Appropriately playing at Fallout Theatre’s historically comedic stage, TERMINATOR: THE MUSICAL parodies Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hit 1984 and 1991 films, The Terminator and T2: Judgement Day. The film features a time travelling robot, who has travelled from 2029 to 1984 in order to kill Sarah Connor before she gives birth to her son Jon Connor, the future hero in the war between humans and machines. The simple premise with complicated time travelling implications, propelled The Terminator franchise into a cult following over the past 3 decades. One fan of the franchise in particular must be Breanna Bietz – the writer and director of this hilarious musical parody. The show in fact parodies both the first and second Terminator films, beginning with the robotic assassin attempting to find and kill Sarah Connor, and moves to her son Jon being born and navigating the second round of time-hopping killer robots. With songs displaying the tough life of a maniacal robot’s need for love, raunchy sex fueled attraction, and cheesy deaths, TERMINATOR THE MUSICAL delivers laughs through melody and great comedic timing and farce.
Assuming most people in the audience are fans of the franchise, many of the bits and jokes written into the show deliver for the avid fan, but also stand on their own as simply funny. The title role of T (or Terminator) is played by Robert Slack, with dominating presence and campy fearlessness that is necessary to make this type of pastiche. Slack’s funny character interpretation of the assassin in 1984 and then
again in 1992, provided hilarious flow from beginning to end. With his rocker style singing abilities, his performance stands out at the top as his tries to find and kill Sarah Connor (played by Lena Long). Long is clearly a comedic performer with pipes, executing her character’s journey from ingenue to badass with gusto. Her special talent with stage combat came in handy during the fight scenes as she held her own with her domineering costars, Kyle Reese (played by Kyle Irion), T1000/Dick Psychologist (played by Jon McMahan) and Miles Dyson (played by Mars Wright). Each character displayed strong character choices with idioms common in parodies. The shapeshifting support of the "Terminatrix" chorus (Caitlin McNally, Kathryn Lane & Chelsea Beth) was also a highlight of the show. The trio handled the varying song styles wonderfully adding humor and consistently juggling the choreographed dancing, belting, or dying.
From witnessing this original brainchild and full-out fan girl musical parody, the need to revisit The Terminator franchise is strong. Stronger still is the recommendation of travelling to The Fallout Theatre, supporting Austin’s very funny comedy scene, and buckling up for the chase sequences and non-stop inside jokes sprinkled throughout TERMINATOR THE MUSICAL. Coloring outside the lines with 80’s neon, this original work is what keeps Austin weird and also, keep Austin laughing on Friday and Saturday nights this month! Believe me, see this and YOU’LL BE BACK for more at The Fallout Theatre.
TERMINATOR, THE MUSICAL
BY: BREANNA BIETZ
FRIDAYS – SATURDAYS : MAY 3RD – MAY 25TH
616 Lavaca Street
Austin, TX, 78701
Photo Credit: Steve Rodgers Photography