Hello again! Back from CaliFur in Southern California. And speaking of that…
We’ve mentioned before Fursona Non Grata, the new furry-themed play written by Jeff Goode (creator of American Dragon: Jake Long and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues). In case you need a recap: A young woman has been raised by furry fans. One day, she brings home her fiancee’ to meet the family… As it turns out, Jeff and the Sky Pilot Theater Company staged a readers’ theater version of Fursona Non Grata at CaliFur this year — to laughter, thunderous applause, and a standing ovation. The producers of Fursona announced that for the actual on-stage production of the play (scheduled for next year) they are looking to have some actual high-quality fur-suits constructed… and that costs money. So, they have started up an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. Check it out here to find out more about what they need. And keep your eyes on InFurNation to find out when the play will premier!
ZooZoo is a 55-minute performance comprised of a series of short, silent theatre pieces, each from four to seven minutes in length. The cast of five play animals ranging from fireflies to hippos, in skits that include penguins playing musical chairs, and anteaters dressed as waiters. As the promotional video shows, there is quite a bit of audience interaction:
Having completed most of their tour already, the production appears in Ithaca, New York on Friday, April 12, and then moves on to Cleveland, Ohio (May 7-11) and St. Albert, Alberta (May 28-June 1).
Pullman's 1999 book opens with elderly couple Bob and Joan answering a knock at their door, and finding a boy in a tattered page's uniform. When asked who he is, the boy can only tell them, "I was a rat". Having no children of their own, Bob and Joan take the boy in and name him Roger. They soon find he has distinctly ratty behaviour - he cannot eat with a spoon and, on his first night, chews his bed linen to shreds.
Bob and Joan attempt to find Roger's parents, but find the authorities disinterested and unhelpful. After Roger runs away during an examination by the Philosopher Royal, he gets exploited as a sideshow freak, used as an assistant to house-breaking, and eventually takes refuge in the sewers. With the local newspaper The Scourge feeding the hysteria, he is eventually caught and, as "the monster of the sewers", put on trial for his life.
I recently attended a performance at the Liverpool Playhouse. The stage play follows the book fairly faithfully; it was extremely well done, and I had so much fun watching it that I returned to catch it a second time before the production moved on to their next venue.
Taking a break from matter of Further Confusion for something a bit more unique: A new entry in the slowly-growing pantheon of anthropomorphic live theater. Triassic Parq recently won the Best Musical Award at the Fringe NYC theater festival. Written and directed by Marshall Pailet (with help from Bryce Norbitz and Stephen Wargo), it’s described like this: “… a hilariously inventive and decidedly adult take on the Spielberg blockbuster — as told from the point-of-view of the captive dinosaurs. With plenty of goats around to eat, this tribe of non-breeders is pretty satisfied with life. But when a T. rex suddenly sprouts the male sex organ and falls in love, the dinos’ entire belief system comes into question, evolving into a battle between the Velociraptors of Faith and Science. Narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman (played by Camryn Zelinger), Triassic Parq is a true thrill ride 200 million years in the making, filled with singing, dancing and a wide variety of reptilian hook-ups.” You heard it here. Keep an eye out for a traveling company performing Triassic Parq near you. If you’re currently near Southern California, Chance Theater in Anaheim Hills is performing the play from now until late February. Check out their web site .
The Cartoon Brew reports that at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, July 27, at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club in North Hollywood, voice actor Rob Paulsen who played Yakko on the Spielberg/WB animated TV series Animaniacs, and composer Randy Rogel who wrote the songs, will present a 1 ½-hour live medly of Animaniacs songs, including their most popular numbers plus others that were cut from the TV cartoons, for a live podcast. Age limit: 18 and over. Tickets are $20. At Universal City Walk, 1000 Universal Studios Boulevard, unit #222, Universal City, CA 91608; (818) 824-6545.
