Get us in your inbox

Search
  1. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakStarKid Productions' Starship
  2. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakBrant Cox as Roach and Joey Richter as Bug in StarKid Productions's Starship
  3. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakJoey Richter as Bug
  4. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakJoey Richter as Bug
  5. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakJoey Richter and company in Starship
  6. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakRoach (Brant Cox) and Bug (Joey Richter) meet the Mosquito Brothers
  7. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakFebruary (Denise Donovan) tells her story
  8. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakBug (Joey Richter) rescues February (Denise Donovan)
  9. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakRoach (Brant Cox) points out Bug World's beauty
  10. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakStarship Rangers Taz (Lauren Lopez), Up (Joseph Walker) and Tootsie Noodles (Dylan Saunders) land on Bug World
  11. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakBug (Joey Richter) makes a deal with Pincer (Dylan Saunders)
  12. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakBug (Joey Richter) gets a human body
  13. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakBug (Joey Richter) imagines a life beyond Bug World
  14. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakRoach (Brant Cox) meets the Overqueen
  15. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakTootsie Noodles (Dylan Saunders) woos robot Mega-Girl (Meredith Stepien)
  16. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakBug (Joey Richter) and February (Denise Donovan) investigate the crashed starship
  17. Photograph: Chris Dzombak
    Photograph: Chris DzombakJunior (Brian Holden) makes his final play
  18. Chris Dzombak
    Chris DzombakTeam Starkid's new musical, Starship, opens on February 11, 2011 in Chicago. Credit: Chris Dzombak/Starkid

Starship at StarKid Productions | Theater review

Team StarKid’s first postgrad production is a charming but overstuffed goof with too many sources.

Advertising

StarKid, the University of Michigan–born group whose YouTube vids of its Harry Potter musical parodies garnered a huge Internet following and helped earn Potter star Criss a regular role on Glee, goes big for its postgrad Chicago debut. Like, August: Osage County big. Starship is a three-and-a-half-hour goof blending elements of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Pixar’s A Bug’s Life and the live-action cartoon Starship Troopers. The resulting overstuffed show has more than its fair share of infectious charm, but it’d work better as three separate, much shorter pieces.

Bug (the winning Joey Richter) is a bit of an outcast from his alien society of giant insects; unable to get with the hive mentality, he obsessively explores a human spaceship that crash-landed on his planet 18 years ago and dreams of being a Starship Ranger. When a new crew of Rangers encounters Bug World, Bug falls for a ditzy science officer (Denise Donovan, channeling Kristen Wiig); Bug makes a bargain with a nefarious rogue arachnid to be transferred into a human body so he can become part of their world.

Criss’s skimpy score is mostly unmemorable, but Starship features impressive production values (particularly in June Saito’s costumes and Russ Walko’s remarkably sophisticated puppets) and a number of appealing performances. Its biggest misstep is overstaying its welcome.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising

      The best things in life are free.

      Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

      Loading animation
      Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

      🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

      Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!