A Video Game Musical?

Casey Long, Jan 24, 2017

Chance Theater, Anaheim’s official resident theater company, is pleased to announce its West Coast premiere production of Claudio Quest.  

A new musical comedy that follows a very super hero, his less super little brother, and one butt-kicking princess, as the three embark on a mission to overcome killer eggplants, a love-starved platypus, and their own 8-bit existential crisis.

"A delightfully bouncy parody... Claudio Quest is smart pop-culture fun" – The New York Times
"An endearing and ridiculous examination of the psyches of the most beloved video game characters of all time" – The Washington Post

Marshall Pailet’s unique brand of storytelling was introduced to Chance audiences in 2013 with Triassic Parq - The Musical. The show was a wacky musical adventure through “that one dinosaur park”, but told from the perspective of the dinosaurs. The show was a hit, going on to be nominated for eleven Ovation Awards, and winning three (including Best Musical). In 2013, Marshall was also Chance Theater’s resident playwright, presenting staged singings of two new musicals -- Who’s Your Baghdaddy (which was Off-Broadway last year and a New York Times Critic’s Pick) and the first act of Loch Ness (which was later produced in full as part of Chance Theater’s 2015 Season).

“I’m thrilled to be returning for a third time to the Chance,” said Marshall Pailet, at no encouragement from Chance staff. “The level of support I’ve received here rivals anywhere I’ve worked. The staff is dedicated, talented and fiercely committed, and the audience is adventurous and generous. It really is an ideal place to develop new work.”

So where did this whole idea come from, and why did it strike such a chord with audiences at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it was first produced?

“Drew and I wrote Claudio Quest as a kind of twisted homage to old-school 8-bit video games. The target audience was initially nostalgic Gen Xers and Millennials,” explained Pailet. “We’ve been excited to see audiences of all ages embrace these quirky, fun, at times dark, but always relatable characters. And after many years of development and two successful festival productions, we're excited to finally share Claudio Quest with the world in our first fully realized production!”

Founding Chance Artist Casey Long saw something deeper in the show as well, “The musical goes behind the 1’s and 0’s of a videogame program to flesh out some familiar looking characters. They’re trapped in a time loop of the ‘princess- gets-kidnapped-Claudio-saves-the-day-and-brother-Luis-watches” variety. Between the big belly laughs, strong flashes of nostalgia and Pailet and Fornarola’s great music, is an examination of what makes a hero, and whether our identity is an established set of factors or something that never stops developing.” 

With music, lyrics and book by Drew Fornarola and Marshall Pailet, direction by Pailet, choreography by Maxx Reed and musical direction by Ryan O’Connell, Claudio Quest will preview from January 27 through February 3; regular performances will begin February 4 and continue through February 26 at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center on the Cripe Stage. 



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