This musical journey begins in the present as a computer programmer named Andy, masterfully portrayed by Max Crumm, is stuck in a dead end job and a dead end life. He escapes his troubles in the virtual world of Legendale as he competes with other gamers to find treasure, slay monsters, and conquer various quests.
Then Max and his fellow gamers are issued a challenge by the game’s egomaniac creator to complete the ultimate quest: be the first to score 1,000 points in a new tournament and win one million dollars and the coveted title of Lord of Legendale. The challenge proves impossible to resist and Andy embarks on his greatest journey yet, risking everything to earn the prize.
With the help of his online avatar, the lowly milkmaid turned bold adventurer Zelayna, and his real world co-worker Beth, Andy finds more adventure than he bargained for. Together the trio bravely (and often comically) battle axe-wielding giants, brain-seeking zombie robots, and a final battle with the fiercest villain of all that changes the game forever.
Legendale: A New Musical
is impressive on a number of levels. The cast gives a stellar performance, from the believably endearing Crumm as Andy to female leads Abby Church as comedic heroine Zelayna and Rachel Flynn as Beth. Church perfectly captures the look and feel of an online gaming avatar and expertly handles the many stage combat scenes throughout the show. Flynn is a powerful presence on stage and creates great romantic chemistry with Crumm. Veteran actors Jesse Sharp as gaming icon Paul Jansen and Travis Mitchell as Steve the office boss and Tarragon the online avatar each give strong performances as the characters you love to hate.
While many cast members are coming to the production from Broadway or a national tour, I was proud as a supporter of the local arts community to see three cast members from Wright State’s nationally recognized musical theatre program take the stage of Legendale. Colin Hodgkin, Nathan Robert Pecchia, and Cody Westbrook showed off not only their acting skills, but their amazing singing chops as they delivered beautiful harmonies in several numbers throughout the show.
But perhaps the real stars of this show are the technical team. From the set design and lighting to the costumes and visual projections to the directing and choreography to a powerful and beautifully orchestrated pop-influenced musical score, the team behind the curtain creates the onstage magic that transports the audience from Andy’s living room seamlessly into the fantasy world of Legendale.
I’ve seen many Human Race Theatre shows over the years, but without a doubt, this was my favorite. It is a perfect pick for theatre goers of all ages and interests as there is something in this story for everyone. So if you want to experience a world where reality meets fantasy, good triumphs over evil, and love conquers all, then embark on a quest into the mythical world of Legendale
, playing now through October 1 at the Loft Theatre. For tickets, visit humanracetheatre.org
or call 937-228-3630
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