If your taste in musical theatre tends to the grunge, the gory or the absolutely silly, then you must be a longtime fan of Landless Theatre. For nearly 10 years, they’ve built a core audience for shows like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Gutenberg the Musical, Bat Boy the Musical, Walmartopia, and other musicals more respectable companies wouldn’t touch.
It’s been a long eleven months with no word from Landless Theatre. But the dry spell is over. Landless is getting ready for a transformative, world premiere production of Richard Campbell’s Frankenstein.
Last April (2012, for you readers in the future) the company closed Spiderman: A Second Chance for Awesome, its last full production in DC. Their plan was to move from the shared space of DC Arts Center to their own venue nearby.
“We had a lease in hand for a cool little space on 18th Street, but the historic building simply wasn’t up to code for theatre occupancy, and there turned out to be no easy way to change that. So it’s back to the drawing board for the time being,” Landess’ Producing Artistic Director (and frequent star performer) Andrew Baughman told us.
What has he been doing in the meantime?
“We produced Xanadu at the Frederick Cultural Arts Center last fall, and workshopped an original interactive Pirate musical called Davy Jones Locker that played for an extended period at Hope Operas and The Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring. You might say it was almost like… not taking a break at all.”
Tell us about your 10th anniversary season:
“Since we’re essentially doing one main stage production to mark an entire season, we decided to book GALA Theatre and give our patrons a show to remember… and that presented itself in Richard Campbell’s Frankenstein, a prog-metal rock opera based on Mary Shelley’s novel.
Richard is an up-and-coming composer in the UK. I discovered his concept album on Spotify and thought it was the most exciting work of rock theatre I had experienced since I first listened to Jesus Christ Superstar. I couldn’t believe a West End producer hadn’t picked up on it, or how generously Richard granted Landless the rights to present the world premiere in DC. This is legitimate prog-rock, with challengingly intricate composition.
“We’re not going to perform it in any sort of watered-down musical theatre style. We’ve enlisted lead singers from popular local bands Cassandra Syndrome and Aries to fill out the cast, as well as band director Jack Sossman, member of the glorious Baltimore Rock Opera Society.
“Melissa and our designers are so psyched about the piece, they’re pulling out all the stops. They’re going to take the work we started with rock shows Diamond Dead and President Harding is a Rock Star to a new level.
“It’s also a show that my 6 year old could see (maybe with ear protection), it should appeal to all ages.”
Frankenstein runs June 8 – 30 at GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington 20010. Tickets will be available soon at landlesstheatre.com
Anything else for 2013?
“We’re also very excited to present our 3rd Annual Mash-up Festival (June 14 – 29) at GALA in rep with Frankenstein, and that Ian Allen (former Artistic Director of Cherry Red Productions) has signed on to direct Haute Mess by the Other Baldwins, a new show from the creators of Spidermusical and Perez Hilton Saves the Universe, at this summer’s Capfringe.”
Landless plans to announce is 2013-2014 season at the opening of Frankenstein. And as for a permanent home: “There are some terrific prospective spaces that we’re looking at, and we’re shooting for a Fall 2014 opening. Meanwhile, it’s time to get back to producing theatre.”
Here’s a trailer video from the CD release of Frankenstein by Richard Campbell.