The Setup: The Martians have landed--on the Frenetic Theater stage!
The Execution: This is an ambitious, at times sparse, true re-imagining of the 1978 concept album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. FrentiCore's production is nothing short of zany. Best described as a dance-centric rock opera extravaganza, The War of the Worlds features very little onstage dialogue and singing, but rather heavily relies on voiceover narration, dance choreography and silent acting to move the production along.
With a minimal set design, panoramic video projections set the tone for each scene. In the first act, we are introduced to the narrator, his love interest, the Martian and the three-legged fighting machines. The Martian, who resembles more of a swamp thing than a little green man, undoubtedly steals the first half of the show with his almost-sexy wiggle dance and orange death ray. Act two opens with the dance of The Red Weed--a noxious Martian plant taking hold on earth. In skintight metallic-red body suits, three dancers excellently interpret this role with the quintessential acro-dance stylings of Rebecca French. With two sizable musical numbers in the second act, we hear strong vocal performances by both Ekanem Ebinne and Robert Thoth.
The Verdict: The mix of science fiction and musical theater, with a dash of Victorian nostalgia and interpretative dance, adds up to a kooky, yet enjoyable, romp to the red planet.
(Through March 6, Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation Blvd, 832-426-4624.)