Rubicon Theatre Company Presents RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET

Rubicon Theatre Company Presents RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET

Get ready to blast off as Rubicon Theatre Company presents the hilarious, out-of-this-world musical RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET, returning to Ventura after its acclaimed run in 2016. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Musical, this fabulously campy send-up of "Forbidden Planet" and other sci-fi films and TV shows of the 1950s and 1960's melds plot elements from The Tempestwith language from multiple plays by Shakespeare. Set on a spaceship sometime in the future, the show features a galaxy of rock-and-roll classics, including "Wipeout," "Good Vibrations," "Great Balls of Fire," "All Shook Up, and "Monster Mash." The jukebox musical spoof rockets into orbit just in time for Halloween - with a gala costume party on Saturday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. followed by an after-party at Rhumb Line on the Harbor. Low-priced previews are October 17-19. The show runs Wednesdays through Sundays through November 4.
RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET was first produced by Rubicon in October 2016 and returns by popular demand. A feel-good hit with critics and audiences alike, Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns chose to include the show as part of the 20th anniversary celebration. Of the original production, PHILIP BRANDES of theL.A. TIMES said the show "OVERFLOWS WITH FUN," further commenting on the "vigorous performances, colorful special effects and well-timed comedy." Don Grigware of BROADWAY WORLD raved, "A WINNER...DELICIOUSLY KITSCHY FUN accompanied by a rock and roll score and a dynamite cast!" RITA MORAN of the VENTURA COUNTY STAR enthused, "It makes you want to fly to the moon, if only for a few hours...A WINNER! The audience had to hold onto their seats to keep from JUMPING UP, SWINGING and TWISTING." And Steven Stanley of STAGE SCENE L.A. gave the show a "WOW!" calling it the HAVE-FUN musical of the season," and praising TERRIFIC performances from an all-around GROOVY cast. Vivid lighting, crystal-clear lighting design, far-out video." (STANLEY later gave the show a Scenie Award as Best Revue.).
RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET is again directed and choreographed by Kirby Ward, who has directed or performed in 65 theatrical productions and concerts, from the showrooms of Las Vegas to London's West End where he received a "Best Actor" Olivier Award nomination for the premiere of Crazy for You. Musical direction is by Trevor Wheetman and Omar D. Brancato.
The cast of RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET features returning Rubicon veterans Larry Cedar (Rubicon's Sylvia- Ovation Award nomination), Kimberly Hessler (My Fair Lady/Return to the Forbidden Planet), Rebecca Ann Johnson (Return to the Forbidden Planet/Little Miss Scrooge). Making their Rubicon debuts are Kevin Bailey (Broadway- Scar in The Lion King, L.A.- Engineer in Miss Saigon - Ovation nomination), Lucas Coleman (originated the role of Jehan in Disney Theatricals' The Hunchback of Notre Dame), DANIEL DeYOUNG (American Shakespeare Centre, Guthrie, Independent Shakespeare Company), ANDREW HUBER (Will in Big Fishat MTW) and Eric Shorey (First National Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.) Flight Crew Members are Ventura residents NATALIE GRAHAM, LUKE HAMANN, SAMANTHA HIRSCHHORN, and JOSH RANCK. Many of the actors play instruments in the show. Ensign and band members are Musical Directors Trevor Wheetman and Omar D. Brancato on Bass, and Matt Tucci on drums.
Set Design is by THOMAS S. GIAMARIO, Lighting Design by MIKE BILLINGS, Sound Design by Jonathan Burke, Costumes by Pamela Shaw, Props by T. THERESA SCARANO and Video Design by DILLON ARTZER with additional Video Design and Director of Photography by JEFF BILLINGS.
Film and TV star Fred Willard joins the cast in a digital appearance as Narrator. Regarded as one of our generation's most gifted comic actors, Fred has appeared in over 70 films and received an American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor for "Waiting for Guffman." For his performance in "Best in Show," Fred won the Boston Film Critics Award, the American Comedy Award, The Sierra Award and a tribute from AFI.
Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Musical, RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET follows the adventures of the dashing spaceship captain Tempest and his crew, who hit a meteor shower and are then mysteriously drawn off course to the planet D'Illyria. There they discover the mad scientist Dr. Prospero and his beautiful daughter Miranda, along with the robot Ariel. As a romance develops between Captain Tempest and Miranda, a monster threatens the spaceship, and a sacrifice is made to ensure everyone's safety.
RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET was originally created and directed by Bob Carlton, the show began at the Bubble Theatre Company in England as an open-air performance in a tent. A revised in-door production appeared at The Everyman Theatre in Liverpool and the Tricycle Theatre in London. The final version opened at the Cambridge Theatre in London's West End on September 11, 1989. It won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical for both 1989 and 1990. After numerous productions throughout the world, the show was presented as the completion of Carlton's tenure as Artistic Director at the Queen's Theatre in Essex in 2014. The production is currently enjoying a 25thanniversary U.K. tour helmed by Carlton.
Low-priced previews for RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET are Wednesday, October 17 at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 18 at 7 p.m. and Friday, October 19 at 8 p.m. Opening night is Saturday, October 20, at 7 p.m. with a post-show party hosted by RHUMB LINE. The production continues Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through November 4. All performances are at Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District (the corner or Main and Laurel). For tickets, or call (805) 667-2900. Regular tickets range from $40 to $65 plus a $4 service fee, depending on day of the week and time. Special pricing for students with ID are $30; students and military are $35. There is a $5 discount for seniors 65 and older. The opening night is a benefit performance, with tickets at $150 (price includes a tax-deductible contribution). Those in costume attending the matinee or evening performance on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31, will receive a free concession voucher. For tickets, call (805) 667-2900, Monday-Sunday,noon to 6:00 p.m., or visit

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