There are a lot of fantastic movies and plays that have already been or have the potential to be turned into musicals. Most of these had that spark, that element to make one think, “Gee, that would make a great musical!”
TCNJ Musical Theater (TMT) is daring the world to respond to its newest project: the insanity and absolute creativity that is “Star Wars! The Musical.”
“We were asked to do it for another school, but that didn’t pan out so . we’re doing it here,” John Fischer, College alumnus and co-writer of “Star Wars! The Musical,” said when asked why he and his partners chose “Star Wars.”
“It was a creative outlet,” Dave Breidenstine, a co-writer and senior from Temple University, added.
On Friday, Nov. 16, TMT presented a reading of the recently completed musical. Despite the play’s length (the audience was asked to complete a survey to help cut parts they didn’t like) it was amazing how practically every other word had the audience in hysterics.
The ridiculous dialogue riffed on the amount of time that has passed since the original movies were made, featuring lines like: “If we’re so technologically advanced, why do we have to go to a bar to find a pilot? Can’t we just do a Google search?”
The play also pokes fun at how some of the original plot line was just a bit out there.
“So they’re going to capture Leia to get to Han who’ll try to rescue her to capture him to get to me who’ll try to rescue him to capture me? Doesn’t that seem a bit roundabout to you?” asks Luke Skywalker.
It’s true: George Lucas’ classic films were just asking to be parodied and the writers and TMT have answered.
“We milked it for whatever comedic value there was,” Sean Eisenhauer, the third and final co-writer, said. And it was surprising just how much comedy was to be found.
“Luke has a run in with the Sand People and I thought, well, ‘Sandlot.’ Why not have them come in on bikes with varsity jackets? We parodied everything we could,” Eisenhauer added.
It should be noted that none of the songs in the play are originals. They’re all famous Broadway or movie tunes reworked to fit the intergalactic space odyssey and parodied within an inch of their life. The writers borrowed shamelessly from such classics as “Grease,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Aladdin,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Toy Story,” “The Producers,” “Rent” and even “High School Musical.”
As TMT embarks on this journey to cast, rehearse, produce and eventually perform “Star Wars! The Musical,” which is likely to run from March 27- 30, 2008, there’s only one thing to be said: may the force be with them.