Scene One Theatre's next show is something not often seen at the community black box theater — a musical.
Starting Sept. 5, Scene One will present "The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!" which is a five-act play that parodies popular musical theater.
Director Natalie Eickhoff said the show will include five acts that are different versions of the same basic plot: The ingenue who can't pay her rent is threatened by her evil landlord and a handsome leading man may come to the rescue. Each act will take on the plot differently, influenced by the composers and musical theater giants that are being parodied.
The show will include the styles of Rodgers and Hammerstein, with the story set in Kansas in August; Stephen Sondheim, where the story takes a violent turn; Jerry Herman, with more of a splashy star vibe; Andrew Lloyd Webber, where the story is turned into a rock musical; and John Kander and Fred Ebb, with the story set in a Chicago speakeasy.
"It's super funny," Eickhoff said. "Anyone who is familiar with musicals is going to absolutely love it. Whether you love or you hate those composers, it's going to be funny to you. It's respectfully making fun of them."
Musicals aren't the usual fare at Scene One Theatre. In fact, Eickhoff said in the history of the theater, which was founded in 2002 (though a venue wasn't secured until 2005), this is only the fourth musical they've taken on. But it's something Eickhoff has been pushing them to do for about 10 years, which is when she first saw the show herself and fell in love.
"I have been asking (Scene One President) Mark Wegman for the past 10 years to do the show," she said with a laugh. "I'm really excited about it."
Eickhoff said she's essentially been preparing for this for 10 years — she's ready, but the cast has only been rehearsing for about two months. She said the cast for this show is incredibly strong, with two Jefferson City residents, one from Columbia, one from Sedalia and one who is traveling to rehearsals and performances from Springfield. A couple of the actors cast are also actively involved in other shows, which has complicated rehearsals. Eickhoff said this week was actually the first rehearsal where all the actors were present, but she's really not concerned. She said she cast who she considered to be the best of the best.
"It's a super strong cast," Eickhoff said.
With the variety of styles and different versions of the storyline, Eickhoff said everyone in attendance will surely find something they enjoy.
"We're really putting on five shows in one time frame," she said. "There's something for everyone."
Because of the variety, Eickhoff said Scene One needed some help with costumes and props. Luckily, Mid-Missouri's thriving theater community stepped up to help, including Capital City Productions and Helias Catholic High School.
"I just think that's really cool that we have the entire theater community really helping me out here," Eickhoff said. "I'm just really grateful to everyone at those theaters."
With Scene One being a black box theater, which is meant to be a space where distractions are minimized to allow audiences to be fully immersed in the show itself, Eickhoff said the sets and costumes are being modified to match. The actors will be dressed mostly in black, with a few accents pieces to portray a character.
"We're doing it in true black box form," she said. "I encourage everyone to come see it. It's going to be a great production and it's going to be hilarious."
Tickets for the show are $15. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5-7 and 12-14, along with a rare Scene One matinee set for 2 p.m. Sept. 7. To reserve seats email to email@example.com or call 573-635-6713. Shrunken Head Tropic Lounge will also serve drinks during the show.