Patrick Page, Steven Boyer, and Mary Testa Set for Return to the Forbidden Planet Benefit Concert

Cabaret & Concert News   Patrick Page, Steven Boyer, and Mary Testa Set for Return to the Forbidden Planet Benefit Concert
Original New York cast member Gabriel Barre will direct Red Bull Theater’s one-night-only benefit concert of the Shakespearean sci-fi musical.
Patrick Page Marc J. Franklin

Red Bull Theater will stage a one-night-only benefit concert of Return to the Forbidden Planet, the 1989 jukebox musical that reimagined The Tempest as a sci-fi space adventure. The benefit will take pace October 21 at 7:30 PM at Symphony Space.

The cast will be led by Steven Boyer (Hand to God), Kim Exum (The Book of Mormon), Mary Testa (Oklahoma!), Jo Lampert (Joan of Arc: Into the Fire), and Patrick Page (Hadestown), with special appearances by F. Murray Abraham, Derrick Baskin, Bryan Batt, Emily Bergl, Arnie Burton, Veanne Cox, Robert Cuccioli, Paige Davis, Chad Kimball, Laila Robins, Derek Smith, Emily Swallow, and Marc Vietor.

Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson will also make an appearance.

Using rock songs from the 1950s and ’60s, including “Great Balls of Fire,” “Shake Rattle and Roll,” “The Monster Mash,” and “Good Vibrations,” Return to the Forbidden Planet won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical of the 1989–1990 season, beating out Miss Saigon. A New York production premiered at the Variety Arts Theater Off-Broadway in 1991 to a less favorable response.

The Red Bull Theater benefit concert marks the first time Return to the Forbidden Planet has been mounted in New York since the original production closed in 1992. Gabriel Barre, an original cast member in the 1991-1992 Off-Broadway run, will direct the concert staging.

Return to Forbidden Planet will feature Greg Pliska leading a five-piece band, with choreography by Tracy Bersley, costume design by Heather Jackson, projection design by Joshua Thorson, sound design by Patrick LaChanze, and lighting design by Paul Hudson.

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