It's half fake Shakespeare — what the cast is calling "Fakespeare" — and half science-fiction paranoia, a double blind remove on The Tempest, complete with a mad scientist (Dr. Prospero), a steakhead of a 1950s space-captain stereotype named Captain Tempest and loads of golden age rock & roll. It is Bob Carlton's brash musical Return to the Forbidden Planet, and it's a gloriously silly thing, but as with all of Newline Theatre's productions, Forbidden Planet also tackles some of society's big questions, such as America's collective fear of and disdain for sex, and the power of technology to improve lives and corrupt them in equal, unfeeling measure. Somewhere between an MST3K-style attack on a B-grade science-fiction movie and a rock & roll fever dream lies the truth: Satire's at its sharpest when the cut is unexpected. New Line Theatre presents Return to the Forbidden Planet at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (April 30 through May 23) at the Washington University South Campus Theatre (6501 Clayton Road; 314-534-1111 or www.newlinetheatre.com). Tickets are $15 to $20.
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: April 30. Continues through May 23, 2009