We Did the Monster Mash!

Opening weekend went great! Terrific crowds and the show was tight and funny and focused like a laser. This is a hell of a cast and they are in complete control of this wacky freight train of a show. Judging by the audience reaction, I think word-of-mouth is going to be really good.

Sometimes people ask me the secret of how New Line gets so much press -- a little bit of national press now and then, but a ton of local press. I tell them it's very simple -- it has to be news. It has to be something worth writing about, something new. Nobody wants to write about another production of Hello, Dolly!, no matter how great it might be.

But New Line offers the press juicy stuff like Johnny Appleweed, the stoner political satire. And the outrageous social satire of Bat Boy and Urinetown. And a new musical about Rush Limbaugh. And, of course, the science-fiction-rock-and-roll-Shakespearean Return to the Forbidden Planet. We offer them a lot to write about.

Case in point: In today's Post-Dispatch, Judy Newmark has written a very cool article comparing The Tempest to the film Forbidden Planet to the musical Return to the Forbidden Planet. It's a really smart, really interesting peek into what makes this story in its various versions tick.

And it's the best present Judy could have given us! While we usually get Judy's review in the Sunday Post, this time she came to the show Saturday night, so her review won't make it into the Sunday paper. Instead we get this excellent preview piece, which in a lot of ways is even better. It's longer than a review and has accompanying pictures in the print edition. Plus, a day or so later, well get our review. (I'm told she was laughing a lot at the show, so hopefully she'll give us a nice review.)

Paul Friswold at The Riverfront Times also did a very smart, short preview piece, which perfectly captures the kind of show this is. He was at the show Friday, so I assume we'll have that review this week as well.

It's been a tiring week, but I feel so great about this show. It's so smart and also so silly. And somehow, strangely involving. You really get caught up with these crazy characters, very much like Little Shop of Horrors and Bat Boy. This cast is at the top of their game and I think they're all having an absolute blast, and so, the audience is too. That's the real magic of theatre.

Three more weeks! What a ride.

Long Live the Musical!