So, this exists. And is wonderful. And indescribable.
Return to the Forbidden Planet is a musical (very) loosely based on the plot of Shakespeare’s Tempest, set in outer space. It draws inspiration from shows such as Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, and all of the music is 50’s rock. Roughly 90% of the text (non-music text, that is) is Shakespeare or ‘Makespeare,’ lines from Shakespeare that have been altered to be funny or better suit the story. The American Shakespeare Center is performing it at the Blackfriar’s Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia through the fall, and if you are going to be anywhere nearby, GO because you will fall out of your seat with laughter and come out not really sure what you have seen, but very, very, very happy and entertained.
As a side note for you theatre folks, although the music is written to be done by an orchestra with electric instruments, the ASC has no orchestra and no pit, so the actors play all of the instruments themselves, most of the time doing so on stage while providing backup vocals to the soloist of the songs. In addition, in keeping with their philosophy, the ASC never uses electricity (they “Do it with the lights on” - there are no stage lights for their performances), so all of the instruments are acoustic AND there are no microphones. Not floor mikes and certainly not personal ones. But you can still hear the actors over the music and everything. Next time you complain about the difficulties of projection, think about that.
Okay so for those of my followers who don’t know about Return to the forbidden planet, it’s awesome. I went to see it at the Curve theater this evening and it is quite possibly my favorite theater production ever! It’s based loosely on Shakespeare’s Tempest but in outer space and its got loads of rock and roll songs in it. Almost all of the lines are in the style of Shakespeare, it’s witty, funny as hell and my god can the actors play guitar. I know that there are many versions of the show, this is the second I have seen, but to incorporate such amazing musicians and actors is glorious. Im gonna have to get the soundtrack because it’s so god damn good. If any of my followers are in the UK and like musical theatre, I sincerely suggest that you see this, they are currently at the Curve in Leicester, however they are only there for a week, as they are going to tour the UK. It’s such an amazing show, I honestly want to see it again.
I had a pretty good time at Return to the Forbidden Planet Rehearsals today! :)
We finished the Wipe Out routine and did work on Great balls of Fire. Then some of the main actors and myself went to discuss costume ideas with the Director of the show. But it was a rather enjoyable afternoon. I’m starting to feel a bit more useful now! :)
I just found an old folder that I kept all my show stuff in for my Year Ten musical (Return to the Forbidden Planet. I was Gloria. If you know it you are one in a million <3) and it had my full score and script and all my notes and highlighted scribbles, and pictures I’d shoved in there of the cast all together and the costume design for my character, and lots of closing night notes, and I got emotional about the experience of theatre.