A cast of student actors and crew at East Carolina University is performing a Shakespeare revue and spoof, a jukebox musical cabaret, a science fiction play and a rock concert from Feb. 27-March 4. And that’s all in one show.
“Return to the Forbidden Planet,” opening this week in McGinnis Theatre, is based very loosely on the plot of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” But Director Robert Caprio, a professor in the School of Theatre and Dance, said the musical play travels light years beyond that work for inspiration.
“(Writer Bob) Carlton gleaned his dialogue from 16 Shakespeare plays, two Shakespeare sonnets and one line from Marlowe’s ‘Doctor Faustus’…to create such intergalactic Bard-like gems as: ‘But soft! What light from yonder air lock breaks?’
The many musical numbers will also ring familiar to audiences. The mad scientist Dr. Prospero is blasted into space to the music of "Wipe Out" with his wife "G-L-O-R-I-A" and infant daughter, Miranda. They land on the uncharted Planet D'Illyria.
Fifteen years later, Miranda has become a moody teenager – “Why Must I be a Teenager in Love?" she laments tunefully – when a routine survey flight lands nearby. While the crew bemoans their predicament in “Only the Lonely,” space creatures attack. It’s a regular “Monster Mash.”
Other scenes are set to “Great Balls of Fire,” “Good Vibrations,” “Born to Be Wild” and “Oh, Pretty Woman.”
“Return to the Forbidden Planet” runs nightly at 8 p.m. through Tuesday, March 4 except on Sunday. A matinee is set Sunday for 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for students/youth and $15 for the general public. For more information, visit www.ecuarts.com or call 1-800-ECU-ARTS.
The School of Theatre and Dance strives to give students professional training through the ECU/Loessin Playhouse and to offer professional quality theatrical production for the university community and eastern North Carolina.