The Trail to Oregon!, one of Team StarKid’s latest musicals, debuted on YouTube late last night after running concurrently with Star Wars parody Ani in the summer of 2014. Watch the show now!
Happy Valentine’s Day! We got you… dysentry! Team StarKid have created a unique, nostalgic, choose-your-own adventure experience in The Trail To Oregon!, which blends parody and original comedy in an homage to the classic computer game. The show premiered at Chicago’s Stage 773 on July 3, and ran for five weeks alongside Ani as the major productions of StarKid’s “summer season.”
Oregon! closed on August 10, but after a long wait — Ani aired online last Halloween — Team StarKid have brought the show to YouTube to share with their fanbase. If you missed out on visiting Chicago last summer, watch The Trail to Oregon! here and now!
The Trail to Oregon! stars Jeff Blim, Joey Richter, Corey Dorris, Lauren Lopez, Rachael Soglin and Jaime Lyn Beatty. The book and music (cast album available now on iTunes) were also written by Jeff Blim, who had been developing this play for over eight years. Like Me and My Dick, an earlier StarKid production, The Trail to Oregon! started life as a 24 Hour Theatre project at the University of Michigan, starring Brian Holden in the one-off initial performance. We spoke with Blim last year, while the show was being put into production, about the history of this passion project:
“…it’s actually gone into the woods and back -– it’s now very similar to the original story, which was involving a kid who typed some favorite characters into the game and got sucked back into the Trail. So it’s about a kid who got sucked back into the Trail, the real Trail, who’s a fan of the game, or not a fan of the game. And then crazy things happen, and it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s gone through several drafts and I’ve submitted it to festivals before but we’ve rebooted it recently and it’s been like the project of my 20s.”
The Trail to Oregon! pays tribute to the original Oregon Trail not only in setting but also in style. The live performances were different every night — the audience got to control aspects of the play, from naming the characters onwards, using a ballot system, allowing them an immersive experience similar to the game. Of course, Team StarKid had to pick one of many different versions of Oregon! to film and edit as a concise online video, but there might just be a little opportunity for the viewer to participate in an interactive element of the show just as the live crowds did. Taste is subjective, of course, but we’re already hearing buzz from fans that it’s some of StarKid’s best ever work.
If you’re keen to know more before watching, Hypable staff member Danielle Zimmerman caught The Trail to Oregon! live last summer and shared a review:
“Unlike the majority of the other Team StarKid musicals, the second act of The Trail to Oregon! was undoubtedly the strongest. It definitely evoked the most laughs, most ending with sore abs. The last two scenes of the musical are not to be missed as they were the most side-splittingly hilarious. They both relied on physical gags (one because of dysentery of course) which we’re not normally as impressed by, but these were especially funny.”