The Canebrake Players: Return to Forbidden Planet

The Canebrake Players are back with their Summer Musical. August 16th-19th. The theater group’s upcoming production of Bob Carlton’s raucous camp fest, Return to Forbidden Planet, is counting down to launch.Canebrake Return to Forbidden Planet_5487

The production is sure to be out of this world as well as a pop culture delight. The musical is based on a Golden Age of Science Fiction movie Forbidden Planet (1956) which itself was loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Shakespeare in space…does it get any better than that? It sure does.

Captain Tempest and his merry band of space explorers only think they are on a routine surveying mission. There is, however, nothing routine about what they find deep in space. The final frontier holds all sorts of dangers. Yet, no matter how far humanity strays from home…meteor showers, mad scientists, robots and bug-eyed -monsters pale in comparison to human foibles and matters of the heart.

Canebrake Players President Laurie Willingham is serving as director for the show. It’s not her first time in the Canebrake directing chair but it is her first time directing a musical for The Canebrake Players and she’s delighted with the choice of musical.

“We were ready to do something different and out there for The Canebrake Players and Return to Forbidden Planet fits the bill. The audience is going to love it. The music is so fun and we’ve got some exciting things planned.”

Willingham is learning about the challenges of directing a musical. The score arrived not yet polished and putting together a live band for the show.

It’s not just the story line that’s classic, the music is too…classic rock, that is. Propelling the plotline is a musical score straight off a Mid Century juke box.

Under the musical direction of Frank Calloway audiences will be treated to a wide variety of songs from the 1950’s and 60’s. From Great Balls of Fire to The Shoop Shoop Song, Calloway notes of the classics “I grew up with these songs on the radio and even though the songs precede the cast they are all familiar with them.”

With 25 years of musical direction experience (First Baptist Church of Demopolis, First Baptist Church of Butler and Demopolis High School) Calloway knows how music can drive a show, “The songs aren’t just familiar, they add humor to the play and in places are the humor. Even though the cast knows all the songs, it’s a challenge with the speaking parts intertwined.”

Both directors are thrilled with the ensemble cast that draws talent from all over the region not just the City of Demopolis.

Portraying the merry band of space explorers is:

James Robinson – Captain Tempest

James Burden – Cookie

Andi Turberville – Miranda

Laura Clements – Science Officer/Gloria

Patrick George – Prospero

Donna Bishop – Aerial

Katherine Oakes – Bosun

Kelley Mullins – Navigation Officer #1

Bethany Fields – Navigation Officer #2

Susanna Naisbett – Navigation Officer #3

Jennifer Roemen – Navigation Officer #4

Waverly Brace– Ensign #1

Christy George – Ensign #3

Deborah Truelove – Ensign #4

Newscaster – Johnny Johnston

Newscaster – Cyd Boland

Flight Attendant – Donna Hoven

Flight Attendant – Kim Townsend

Performance are set for The Old School On Main Friday August 16th, Saturday August 17th and Monday August 19th show time at 7 pm and Sunday August 18th matinee performance at 2 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for children and toddlers and infants are free.Return to Forbidden Planet_5532