For the “Return to the Forbidden Planet” musical spoof, the folks at the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center in Cicero are using a number Chicago media personalities as part of the show. WGN-TV’s Nancy Loo, Patrick Elwood and Ana Belaval, the Trib’s Jenniffer Weigel, CBS-2’s Vince Gerasole, WCIU-TV’s Melissa Forman and yours truly are featured as the “celebrity guest reporter” for the various performances.
Running through April 25 at JPAC’s Central Avenue venue on the campus of Morton College in Cicero, “Return to the Forbidden Planet” marks the Chicago-area premiere of this campy, juke box musical that won the prestigious Olivier Award for best musical when it opened on London’s West End in 1989.
Rarely performed, the science-fiction-inspired creation was originally promoted as “Shakespeare’s forgotten rock ‘n roll musical.” It is loosely based on the 1956 sci-fi classic film “Forbidden Planet,” which in turn was loosely based on William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” The film starred Walter Pidgeon and Anne Francis, but is also notable for Leslie Nielsen’s first starring role in a movie (playing the Captain), and for the creation of the character “Robbie the Robot,” which became the inspiration for the B9 robot in “Lost in Space.”
The JPAC production of “Return to the Forbidden Planet” stars Timothy Sullivan, Michael Kott, Steve Malone, Shana Dagney, Taryn Wood, Jason Williams, Daniel Wilson and Hunter Lindner, and is directed by JPAC’s artistic director Dante J. Orfei.
For ticket information go to jpactheatre.com or call (708) 656-1800.