Reggae on Broadway is an inspirational musical film that celebrates the pursuit of one’s dreams, explores harmony between cultures, and is a tribute to the enduring power of creativity in an artist’s golden years.

Forty years ago on the island of Antigua, Fritz Hammerstein III was one of the Caribbean’s most promising reggae music producers. In 1973 he was invited to New York City for the premier screening of the movie “The Harder They Come,” for which he’d written and produced two songs. On that day, which should have been one of the greatest days of his life, Fritz suffered a deep disillusion that devastated him for years to come. While sitting in the audience with his friends, he discovered that both of his songs had been left on the cutting-room floor. That night, to ease Fritz’s pain, his friends took him to see the Broadway musical “Gigi.”

Abandoning his dreams of hitting the big time in New York City, he retreated back to Antigua, returning only with a deep love and passion for the Broadway musical.

Back home, he has a daughter and names her I.B. (after the legendary Irving Berlin). I.B.’s mother dies early on and the in-laws use their wealth and power to separate her from her ganja-smoking father, taking her away to be raised and educated in America. I.B. is barely allowed to maintain a relationship with her father through long-distance calls and very few visits over the years.

Our movie begins on a full-moon night on the sands of a breathtaking Caribbean beach where I.B., straight off the flight from New York, finds her father and announces she has graduated from college as a psychiatrist.

During her visit she comes to discover the repressed frustration in her father’s past as well as the truth behind her separation from him. I.B. convinces her dad to return with her to New York to pursue his lost dreams, or at the very least, catch a performance of “Phantom of the Opera.”

The events in New York start to unravel as Fritz gets a chance to meet one of his Broadway idols, Pat Suzuki (of “Flower Drum Song” fame) and talks her into recording one of her old hits in the only style he knows how to record…reggae. This starts a chain reaction in which other Broadway stars in their golden years jump on the bandwagon to record their old hits in this “rub-a-dub” style. The story moves forward with humor, suspense and music, eventually culminating with a live concert on Broadway that brings closure to an old, frustrated dream and brightens the stars of an ensemble of living legends; Fritz Hammerstein III’s “Reggae on Broadway.”

Screenplay written by Art Halperin © 2012