a non-musical musical … The acting is good … [the script] is delightfully smartass and rude. But the music is what makes this production really sing.” – Tampa Tribune

“Be ready to get blown away … It’s fun, quirky, and energetic…. They went out on a limb to produce this edgy, possibly controversial show. It works, and there’s nothing canned or fake about it. Turn off the television and go see Pericles.” – Tampa Bay Arts Net

“The slapstick comedy is something of an unexpected surprise and really carries the show.” – REAX Music

World Premiere

Aug. 7 – 24, 2009
Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center, Tampa

Encore Performance

Apr. 7 – 11, 2010
Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center, Tampa

Off-Broadway Premiere

Apr. 15 – 17, 2010
HERE Theater, New York

See More About Pericles


Perry, “Prince of Tires”, gets caught up in a web of intrigue, incest and the mafia as he tries to balance having a family while also running a “family.” His sometimes hilarious and sometimes poignant exploits take him through New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts, while he dodges mob hits, lecherous carnies, multiple storms at sea, and losing his wife and daughter. As his epic journey ends, he learns that saving both his biological family and his mafia family are rooted in truly understanding the value of loyalty, honor and love.

Pericles: Prince of Tires Off-Broadway Premiere. (Photo courtesy Jobsite Theater.)Pericles largely keeps the major plot and structure of Shakespeare’s play and in some instances keeps the same character names. However, Pericles: Prince of Tires is considerably more accessible and immediate to a modern audience.

Theocratic royalty is replaced with underworld royalty, as the plot is spun with both dramatic and comedic elements that audiences will instantly recognize from modern classics like The Godfather and The Sopranos. Anyone familiar with the original play will easily see the corollaries; those who aren’t won’t miss a thing.