StarKid’s Summer Season will welcome the return of many original Team StarKid cast members for the group’s two new musicals, The Trail to Oregon! and Ani: A Parody.
Team StarKid founders, Brian Holden and Nick Lang, hosted a Google Hangout livestream this weekend to reveal details for their new productions. The group are hoping to use their unprecedented Summer Season plans to create a “blowout summer” experience, featuring a six-week concurrent run of two new musicals – Ani: A Parody, a Star Wars musical with book by Nick and Matt Lang and music by TalkFine, and The Trail to Oregon!, with concept, book and music by Jeff Blim with additional writing by Nick and Matt Lang – as well as a lot of special smaller late-night events.
Some of the most exciting news includes the casting for both musicals. Ani’s full cast will include Julia Albain, Chris Allen, Denise Donovan, Eric Kahn Gale, Brian Holden, Nick Lang, Joe Moses, Meredith Stepien and Joe Walker, and The Trail to Oregon! will feature Jaime Lyn Beatty, Jeff Blim, Lauren Lopez, Joey Richter and Rachael Soglin. Original leading StarKid cast members Joey Richter and Joe Moses will be returning to Chicago for roles in the new shows – while both of the A Very Potter Musical alums appeared in the one-off event of 2012’s A Very Potter Senior Year, neither has been involved in the full run of a StarKid musical since Starship in early 2011.
During the livestream, a few tidbits were dropped about each of the new musicals: Ani, which creator Nick Lang dubbed a “cute” show, may not be what people would generally expect when thinking of a Star Wars parody. It will take place between the two existing Star Wars trilogies, in the lead-up to Episode IV: A New Hope, and the music – written by TalkFine, the pop band featuring StarKid bandleader and composer Clark Baxtresser – will have a very specific and unique sound.
The Trail to Oregon! will undertake a new level of experimentation and risk for StarKid, with no two performances guaranteed to be the same. Based on the Oregon Trail computer game not only in plot, The Trail to Oregon! will be an interactive experience, where the audience will be able to dictate the direction the musical takes, including the names of the characters, the decisions they make, and even the end result of the show. The group do plan to put Oregon!, like all their other musicals, on YouTube, but what the internet ends up seeing will be just one of many versions – whatever direction the show happens to take on the filming night!
Team StarKid will be taking up residency in Stage 773’s Pro Theatre for the whole six week period, using the venue to perform both musicals as well as a variety of late night events from the StarKid cast and friends, including music, sketch and improv comedy, stand-up and short plays. Season passes for the Summer Season, which went onsale this weekend at a reduced price of $65, include a ticket to both musicals and an exclusive signed poster and will also allow fans to get a backstage tour of the Pro Theatre by some of the StarKid cast or crew. The late night events will have a separate admission cost, though some are promised to be free of cost. Individual tickets to each musical may be made available at a later date.
If you missed the Google Hangout, Team StarKid also uploaded an official announcement video to their YouTube channel. This clip, featuring Oregon! creator Jeff Blim, summarizes the casting news and the ticket-booking process for season pass holders.
Speaking with Hypable last month at “StarKid Takes Manhattan,” Brian Holden told us about the “fun, summer camp feel” that the group hopes to offer anyone coming into town to see their summer season, and also about the mammoth task that’s ahead of the team as they prepare to run two musicals at the same time, admitting “I don’t think that we appreciate how big of a challenge it’s going to be yet.” Read our full interview about StarKid’s five-year anniversary celebrations and the upcoming musicals here.
Have you booked your tickets to StarKid’s Summer Season yet? Which new musical are you most excited for?