Truth is stranger than science fiction: New York's Off-Off-Broadway Wings Theatre is currently presenting a musical adaptation of Ray Bradbury's SF classic, Fahrenheit 451, with a book by Bradbury himself. Lyrics for the show are by Georgia Bogardus Holof; music is by David Mettee.
Charles Geyer directs the piece, which was developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, CT, and Indiana's Fort Wayne Music Center. The Wings cast includes Michael Andersson, Jim Andralis, Elizabeth Bianchi, Cathleen Charleson, Kerrin Cuffe, Brad George, Eric Hunsley, Melisa Klausner, Madalyn McKay, Chuck McMahon, David Petrolle, Mike Polenski, Heather Spore, Miles Wallace and Allison Winn. Lighting is by Joseph Thomas; musical staging is by Andrea Andresakis.
Bradbury's book, filmed in 1967 by Francois Truffaut, concerns a modernized but restrictive civilization where all reading material is banned. The main character is a "fireman" whose job is to find and burn all books -- until he stops one day and reads one of them. The significance of 451 degrees fahrenheit? It is temperature at which paper burns.
In 1964, Ray Bradbury founded the Pandemonium Theatre, which has produced his plays The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Falling Upward. David Mettee (composer) and Georgia Bodardus Holof (lyricist) have worked together for more than 10 years. They've contributed songs to A...My Name Is Alice and its sequel, as well as Internal Combustion -- An Auto Biography, which was produced at NY's Musical Theatre Works. Their current project is Taking Care Of Mrs. Carroll, (with a book by Martin Casella), which was stage-read at Chicago's Bailiwick Theatre and is set to receive a full production there in May 1997.
For tickets ($15) and information on Fahrenheit 451 at Wings Theatre on Christopher Street, call (212) 627-2961. -- By David Lefkowitz