REVIEW: Alien Predator: The Musical @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

Go Fly a Kite’s Alien Predator: The Musical is the story of some mercenaries contracted by a corporate bigwig to go into the jungle after some guerrillas and find something much more dangerous.

Music director, Bryan Cook, talks about why you should see Alien Predator: The Musical.

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Alien Predator: The Musical is clever. It’s witty. And at times brilliantly funny! A doctor is  exploring different vegetation in the Brazillian forests when his team is attacked by an alien predator who systematically kills them. The security team responsible sends in a team of mercenaries to find any survivors and bring them out alive. Well – you know how it goes….

The large cast was having a lot of fun and their high energy translated into the audience having a good time as well. The execution wasn’t flawless. There were a few missteps and not everyone on the cast had the sweetest singing voices – but the shortcomings were easy to ignore in light of the high energy and intensity provided for the hour runtime. Overall the play held itself together.

There was a singular linear and coherent plot – a lot of great songs – and a great alien predator costume. The live music was also set up on stage, which was nice. The man behind the music for Alien Predator: The Musical, Bryan Cook, has a great comedic style and flair which he brings forth in his parody. And let’s be honest, every single person who came into that theatre wasn’t necessarily looking for a show that was going to knock them over sideways and blow their minds. They were looking for a show to entertain them. To make them laugh. To make them smile. And that’s exactly what Alien Predator, in all of it’s campy fun, delivered to earn an enthusiastic three.

What did you think? Did you agree with our rating? What did you love, or not, about this play? And what rating would you have given it. Tell us in the comments below.

Allan’s Followup:

Between the catchy and well-written tunes and the 1,001 pop culture references (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Joss Whedon’s Serenity), Alien Predator: The Musical is a lot of fun. The plot is trite but it’s meant to be given the type of movie it’s parodying. Most of the characters are pretty one-note and while intentional again, depth would have been a nice bonus to an already fun experience -  the military bro-mance bordering on Brokeback proving the point.

There’s campy bloody messy fun and the play takes real advantage of its medium on stage with a few coy breakings of the fourth wall. I really enjoyed the second number “Ash” as well as “Anytime Anywhere” and think Bryan Cook does the music proud. Jonah Lerner, as the fun-loving-ready-to-party Alien Predator (and a couple of other characters) stands out amongst the crowd and helps elevate an otherwise average cast. Mike Kosowon’s scientist is also fun, but again, pretty one-note.

Next to character depth, the only thing that might have taken the play from rollickin’ good fun to off-the-charts-classic is sharper dialogue. While there are definitely good moments, there’s just as much that’s very on the nose and dry. But like Matthew summed up perfectly in his closing, APTM was designed to create a certain experience and it did what it set out to. An entertaining three.

- by Allan Mackey

Kurt’s Followup:

Doctor Spangler, PhD, has been trapped in the Brazilian jungle with a group of blood thirsty guerrillas, so an ambitious CEO hires a team of mercenaries to rescue him. But the rescue quickly goes south when it’s discovered that it’s not guerrillas that are in the jungle, but something far more dangerous. And I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying it’s the Predator.

Alien Predator: The Musical boasts the most blood effects seen so far at the festival and some genuinely silly moments. The show appears to be trying to channel Evil Dead: the Musical, including over the top blood and campy humour. I say trying because the show does make a few missteps.

There are some clever moments here, such as the keyboardist holding up the sign that says “Major Plot Point” when the team mentions that they only have one pilot. The writing varies from scene to scene between great and mediocre, and the songs are good and entertaining as well as funny, but the singing is strained by a lack of polish and of microphones. But ultimately, some of the performances, with a few exceptions, don’t quite rise up to the level of energy that the show needs. One notable exception is Mike Kosowon, who deserves mention because he committed to his performance and dove in with all he had.

How you feel about the show will depend entirely on how you feel about cheese and camp. For any slight misses, the show is still funny and enjoyable, so APTM gets a three.

- by Kurt Shantz

Matthew Champ

About Matthew Champ

Matthew Champ is the lead reviewer for Production Ottawa's review team, Should You See It, making sure that whether it's local theatre or the latest Hollywood blockbuster to hit theatres, you know whether or not it's worth spending your time or money on.

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