He’s been the subject of folk tales for centuries and he’s been in the movies for decades, he's even battled pranksters in beef jerky commercials, but now Bigfoot is taking his act to the stage and leaving audiences as the ones howling with his show-stoppingly golden singing voice in Sasquatched! The Musical.
Sasquatched! The Musical makes its world premiere Tuesday, July 9, and concludes after four more performances July 14, at the 2013 New York Musical Theater Festival.
The musical is about a sasquatch named Arthur who gets lost in Columbia National Park and befriends a young boy named Sam. The pair then encounter oddball locals, dodge a TV crew on the hunt for Bigfoot, and bust out into songs to help move the story along.
While the debut of the musical is in New York, theater companies around the United States are already expressing interest in doing their own productions of Sasquatched!. In other words, Bigfoot might one day be crooning on a stage in your town.
We dropped Phil Darg, writer of Sasquatched! The Musical, a few questions about the show via email, and here’s what he had to say:
Why did you choose to use a Sasquatch as one of the main characters in the story?
Darg: There seems to be a fascination with this topic in recent years; I also thought that it was a great unconventional tie-in to a musical, and an original approach to creating a musical which would have enormous popular appeal.
Could you elaborate on the role Arthur plays in the story?
Darg: Arthur is a most unexpected character: he is an intelligent, talking Sasquatch who behaves in a dignified and gentle manner; it’s the humans around him who are the ones acting irrational (making the point that humans are not as rational as they sometimes think they are). Arthur gets lost in the forests of Columbia National Park, befriends a young boy, and then eludes the quirky humans who are trying to hunt him down.
Does Arthur sing and dance in this production?
Darg: Yes – indeed Arthur does sing. However, his songs are dignified and are not extreme in terms of their style (i.e., not really “show tunes” and not really rock).
Are you a Bigfoot enthusiast? Do you watch TV shows about Bigfoot, read about it, or maybe go "Squatchin’,” in your free time?
Darg: I find the topic interesting – but don’t spend a lot of time examining it. The TV show portrayed in the musical is NOT based on any existing TV show. In fact, it was only AFTER I wrote the show that I discovered that there were so many investigative TV shows that did things like this (i.e., search for Bigfoot).
What are your thoughts on the existence of Sasquatch? Believe or not?
Darg: Ah, just like the existence of Bigfoot, this question remains a mystery – although I will state that my wife and I got lost on the slopes of Mount Rainier back in 2002, and we encountered a large hairy creature who turned out to be surprisingly friendly. ;)
More Weird Musicals to Behold
While Sasquatched! The Musical might be the first Bigfoot-themed musical, it’s certainly not the first off-beat production dealing with aliens, creatures, or other supernatural beings. Here are a few other musicals with unusual themes:
(Clips are music only for quality purposes)
Via Galactica (Premiered in 1972)
Billed as Broadway’s only trampoline musical, Via Galactica is also known as one of the first musicals to lose a cool million dollars during it’s short-lived run. The story is about a colony of inhabitants living on an asteroid in 2972. The space-themed production was universally panned, despite acting great Raul Julia being a cast member, but the soundtrack has developed somewhat of a fanbase over the years. The composer of the music was Galt MacDermot, who is best known for doing the music for the highly successful counter-culture musical, Hair. The story was written by Christopher Gore and Judith Ross.
Via Galactica, Title Song
Evil Dead: The Musical (Premiered in 2003)
Evil Dead has been one of horror’s most popular cult films in cinema history, but who would have imagined someone would take the story and turn it into a Broadway-style musical? The story is about a group of young people who head to a remote cabin for some rest and relaxation, but instead encounter haunted trees, a talking moose head, and then possessions and zombification afflict them one by one. The story also hinges upon a book called The Necronomicon, a fictional book brought to the literary world by science-fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft who alleged it was written by the “Mad Arab” Abdul Alhazred. Productions of Evil Dead: The Musical are usually accompanied by a “Splatter Zone” where audience members are guaranteed to be hit with blood spray. Evil Dead: The musical was written by George Reinblatt, who now writes for The Burn with Jeff Ross on Comedy Central. (I’ve personally seen a production of this, and can’t recommend it enough.)
Do the Necronomicon
Bat Boy: The Musical (Premiered in 1997)
The folks at Weekly World News were the wizards of the grocery store, checkout line tabloid scene for many years, and one of their most popular stories was of a half-bat, half-boy creature who escaped from a scientific laboratory in West Virginia. In Bat Boy: The Musical, he’s found in a cave by a small group of young partiers just out to have a good time. As the story unfolds, some want him dead, some want to adopt him, and others learn they have an even deeper connection with the mysterious being. This story gets very twisted as it reaches its climax. Bat Boy: The Musical was written by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming. Phil Darg, writer of Sasquatched! The Musical, claims this is one of the inspirations for his singing Bigfoot production. (I can say from experience, it’s hard to leave Bat Boy: The Musical and not have, “Hold me Bat Boy, touch me Bat Boy,” playing over and over in your head.)
Hold Me, Bat Boy
Rocky Horror Picture Show (Premiered in 1975)
Perhaps the most famous off-beat musical ever produced, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of those works nearly every community theater attempts to put on at least once. Presuming most people have at least seen the film, I’ll leave the plot synopsis vague, but it’s about a young couple who encounters a house full of freaks. As the plot gets more twisted, we learn several of those freaks are actually aliens from outer space who aren’t afraid to wave around a ray gun and issue threats to those around them. It was written by Jim Sharman and Richard O’Brien.
I’m Going Home