We’ve been waiting for this! Considered one of the cult classics of bad movies, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is an American film in the public domain that has enough melodramatic action, ludicrous dialogue, and incidental gore to make it perfect for adapting to the stage…and even turning into a musical! The Overtime Theater does just that, presenting the world premiere of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die: A New Musical, opening October 2 and playing through October 31, 2009.
The plot of the 1959 sci-fi/horror flick is simple: a brilliant young surgeon, Dr. Bill Cortner, is convinced that he can save his bride-to-be, Jan, who has been decapitated in a fiery car crash. The doctor uses his experimental adrenoserum to keep Jan’s head alive in a pan while he looks for a suitable replacement body to transplant.
Dr. Cortner has little time – just one weekend – and his search takes him to strip clubs, a beauty pageant, and finally the studio of a figure model with a badly scarred face. Meanwhile, Jan is horrified at being kept alive in her state and wants revenge on her insane fiancé. She discovers that the serum gives her telepathic powers to communicate with and control the hulking Thing in the Closet – “the sum total of Dr. Cortner’s mistakes.” And so revenge will be hers….
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die comes from the same San Antonio theater that produced another cult-movie-turned-musical, Sheer Bloody Lunacy! (selected as “one of the Best Shows of 2008” by the San Antonio Express-News). It will contain all of the overcooked dialogue, melodrama, and cheesy special effects of the movie, plus original songs, choreography, and much more!
Several themes run through the movie that are relevant today, such as body issues and the limits of technology and medical research to “make things right,” and these themes are explored in the musical as well. What if you’re in a relationship with someone who is determined to help you – to “fix” you – whether you want their help or not?
Show Dates & Times: October 2-31, 2009. 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays, with two 8 pm Thursday shows (Oct. 22 & 29). The October 31 show will be a Halloween extravaganza with a “Mad Science Ball” party and costume contest after the show!
Ticket Prices: $12 general admission, $9 for teachers, students with ID, and seniors 65+. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online using PayPal at http://theovertimetheater.net/brain.htm.
Location: The Overtime Theater, 1216 West Avenue (corner of West Ave. and W. Olmos), San Antonio, TX 78201. Contact the Overtime by email or 210-380-0326 for reservations or more information.
The Overtime Theater was founded in 2006 by John Poole, a San Antonio theater veteran who sought to create a theater “for people who don’t usually go to theater” (San Antonio Express-News). The Overtime is dedicated to providing innovative and accessible entertainment at an affordable price. The shows are all new, original works, or new adaptations of old classics. The Overtime specializes in world premieres of works never before seen on stage! Past productions have included All Kinds of Hot, The Good Samaritan, Johnny Gets Sick, Poet Faustus, Sheer Bloody Lunacy, two acclaimed versions of Sob! Choke…LOVE!, Lear, Pirates vs. Ninjas: The Musical, What Will Happen, and most recently, the world premieres of Buddha Swings and Action Philosophers!
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is directed by Michael Burger, a theater teacher at Taft High School who has also been a regular performer in the Overtime’s mainstage and improv productions. He acted in Sheer Bloody Lunacy!, among many others, and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is his first directorial effort at the Overtime. Michael graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) with degrees in theater and education.
Composer Phillip Luna drew on his long experience as a musician and bandleader to work up the original music for The Brain That Wouldn’t Die! Phillip’s current and past bands, which can be found playing around S.A. on a regular basis, include Fear Snakeface, Royal Punisher, Psychics, Worm, Def Space, and the legendary Taco Land house band, Shit City Dreamgirls. Phillip also composed the music for Sheer Bloody Lunacy! and displays his diverse artworks at local galleries throughout the year.
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is the second effort of writer/lyricist Jon Gillespie to transform an old cult movie into a stage musical, as he also co-produced, adapted and wrote the lyrics for Sheer Bloody Lunacy! Jon has been a professional writer and editor for over 25 years, including a four-year stint as editor for an alternative newspaper (when he got paid to listen to loud music and hang out in bars).
This show is definitely one you will not want to miss. San Antonio’s Science Fiction and Cult Movie fans should pack the house at the Overtime!