Sally Wills, an Annandale resident who has been active in community theater in this area and in Los Angeles, decided almost two years ago to write a musical. Once she finished it, she decided to produce it. And direct it. And design the sets and costumes.
Fortunately, her husband Wilbur (Bob) Wills, who owns Miguel's Restaurant in Arlington, was willing to bankroll the operation to the tune of $85,000. "He's always been very enthusiastic about my work," Wills said.
One of the main characters in "Cycles" happens to be a 17-year-old girl -- a perfect part for the Willses' daughter Sherrie, an actress who has appeared on television in "The New Adventures of Heidi," among other shows. And their son, W. Charles, who wants to be a director, is the production manager.
"Cycles," which opens Friday in the Performing Arts Center in Rockville, is based on a romance novel by Elizabeth Goudge called "Gentian Hill."
"I thought, 'If I want to write a musical, what do I want to base it on?' This is my favorite book, so I decided to base it on that."
Wills, who came to Washington 20 years ago to work for Lyndon Johnson, has written 19 songs and 21 characters for her show. There are also parts for four animals -- a dog, a donkey, a pony and a cat -- nine backdrops, a 12-piece orchestra and a snowstorm.
"I think it's what people are looking for," Wills said. "People want music with melody, and that's what I have . . . It's a love story, with comedy and war. It's about two people's lives and how they come together.
"I want it to go to Broadway."