Released online as something of a prologue to a show programmed in the new season at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, It Came From Outer Space, is this quirky musical piece which is designed as part documentary, part sci-fi, part film fanfic.
Created by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, and edited by created and edited by Daniel Schloss, this serves as both an introduction to the full musical and as an amusing showpiece of its own.
The songs sound great, even if it is so long since I saw the classic film I can’t say for certain whether it captures its atmosphere and style. I’m confident that its comic book visuals and amusing cameos are on point.
If you love the black and white horror films of the 1950s, you’ll like the affectionate send-up of archetypical characters of the genre (and of, fleetingly, Rocky Horror which of course lampooned them itself).
Aliens get sent up mercilessly, and there are puppets, which is always a plus whenever they appear (something to do with the Muppet factor!). Also getting a knowing jostle are the singing cowboy and hayseed genres which were popular at the same time.
The cast – Christopher Kale Jones as John (the scientist), Jaye Ladymore as Ellen (the wife), Alex Goodrich as Matt (the other man), E Faye Butler as Coral (the local barfly), Cher Álvarez as Sunny, and Joe Kinosian as the others (a scene-stealer if ever there was one), are all on top form – Butler even performs a trio with herself!
As this is a digital production, John and Ellen of course, have an excruciating interview on Zoom which doesn’t go quiet to plan! It’s all very relatable, aside from the radiation and alien doubles.
Streaming through 20 June 2021, It Came From Outer Space can be rented at https://www.chicagoshakes.com/plays_and_events/explore_season/we_are_out_there.
If you access during May, use the promo code ALIEN to see the show for free. Otherwise rental fee is $25.