Paulsen was also Dr. Scratchansniff and Pinky of Pinky and the Brain on Animaniacs, several characters on Tiny Toon Adventures, and many roles going back to Raphael of the original 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV cartoons. If you are in the Los Angeles area, this is a rare chance to see the man who has brought many of TV’s and motion pictures’ anthropomorphic characters over the last thirty years to life.
Jeff Goode is the creator of American Dragon: Jake Long for the Disney Channel. Previous to that he was well-known as a playwright, responsible for such works as The Eight: Reindeer Monologues. He has also been a Guest of Honor at several furry fandom conventions. Combine all those facts and you might just have an explanation for his latest work for the stage, Fursona Non Grata. Here’s what the press release says: “A young woman raised furry brings her mundane fiancé home for the holidays to meet her family for the first time. Fur-larity ensues. Screenwriter and playwright Jeff Goode, the creator of Disney’s American Dragon: Jake Long and the author of The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is developing a new stage play for SkyPilot Theatre Company in Los Angeles, inspired in part by his misadventures as a GoH at Califur, Rocket City Furmeet and Oklacon. The original comedy Fursona Non Grata will have its first public reading on: Sunday, June 17 @ 3:00 p.m. at the Sherry Theater, 11052 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA. Admission is Free!
Now the story is being adapted for the stage.
This week, stage plays with anthropomorphic animals are being performed on both sides of the Atlantic.
An adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is being presented at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, Ireland. The classic tale of man-cub Mowgli's adventures amongst the denizens of the jungle is brought to life with actors in animal roles wearing minimalist animal costumes.
Meanwhile, in Decatur, Georgia, USA, the PushPush Theatre company is presenting The Squirrel Trap. In this play, office drudge Gil finds his attic is inhabited by a talking squirrel – who readily dispenses advice on personal relationships. The role is played by a bearded actor in ordinary clothes with the addition of a large bushy tail.
This Thursday (July 21) sees the final performance of Squirrel, or The Origin of a Species, playing in the Redrum theater at Fort Fringe in Washington D.C., USA
The play is presented as a series of skits, jumping about about in time and setting but roughly following Darwin's life between his voyage on the HMS Beagle and his writing On the Origin of Species. Bustamante brings the Squirrel to life with only a grey hat with ear flaps, and his own squirrelly movements.
When the heir to the Yummy Pussy cat toy company fortune is kidnapped, her stepmother, Mrs. La Prix, hires a Private Jane to solve the mystery. One P.I. Martel and her boy Friday go undercover and infiltrate the secret nightclub, "The Fur Pile".
Explore the seedy underbelly of the world of ..."furries"?!?
The show plays Friday 11th (8 & 10PM), Saturday 12th (8 & 10PM) and Monday 14th (8PM) at 2509 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125. Tickets are $15 online, or $18 at the door.
Yiff!, the new British musical hoping to take London for a fuzzy whirlwind ride has updated it's cast and crew last January for it's latest showcase reading at the Kingshead Theatre. New characters include Samba - a lion cub, ishi_qweek - a dolphin, and Robodog who's... well, a robot dog. New songs range from the mundane to the rude ("The Ultimate Yiff" a good example.) Videos of both stage readings to date can be found on Tim Saward's YouTube channel. yiff.org.uk
Ursa Major Awards
The Ursa Major Awards - an annual award given for work in the anthropomorphic fandoms - has opened for final voting to decide the 2007 winners! Those up to grab the award include mass media and fandom regulars fighting side by side. Those to look out for include Ratatouille, Doctor Who, Blotch, Lackadaisy, Newshounds and Ozy & Millie.
Steven Ross Gerber, the legendary Marvel comic writer best known for creating Howard the Duck and more recently Stewart the Rat, has passed away in hospital while awaiting a transplant for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Sources say he continued to work until he died on February 10th, 2008 - aged 60.
Be careful what you report on. UK reporter Amanda Dale started by going to report on the production of a Christmas theater production, and ended up as Maria the Palace Cat, a specialy written part added on to the traditional Puss in Boots. Though disapointed that her fursuit costume was so 'respectable', she noted that there was "nothing to make you feel more alive than taking part in live theatre".