Writer: Joe Kelly
Director: Griffin Osborne
Music: Jonathan Evans, John Frydman, Joe Kelly, Alice Kors, James Mullany, Ryan Tutton, James Young
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
Aliens Coming, currently playing at the People’s Improv Theater, examines narcissism in the digital age by combining three common tropes: teenagers, aliens, and sex. Going to the absurdist extreme of all three elements, this new musical romps through a joyfully silly plot filled with innuendo and sci-fi camp.
Aliens Coming is charming and clearly a labor of love. It is delivered with a tremendous amount of mirth by a young and enthusiastic cast. Led by the incredibly talented Alice Kors, whose sharp comedic timing is exceeded only by her stunning singing voice, the cast’s commitment to the world and premise of this play support a great deal of the charm of the piece. It makes the seventy-five minute play feel like a merry frolic.
However, there is some unevenness that detracts a bit from the bubbly zaniness of Aliens Coming. Despite repeated references to YouTube and the use of iPhones, costume design relies heavily upon tropes from the 1950s for both the high-school female characters and the aliens. There are some plot-holes and logistical loopholes in terms of world building, but those can be overlooked in favor of the overall fun of the play. The largest hurdle to overcome in experiencing this play is the sound balance – the live piano, though beautiful, drowns out the unamplified performers to the point that a majority of songs and a hearty chunk of dialogue are overpowered. Perhaps a few body mics on major characters would make a world of difference.
Runs until 18 September 2017