May 21, 2012

Aliens: The Puppet Musical

UPDATES: Wow, we've been slammed with a ton of publicity and press lately. Here is the latest:

I have been featured in the "Scene in SLC" section of local entertainment publication Now Salt Lake.

Director Tobin Atkinson and Puppeteer Josh Thoemke were featured on KCPW this morning.

Nerd blogs io9, Nerd Bastards, and The Mary Sue, have all featured us as well!

Also, be sure to follow my twitter @GangasCon and keep an eye out for #aliensthepuppetmusical

Back in March I auditioned for what seemed like it could be the greatest thing ever to happen to theatre in Salt Lake City ever. Meat & Potato Theatre Company's Aliens: The Puppet Musical. I was inspired to audition following the production of my own Sci-Fi puppet show, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of: The War of the Worlds. Clearly this sort of thing was my bag!

I waited for nine months for the auditions to be announced and made special plans to audition as soon as they were scheduled. I was required to sing, perform a monologue and perform the same monologue with a puppet. I was lucky enough to be working at the Natural History Museum of Utah by the time auditions happened and borrowed a grizzly bear puppet from one of our learning labs. I named him Murray and the two of us "nailed the audition" according to Director Tobin Atkinson.

I was absolutely elated when I heard that I was hired. Not only was I super excited about the material, but this marks my first professional (semi-pro?) production since I understudied some lost boys in PTC's Peter Pan in the 8th grade. I also get the chance to play a few iconic characters in puppet form, including; John Connor, Hermes (from Futurama), Riddick and a few others I don't want to mention in order to preserve the surprise.

Rehearsals have been really excellent. The show contains 8 original songs from composer Rob Hartmann and the script is so full of nerdy sci-fi jokes I'm on Cloud 9 just listening to it! Musical Theatre has always been an exercise in multitasking but now I'm forced to bring a puppet to life in the process! Needless to say it's been quite the learning curve but it's a wonderful challenge and very rewarding in the end.

Publicity for this show has exploded recently and I made a shameless plug during my interview with In This Week in this week's "Scene in SLC" section. Keep an eye out for me on May 24!

Aliens: The Puppet Musical opens May 24th and runs through June 10th in the Studio Theater at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Showtime is 8pm with 2pm matinees on the weekends. Tickets are available through Arttix.

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