Village Theatre recently announced ZM, a new Broadway-style musical comedy with music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and book and lyrics by Greg Kotis – the creators of the Tony Award-winning show, Urinetown.
The Walking Dead meets The Book of Mormon in this new musical story of a remote American town where one fast-food franchise is test-marketing a new sandwich that, apparently, turns people into zombies. Join two teenage lovers (and fast-food workers) as they set off on a journey to penetrate the corporate behemoth behind this franchise fiasco and learn the terrible truth about the source of the plague and the outcome it was designed to create… all while navigating teenage love.
Stemming from a fascination with sustainability and the human effect on the planet, Hollmann and Kotis have been working on the show for close to 10 years. The Beta Series production will allow the writers to test ZM in front of a theatre-savvy audience using simple sets and costumes.
“I’m looking forward to exploring the physical language of the show,” said Kotis in a press release. “How do the zombies move? How do they dance? Do the fight and chase sequences work as we imagine? It’s going to be great to get the show on its feet.”
After each performance audiences are invited to ask questions and share their feedback with the writers. No two performances will be exactly the same since the writers will rewrite and make changes between shows.
“There’s a military expression that goes, ‘no plan survives contact with the enemy,’” said Kotis in a press release. “The same is true for theatre. The script that seems perfect on the page often has to change once you try to stage it. You never know what you’ll discover, what will work, and what will fail.”
Audiences are encouraged to witness the evolution by seeing the performance multiple times.
Joining Hollmann and Kotis on the creative team is director Brandon Ivie (String, Pump Boys and Dinettes), choreographer Katy Tabb (Newsies, Billy Elliot), music director Steven Gross (Urinetown on Broadway), scenic designer Christopher Mumaw (Newsies), costume designer Brynne McKeen(Green Day’s American Idiot at ArtsWest), lighting designer Robert Aguilar (Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Dry Powder), and sound designer Natalie Kinsaul.
The show will feature a cast of Village Theatre favorites including: Rafael Molina (Into the Woods), Katie Griffith (ZM reading at The Village Originals Festival of New Musicals), Allison Standley (Into the Woods, My Fair Lady), John Patrick Lowrie (My Fair Lady), Jonas Winburn, Nathan Brockett (A Proper Place), Karen Skrinde (A Proper Place), Sophia Franzella (A Proper Place), Danny Kam (String), Brian Lange, Kate Jaeger (Les Misérables), Danny Lacker, Mikko Juan, Caden Brauch (Writing Kevin Taylor), Delaney Guyer, Rheanna Atendido, and Jadyn Muralt.
ZM is onstage at Village Theatre’s First Stage Theatre in Issaquah June 1-10, 2018. For tickets, please visit www.villagetheatre.org/i