Pardon me while I gush...
I LOVE THIS SHOW!
Now I understand why there is this international cult following around Return to the Forbidden Planet. We ran Act I tonight and it is so fucking crazy! It's funny, it's intelligent, it's just smart-ass enough, it's really well-constructed, and it's one of the highest energy shows I've ever worked on. And when I say that, you have to keep in mind that I've worked on some really high-energy shows. But this is one of those that will leave the cast huffing and puffing at intermission. Especially the smokers.
As I watched it tonight I realized that I just can not imagine anyone not having a blast watching this show. And despite the sometimes dense Shakespearean language, it's so easy to follow the story, the characters, the relationships. There may be a few folks who are so scared of ol' Bill Shakespeare that they'll just tune out right at the beginning, but I think they will be few. It's so easy to understand this stuff.
The other surprise is that there are several genuinely emotional moments -- when Prospero tells us the story of being betrayed and banished by his ex-wife, when Cookie is rejected by Miranda and he gets a juicy Shakespeare-style Mad Scene (incorporating bits of King Lear and the awesome song "She's Not There")... which is followed by Prospero's own Mad Scene (including "Shakin' All Over") as he seethes in anger over his daughter's abandonment of him for the studly Capt. Tempest (and thereby invoking the dreaded Id Monster!).
And I have to give a shout-out to Phil, our Bosun, who is hilarious whenever your eye happens to catch him, just sitting there, watching, reacting. He's so fully in it. He such has a great expressive face, and though what he's doing is pretty subtle, it's very funny stuff...
I offer my kudos to the whole cast. They're all working their butts off and creating some wonderful, funny, beautiful moments. I can't wait to get to work on Act II...
Watch -- they'll all suck now. Just kidding.
Long Live the Musical!