Why wasn’t I standing and cheering enthusiastically at the end of NIGHTFALL ON MIRANGA ISLAND at The Players Theatre as I did when I saw the original version in Oct. 2011 at The Magnet Theatre, both directed by Justin Moran?
This 2.0 version of MIRANGA ISLAND is an unnecessary makeover by its creators Justin Moran & Jonathan Roufaeal (Book & Lyrics) and Music by the Podd twins Adam & Matt.
I was so disoriented that when I arrived home I immediately compared both programs. Can it be that in trying to outdo themselves that they might have done themselves in?
With nothing to compare this production to, the audience ate up every outlandish, over the top plot twist, zany character and musical number. (Is there such a thing as blatant innuendo?) I however, unfortunately, had the original tucked in the back of my all too good memory.
And so writing this review is quite difficult. I am still a charter member of the Justin Moran fan club and his entire troupe of improvisational actors and will remain so. But I was looking forward to revisiting MIRANGA ISLAND and not being waylaid; stranded on a sand bar.
The basic plot remains the same. Declan (Travis Nilan) spit curl in place, along with his loyal manservant Balric (Jonathan Roufaeal) is out to revenge the death of his father by Martin La Foe (Mark Borum) and kidnapping of his sister ten years past whom he seeks to rescue.
His journey brings him to Miranga Island where King Azahd (Christopher Simpson) reigns. There is a blacksmith, Grizwald (Nick Kanellis – with the best song in the show) to forge a secret weapon, a love interest for Declan, Clara (Molly Moran) and a one eyed blind Colossus Guard (Jon Bander). There is also the incredibly talented and hysterical Claire Nuemann as the imprisoned Rebecca – please write a show for this tortured damsel!
Newly added are The Minstrel (Desiree Nash) who also wants to kill La Foe – while telling her sad back story with a violin played with her epee. Leon (Ryan Nelson) the resident Island tour guide, who is always asking for tips – the monetary kind – and blaming the absent Glen for misunderstandings that abound.
Spatula Dave a pirate with said spatula instead of a hook (the remarkable Nick Kanellis again with another great song including high kicks with his fellow pirates) is part and parcel of the makeover – which includes a new opening number – the catchy “All Roads” that nicely wraps up the finale.
But I much preferred NIGHTFALL ON MIRANGA ISLAND the first time around. NO LATE SEATING
NOTE: This is the link to my original review
Art Work: Mike Short
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