BPA season opens with ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’

Blast off on a routine flight and crash into the planet D’Illyria where a sci-fi version of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” — set to rock ‘n’ roll golden oldies — unfolds with glee on the Bainbridge Performing Arts stage in October.

“Return to the Forbidden Planet” runs Oct. 12 through Oct. 28, with evening shows at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and matinees at 3 p.m. Sundays.

The setup: The planet is inhabited by a sinister scientist, Dr. Prospero; his delightful daughter Miranda; Ariel, a faithful robot; and an uncontrollable monster, the product of Prospero’s Id, who wreaks havoc on the space craft. This Atomic-Age romp includes classics like “Born to be Wild,” “Wipeout,” “Good Vibrations,” “Great Balls of Fire” and “The Monster Mash.”

The behind-the-stage names all boast impressive resumes.

Director Ryan Patrick O’Donnell’s first directing turn at BPA was as assistant director to Ken Michels for “Peter and the Starcatcher.” Musical director Trina Williamson Jackson has acted, music directed, and directed at a variety of theaters here and in Seattle in the past 30 years. Choreographer Heather Dawson is familiar to BPA audiences for her choreography of BPA’s “Big Fish,” “Mary Poppins,” “Spamalot” and BPA Theatre School’s “Seussical.”

Together, the artistic trio leads an enticing cast featuring mostly newcomers to BPA’s stage, plus a few returning favorites, with Bob Reed, Megan Twamley, Nelsen Spickard, Helene Minassian, Michelle Hensel, Matt Howe, Meghan Newton, Jennifer Pippin-Montanez, Jennifer Carrillo, Kevin Tanner, Alexis Rodriguez and Brian Danzig.

The run at BPA includes a pay-what-you-can preview at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, and the opening night reception is 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12.

Tickets, $29 for adults, $24 for seniors, students, youth, military and teachers, may be purchased online at www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org, by phone at 206-842-8569, or in person at BPA.

BPA box office hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and one hour prior to each performance.