Encore Michigan

Penny Seats Presenting ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’ 8/3-8/19

Show Announcement July 26, 2023

ANN ARBOR – The Penny Seats Theatre Company is thrilled to return to Burns Park this summer with the Sci-Fi Shakespeare Rock n’ Roll Extravaganza Return to the Forbidden Planet, an Olivier Award-Winning Musical written by Bob Carlton. 

The two-act musical runs 120 minutes, combining rock and roll favorites from the 50s and 60s with familiar sci-fi space adventures and a plot loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The delightfully campy show is directed by Tony Caselli (Artistic Director of Williamston Theatre), and features a cast of new and familiar faces in Michigan’s regional theaters. Henry Ballesteros, Joseph Caradonna, Leah Gittlen, Ella Ledbetter-Newton, Allison Megroet, Will Myers, Tina Paraventi, Austin Petrie, Jenna Pittman, Matilda Seagraves, and Cordell Smith will all appear, some of them wielding phasers and others a guitar, keyboard, or even a tambourine. 

“This play heightens the original film’s homage to The Tempest with Shakespearean language, and the joy of the music is infectious!” says Assistant Director Julia Garlotte. “I love sci-fi on the stage, and we’ve gathered a fantastic team of nerds to bring this musical to life. I can’t wait to see it all come together. It’s going to be so much fun!” 

Caselli has been eager to direct for years, “I love this show for its energy, and the ridiculous fun of the storytelling! You get a crazy mashup of sci-fi, Shakespeare and a bunch of classic 50’s and 60’s jukebox tunes; What could be better?! It’s a perfect summer show. One of the things I love about the theater is the variety of things it can give to us, and sometimes what it gives us is the gift of gathering people to share a joyful slice of love, laughter and song … and to spread that energy out into the world. The world needs that energy sometimes, don’t you think?” 

Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, August 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19. All shows are at 7:30pm in Burns Park. More information and advance tickets are available at www.pennyseats.org or by phone at (734) 926-5346. Door tickets ($20) will also be available. Groups of 10 or more can buy discounted tickets for just $15 per seat.

Return to the Forbidden Planet is the third show of The Penny Seats’ 2023 season, and is suitable for all ages. Advance tickets are recommended. 


ABOUT THE PENNY SEATS: Founded in 2010, we’re performers and players, minimalists and penny-pinchers. We think theatre should be fun and stirring, not stuffy or repetitive. We believe going to a show should not break the bank. And we find Michigan summer evenings beautiful. Thus, we produce dramas and comedies, musicals and original adaptations, classics and works by up-and-coming playwrights. We also provide cabaret shows, acting classes, and wacky improv evenings. And you can see any of our shows for the same price as a movie ticket. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION about The Penny Seats call at 734-926-5346 or Visit: www.pennyseats.org.