NYMF and Not Too Fancy Productions LLC present the new show, based on a concept by Ben Budick with music by Dave Ogrin, lyrics by Ben Budick, Steve Mackes and Dave Ogrin and a book by Steve Mackes.
According to the creators, "The original '60s-inspired rock musical follows the sci-fi adventures of two lost astronauts and their sensitive, under-appreciated robot who crash land on a mysterious planet of sexy, beautiful, powerful women. In this true original that boldly goes where no musical comedy has gone before, youth, lust, idealism, true love, revolution and even snack food triumph over warped authority."
Performances play at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre, 410 W. 42nd Street.
"In developing Wild Women of Planet Wongo, and having seen it presented in a variety of settings, one important thing that I, and my co-authors, learned is that the musical connects with a broad audience—men and women, young and old, adults and kids," book writer and co-lyricist Mackes told Playbill.com. "Parents have brought their young children to see the show and the kids love it, which at first I found surprising because there's a lot of innuendo, but it's presented in a kind of innocent way, so it goes over the heads of youngsters while the adults get it. That's just one example of how the show works on many levels. Though Wongo is certainly a fun, entertaining musical romp, there is a real story here and real characters that people can care about. There's also a lot of high-energy comedy, a fractured fairy tale-like love story, a mother/daughter conflict, a rejected/dejected robot…and so much more. And though Wongo references many things from the '60s and American culture and entertainment in general, the spin that those references are given is entirely fresh and original."
* Wild Women of Planet Wongo won the 2005 National Music Theater Network's Directors Choice Award. For it, a panel a professionals (led by co-guest artistic directors Patricia Birch and Kathleen Marshall) evaluated 125 scripts and selected three to be recipients of the 2005 Directors' Choice Award. NMTN is the parent organization of NYMF.
As an official Next Link selection of NYMF (the jury-selected series of the festival), Wongo was chosen from over 400 submissions.
The DCA winners each receive a cash grant of $2,000 and are invited to participate in NMTN's new BroadwayUSA! program of regional musical theatre festivals.
Wild Women of Planet Wongo was first workshopped in 2002 as part of the University of Michigan's New Works Festival. Wongo also won Best Musical in the Chameleon Circle Theatre Contest, was a finalist in the 2003 Richard Rodgers Awards, received a concert reading at New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre and had its first full production at the NKU YES Festival in Cincinnati.
Director Doug Moser recently directed Danger: People at Large, three one-acts by Fred Stroppel starring Jack Klugman, Brett Somers and James Noble.
The cast of Wild Women of Planet Wongo includes Heath Calvert (Good Vibrations) as Captain Ric, Daniel C. Levine (The Rocky Horror Show, Mamma Mia!) as the robot Hermie, Max Perlman (Kiss Me, Kate) as Ric's sidekick Louie.
Alicia Irving (Les Miserables) plays the evil Queen Rita with Natalie Silverlieb (Tarzan) as her daughter Princess Belinda.
The wild women of Planet Wongo are played by Tracy Jai Edwards (Amber in Hairspray), Beth Curry (Good Vibrations), Lauren Lebowitz (Vagina Monologues, NRaca (Hairspray) and Jessica Barbick (Pittsburgh CLO).
The musical director for Planet Wongo is Eugene Gwozdz (Thrill Me), with choreography by Ginger Thatcher, production design by Andrew Rubenoff, costumes by Marie Anne Chiment, lighting by Herrick Goldman, wig design by Jon Jordan and sound by Jeremy J. Lee. The stage manager is Christine Lemme.
The performance schedule for Wild Women of Planet Wongo at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre is Sept. 13 at 8 PM, Sept. 16 at 4:30 PM, Sept. 18 at 8 PM, Sept. 19 at 8 PM, Sept. 23 at 8 PM, Sept. 24 at 1 PM, Sept. 25 at 4:30 PM.
Tickets are $15 and are available via www.nymf.org or at (212) 352-3101 or toll free at (866) 811-4111.
For more information visit www.planetwongo.com.
Dedicated to discovering new work and new artists, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (Sept. 12-Oct. 2) "celebrates the diversity, creativity, and future of musical theatre." NYMF is a flagship program of the National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and is billed as America's largest annual musical theatre event.