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From space to P.C.
A science fiction tale of campy proportions comes to Peninsula College this Valentine’s Day weekend.
“Return to the Forbidden Planet,” the reimagined musical version of the 1956 film “Forbidden Planet” features the same characters from the original film plus a rocking soundtrack of songs from the 1950s and 1960s.
Loosely based on “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare, “Return” runs Feb. 14-16 and Feb. 21-22 at Peninsula College’s Little Theater.
“(It’s) a science fiction musical unlike anything else,” said director Richard Stephens.
All of the characters return like Professor Prospero, Captain Tempest, Ariel the roller skating Robot (substituted for Robby the Robot) and the infamous Id Monster but this time singing and dancing to hits like “Good Vibrations” “Great Balls of Fire” and “The Monster Mash.”
“We very rarely get to do science fiction on stage,” Stephens said. “This show certainly has a long list of technical demands and some serious special effects challenges. That being said, as a designer, how could I pass up the chance to work on making a roller skating robot, a giant tentacle monster to attack the space ship or even design computer consoles for a flying saucer?”
Stephens collaborates again with conductor and vocal director Kristin Quigley Brye for the show along with new and veteran actors. The production is a schoolwide effort as multiple departments are cooperating, said theater program chairman Lara Starcevich, with help from the facilities, musical and IT departments and professors like Mark Valentine, an English instructor, who takes on a role. The college’s media program is producing a special video food for the show as well.
“Everyday it seems, we add another component from the college to our show. As a teacher and faculty member, that absolutely thrills me,” Starcevich said.
Anna Unger serves as choreographer with a variety of styles like jive, swing, country line dancing, Zombie Shuffle, and of course a jazz dance duet with a roller skating robot.