Singing Dancing Sci-Fi With The Musical Waystation In The Stars

By Saralyn Smith | 9 years ago

Science fiction and musicals may seem like strange bedfellows, but that’s not always so.  Little Shop of Horrors merges a gruesomely hilarious science fiction-horror story of alien invasion-by-house plant with the musical styles of the 1960s.  Toxic Avenger: The Musical is an appropriately ridiculous and totally enjoyable stage show based on a cult Troma film about a New Jersey teen who turns into a grotesque monster after falling into toxic waste.  And, of course, there’s Joss Whedon’s modern classic Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  The Epoch Times recently profiled a new project aiming to make its mark in this weird little world of sci-fi musicals: Brandon Morrissey and his short film “Waystation in the Stars”.

Morrissey says the inspiration for his musical came from scientific experiments being done to cloak time and erase moments in history, causing him to muse sociologically, biologically, and metaphysically on the effects of such technology: “Would a person detached who is detached from time surivive? Where would that person’s consciousness end up? What would the sociological impacts be on the temporal world?”  It also gave him a great excuse to cram a together in an unusual and unsettling environment – in this case, a bar filled with what The Epoch Times describes as “eccentric cosmic outcasts” who have been trapped and express themselves largely through song.

The film’s plot will revolve around Flynn, an amnesiac who wakes up in aforementioned bar o’wackos.  They have all been erased from history and ended up at the titular “Waystation”.  As tends to be the case in musicals, their stories will be revealed through song and dance numbers.  Morrissey is aiming to ground the numbers in character development and the logic of the film’s world, though: “‘The bar is discovered through Flynn’s observations but every character has a reason for being in the situation and a method of coping,” he said. “The song and dance number itself is a method of coping for all of the bar patrons. Being erased from history is a traumatic experience and I think it left them all a little mad!'”

“Waystation to the Stars” is being funded by donations through Kickstarter, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be amateur hour.  Morrissey has managed to pull a number of people with pretty solid credentials for the cast and crew, including a choreographer who has worked on Cats, a “famed fight choreographer”, and Christmas Eve from the national tour of Avenue Q.  And how did he manage to catch these folks?  Morrissey says his pitch did all the work: “‘“Hey! I’m making an existential sci-fi musical dramedy about some people that are marooned in time and space. There’s singing, dancing, drinking, and fighting! Want to come on board?'”

This sounds like it could either be utterly delightful or completely awful.  Either way, I’m kind of looking forward to it.