Steven Boyer, Patrick Page and Mary Testa to Star in RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET, One Night Only
Red Bull Theater today announced the cast for the one-night-only, all-star benefit concert performance of the Olivier Award-winning Best Musical Return to Forbidden Planet, a musical of Shakespearean proportions by Bob Carlton. The 2019-'20 Season kick-off event will take place Monday October 21st at the Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street).
Exploding with over thirty cosmic hits of classic rock-n-roll, and playfully based on The Tempest and the cinematic sci-fi classic, this fun-filled musical rockets Shakespeare's beloved characters from stage to space as Captain Tempest crash lands on the planet D'Illyria, inhabited only by the mad scientist Doctor Prospero, his daughter Miranda, and their trusty robot Ariel. With songs including "Great Balls of Fire," "Shake Rattle and Roll," "The Monster Mash," and "Good Vibrations" along with some of Shakespeare's most iconic phraseology catapulted through hyperspace into a campy concoction, this is a rare opportunity for today's New York audiences to experience this Olivier Award-winning musical.
Gabriel Barre, who starred in the original New York production, will direct a cast featuring Steven Boyer (Broadway: Hand to God - Lortel and Clarence Derwent Awards; Tony and Drama League nominations;), Kim Exum (Broadway: The Book of Mormon), Mary Testa (currently on Broadway in Oklahoma! - Tony, Drama Desk nominations;), Jo Lampert (Joan of Arc: Into the Fire - Lortel Award nomination), Patrick Page (currently on Broadway starring in Hadestown - Tony, Lortel Award nominations; Coriolanus - Helen Hayes Award;); Amy Spanger (Broadway: Matilda, Chicago, Elf, Rock of Ages, The Wedding Singer - Drama Desk nomination, Urinetown, Kiss Me Kate, Sunset Boulevard; Off-Bway: Tick Tick Boom, Rent); with special appearances by Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham, Tony Award nomineeDerrick Baskin, Bryan Batt, Emily Bergl, Drama Desk Award winner Arnie Burton, Tony Award nominee Veanne Cox, Tony Award nominee Robert Cuccioli, Paige Davis, Tony Award nominee Chad Kimball, Drama Desk Award winner Laila Robins, Tony Award nominee Derek Smith, Emily Swallow, Marc Vietor, PLUS celebrity astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson (affectionately known as the man who killed Pluto).
Return to Forbidden Planet will feature a live five-piece band with direction by Greg Pliska leading a five-piece band; Return to Forbidden Planet will feature choreography by Tracy Bersley, costume design by Heather Jackson, projection design by Joshua Thorson, sound design by Patrick LaChanze, and lighting design by Paul Hudson. The event is made possible in part by The Marta Heflin Foundation.
Return to Forbidden Planet opened at the Cambridge Theatre in London's West End on September 11, 1989. It won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical for 1989/'90, beating out The Baker's Wife, Buddy, and Miss Saigon. When the show opened in New York in 1991 at the Variety Arts Theater, Theatre Week opined, "Return to the Forbidden Planet is a desecration, recreation, or consecration, depending on whom you ask." It hasn't been seen in a major revival in New York since it closed in 1992 after playing 245 performances.
"Out of this world! Prepare to blast off with this musical space odyssey of Shakespearean proportions. With an interstellar cast of musical/classical theater superstars singing some of the catchiest songs ever recorded and having the time of their lives in a script full of hilarity and fun, this promises to be a night to remember, and a fabulous way to kick off our exciting 2019-'20 season," said Mr. Berger. "Not too low-brow for Shakespeare scholars, and not too high-brow for Trekkies or '50s Sci-fi aficionados, Return to the Forbidden Planet is sure to delight."
For tickets and more information about any of Red Bull Theater's productions and programs, visit www.redbulltheater.com.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos
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