KHAN!!! THE MUSICAL!!! (Brent Black): 2019 Fringe review

KHANStar Trek fans and foes alike can find far-out fun in this stellar musical romp written by Brent Black and co-conceived by Dany Roth. Parodying Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek: The Next Generation it is both loving tribute and laugh out loud lampoon. Set in the Starship Enterprise‘s holodeck (virtual reality environment) the entertainment begins with Data (Donovan McDonald) putting together a broadway bit for the benefit of the Klablooien Ambassador (Jamie Talamo), starring of course, Admiral James T. Kirk (Brent Black). Picard (CJ Kish) disapproves, but the show goes on anyway featuring favorites Spock (Chase Byrd), Sulu, Chekov (Clayton Matthews), Uhura (Tiara Greene), Bones, Scotty (Rita Castagna), Saavik of fine voice (Laura Whittenberger), David and assorted “red shirt” roles (Owen Corey) and Khan (belter Bobby Fabulous absolutely owned the role). Although some story facets are wonderfully warped, characters are portrayed spot on, inclusive of ticks and quirks that endear and annoy. 

Brent’s music, lyrics and book reflect the series accurately, however overlaid with humorous allusions, puns, quips, silly yet catchy refrains and cute Genesis chickens (Rachel Drane, Jamie Talamo, Cassie Glinkowski) featured in the tune “When the Chicken’s Come Home to Roost”. During the musical number “Young”, Kirk flashes back to the 60s – the 2260s that is- replete with campy go-go dancing, and revisits his age issues again to the swanky beat of “Have I Still Got the Magic?”. Spock sings out “Spock ba-ba-lo-ba Spock bam-boom” in a couple of songs and does a Vulcan tap dance duet with Kirk in “The Needs of the Many”. “Battleship”, the starship showdown song, playfully incorporates elements of the game Battleship but that’s not all! So much schtick, satire, talent and trivia are thrown into this most enjoyably staged read-through that it would be illogical to miss it. 

Note: No Klingons or tribbles were harmed during this production. On opening night lovely Starfleet Officer Sue offered trekkie outfits to any person willing to cosplay along (took the red shirt…) 

[954 Dance Movement Collective, 954 N 8th Street] September 9–15, 2019; fringearts.com/event/khan-the-musical

 

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About the author

Lisa Panzer

Lisa Panzer has worked for many years in theater not only as an actor, but as a director, dramaturg, technical director, lighting designer, stage crew, and roustabout. A few of her favorite past theatrical roles include: Liz Imbrie in Philadelphia Story, Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, Mrs. Tarpey in Spreading the News, Mollie Ralston in Mousetrap, Trinculo in The Tempest, Bernice Roth in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet. In addition to theatrical endeavors, Mz. Panzer has also worked as a background performer in television’s Cold Case, Invincible, The Happening, several television commercials, and has played various roles in independent films including Project 21 productions and other commercial acting venues. (See http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3355274/ for additonal information).