Performances started Tuesday for a revamped version of Walmartopia, the Madison-born musical featuring everybody's favorite smiley-face. Written by Catherine Capellaro and Andrew Rohn as a one-act in 2004 and followed by an initial run with Mercury Players Theatre in late 2005, the production subsequently played at the Capitol Theatre in Overture and the Barrymore before hitting the road last summer for the New York International Fringe Festival. This musical about a single-mom working at Wal-Mart and its dystopian future of domination made a big enough impression there to get produced Off Broadway.
Officially opening on Monday, September 3 -- Labor Day, of course -- this updated version of Walmartopia is playing at the Minetta Lane Theatre in the West Village. This week's start of performances was accompanied by a video report from the theatrical magazine Playbill. The sneak peak includes a look at a few musical numbers in the show and interviews with some of the new cast members.
This preview video follows below.
This production of Walmartopia currently has performances scheduled through the end of December, with tickets available here. The show is already drawing attention in Arkansas, publications in Little Rock and Springdale, the latter quoting a Wal-Mart executive as saying: "This is a fictional, futuristic musical that is not based on fact, just like there is no 'Phantom of the Opera.'"
Fictional, futuristic, a musical? Yes, yes, yes. It's also a show that's progressed in less than three years from a one-act performed at Mercury's tenth anniversary to a high-profile Off Broadway production.