RTTFP Update: Our pre-sale is decent at this point. Hard to say what it'll be like be the time we open. Metrotix says our pre-sale is better than a lot of other local events right now. And the postcards just arrived, so hopefully that'll goose people into action. Also, Judy Newmark is doing a short piece about the show for the Post-Dispatch. We often get something in the RFT the week we open, but we never know beforehand.
I realized, watching a particularly funny run-through last night, that I don't really care if we get huge audiences (although that would be wonderful) and I don't care if everybody likes it (it's rare that a piece of art that's genuinely interesting is also hugely commercial). Whatever the reaction, I know this is a show that was worth doing, a show that was just waiting for us, a project to be proud of. It's twenty years old, but it's never been produced here before. If not us, then who?
When we did the deeply flawed but hilarious Anyone Can Whistle, people actually thanked us over and over for giving them a chance to see it. The same thing happened with The Nervous Set, Floyd Collins, The Cradle Will Rock, The Robber Bridegroom, High Fidelity... It may happen again with this show...
Part of what our company is about is sharing interesting, exciting work that nobody else will produce. Some of it is flawed and some of it is brilliant. Return to the Forbidden Planet is brilliant. And it's built exactly like a Shakespearean comedy -- and a 1950s science fiction movie! Two genres for the price of one! Luckily for us, Bob Carlton possessed the fearlessness to not only conceive of this crazy concoction but also the wisdom to see its potential and to follow through in writing it. There is so much smart and sly and subtle about this show, a lot of which some folks will probably miss. But I know I'll find new nuances every night sitting up in the booth watching my awesome crew literally throwing themselves around the stage. Hmmmm.... throwing themselves around the stage? Yes, very subtle. God love 'em.
New Line doesn't just produce shows I want to work on. It produces shows we ought to share with St. Louis audiences, to lay before them the full range of this amazing art form of ours. And what self-respecting musical theatre lover wouldn't kill to see a rarely produced gem like Return to the Forbidden Planet? That's who this is for.
Next week is Hell Week! Ack!
Long Live the Musical!