Nightfall on Miranga Island is the new musical by Justin Moran and Jon Roufaeal. This is the duo that created The Spidey Project, the quickly gestated and now viral unlicensed Spider Man musical. Their goal was to be the first spider superhero musical to open in NYC after opening night for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was postponed during previews. They gave themselves a window of thirty days and a budget of zero dollars to create an epic superhero musical. The results were great for such a small production. The story was good, the songs catchy and well-composed, and the production values appropriate for the small house the show played in. You can watch the whole production at their blog.
Moran and Roufael launch their new musical Nightfall of Miranga Island in two weeks in NYC. The show is described as a pirate musical in three acts. It will play twice a week at the Magnet Theater on West 29th Street. Tickets are more than reasonably priced: $18 general admission, $10 for students, $0 if you show up in full pirate regalia.
Here's the plot straight from the press release:
NIGHTFALL ON MIRANGA ISLAND is a swashbuckling pirate adventure in three musical acts. Our hero, Declan, has been tracking the legendary pirate captain Vicious Martin La Foe for nearly a decade on a quest to rescue his sister who was kidnapped those long years ago. Finally, Declan makes landfall on the lawless Miranga Island, where La Foe is known to make port. As the story unfolds you will be taken through a world of pirates, romance and action the likes of which would flabbergast Gilbert and Sullivan.
The reference to Gilbert and Sullivan is a good one. I can't think of another successful pirate musical besides Pirates of Penzance. Even then, you get into the operetta or musical debate. This does not mean that Gilbert and Sullivan are the only ones to have tried pirate musicals. Most recently, The Pirate Queen, based on the life of famed Irish pirate Grace O'Malley, failed to impress critics or audiences during a two month run on Broadway.
Do you really imagine pirates singing? Do you normally imagine big sword fights in musicals? I don't. Not that I don't welcome them. It's a concept that pops up occasionally and usually fades away. I imagine, if you had just the right story and found a musical vocabulary that didn't render the pirates laughable, a pirate musical could work.
Is Nightfall of Miranga Island the show to turn this concept around? I don't know. No one knows yet. The earliest I could get to the show is the second week in November (tech for the show I'm doing the music for starts in two weeks, followed by performances the first week in November). It's not a matter of if, but when, I get to this show. If I double it up with a research session at the Lincoln Center performing arts library, I can count it as a business trip.
Will you be seeing the show? Thoughts on The Spidey Project or pirate musical in general? Sound off below.