World Premiere of Last Starfighter Musical Opens Storm Theatre's Off-Bway Season Oct. 15-30

News   World Premiere of Last Starfighter Musical Opens Storm Theatre's Off-Bway Season Oct. 15-30 The Last Starfighter, a world premiere science fiction musical inspired by the 1984 screenplay of the motion picture of the same name, opens the 2004-05 season of Off-Broadway's Storm Theatre Oct. 15-30.

The musical marks the return of lyricist-composer Skip Kennon (Herringbone, Time and Again) and draws on the Jonathan Betuel screenplay, about a teen video-game player enlisted to save a universe. Fred Landau penned the libretto. The movie marked the last film appearance of Robert Preston.

Storm artistic director Peter Dobbins will direct a cast that includes Charlie Pollock (Bobby Strong of Urinetown on Broadway), in the lead role of Alex Rogan, plus DeeGee Brandemour, Brad Coolidge, Bernardo De Paula, Jan Leigh Herndon (La Cage aux Folles), Paul Jackel (The Secret Garden), Hugh Brandon Kelly, Joseph Kolinski (Titanic, The Human Comedy), Julia Motyka, Georga Osborne (Meet Me in St. Louis, two-time MAC Award winner), William Parry (Sunday in the Park With George, Assassins), Catherine Remmert, Jonathan Sandler, Heather Spore and Travis Walters (Our Town).

"In a small town nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1983, Alex Rogan is about to discover the adventure of a lifetime," according to production notes. "An 18-year-old with an uncertain future, Alex becomes the master of a video game only to discover that Centauri, a huckster trying to save his vulnerable galaxy and make a little money in the process, put it on Earth as a testing ground. Centauri offers Alex membership in an elite cadre of space pilots charged with protecting the universe. Alex must find a way to reach his potential, while a great danger looms out in space, waiting for him."

Peter Dobbins, artistic director of the Storm Theatre, said that he was attracted to the story's theme that "finding your calling is of importance not only to you but to your entire community."

Librettist Landau told Playbill On-Line, "It is definitely a science fiction story, but what lured me into the world was the humanity in the original screenplay. I'm not generally a sci-fi afficianado, but the story of Jonathan Betuel's screenplay is so much about the relationships, between people on Earth, between humans and aliens, and among the aliens, with the special effects being of much less importance. Of the musical's 12 scenes, only three take place in outer space, and the reactions we've gotten are that so much of the show taking place on Earth makes the story so much more conducive to the musical form than most outer space stories would be." Composer Kennon told Playbill On-Line, "The show takes place in the early 1980s, and the music of the teenagers of the piece is flavored with some pop styles of that era, but the music ranges from anthems to jazz, and even a little bit of the patter song thrown in. Overall, I would have to say it is a genuine book musical, but we do break the fourth wall from time to time."

This Equity showcase staging of The Last Starfighter has choreography and musical staging by Jennifer Paulson Lee. Designers are Todd Ivins (set), E. Shura Pollatsek (costume), Michael Abrams (lighting) and Matthew Given (sound).

Performances will be Mondays through Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM. The Storm Theatre is located at 145 West 46th Street.

Tickets to all performances will be $19 and are available through SmartTix at (212) 868-4444. For group reservations for 10 or more, call (212) 730-3960.

For more information, visit www.stormtheatre.com.