By Lori Perkins
As soon as I learned that this musical was coming to Off-Off-Broadway, I reserved seats, and I was fortunate enough to go to opening night, which was packed, not only with local theatre patrons, but Trekkies in various uniforms (mostly “vintage”) and the producer’s entire family, from parents to kids.
I had no idea what to expect – this could have been cringe-worthy farce or Space Balls/Rocky Horror genius. I am happy to report it was the later.
Everything from the set up, to the fabulous cast, to even the very simple set and costumes, works seamlessly accompanied by clever, creative and genuinely amusing (I laughed out loud a number of times) writing and songs.
Here is the musical’s synopsis from the playbill, “It is 2366, and Data the Android presents his campy musical adaptation of The Wrath of Khan. In this sci-fi send-up, an older Captain Kirk is experiencing a ‘coming of middle age’ story when his nemesis Khan escapes exile and vows revenge. The ensuing cat-and-mouse game sparks an adventure that includes Vulcan tap dancing, Kirk’s long-lost son (a William Shatner impersonator), and of course… mutant space chickens!”
All the actors play multiple roles, but Julian Manjericho, who plays Data, and also Admiral Kirk’s son, Kahn’s son and Scotty’s nephew (yes, this is one of those quick change with wigs actor feats) is just perfect in all his roles, but especially the Data narration. Shyaporn Theerakulstit gives an incredibly nuanced and properly over-the-top performance as Kirk, mimicking Shatner’s Kirkian body language perfectly. Max Nussbaum’s Spock is also on target.
Running for a mere five weeks (so get your tickets NOW!), the musical is performed in a small, old Greenwich Village theatre on MacDougal Street, which gave it the added resonance of a hidden gem theatrical find for me. See it before it moves to Off-Broadway and then gets picked up for an indie film, which hopefully uses the current slate of actors, who are perfect in their parody roles.