Review Fix chats with “Peter, Who?” writer Jonathan Roufaeal to find out what’s in store for the next run of the acclaimed Spider-Man parody musical.
About the Production:
PETER, WHO? tells the story of a nerdy high school senior named Peter, who wants to be special, wants to stop being invisible to the other students, and maybe even talk to the girl that sits behind him in chemistry. But after he’s bitten by a radioactive spider at a Science Expo he has to learn how hard being ‘special’ can be.
For more information: www.peterwhomusical.com
Review Fix: What Inspired this Production?
Jonathan Roufaeal: It started as a loving protest, honestly. We were seeing a certain big-budget Broadway musical, that may or may not have been about the same character, spend enough money to have launched 7 Broadway productions just in their “development” phase. To us, it seemed like they were spending years focused on the spectacle, and not on the story. We put a video out on Facebook, enlisted volunteers, and set out to do justice to the things we love (musicals and comic books) we did it originally in 30 days and for no money… Putting the focus more on creativity, fun and storytelling.
Review Fix: Why Does Spider-Man still matter?
Roufaeal: Spider-Man still matters because he’s probably the most relatable superhero out there. He’s the kid who doesn’t fit in for a million reasons: He’s too smart. He’s too nerdy. He’s too shy. He wishes he could be different, just like we all do at some point in our lives. Then he gets bitten by that spider, and he becomes different, but life only gets harder. You couldn’t find a more perfect metaphor for growing up than Spider-Man.
Review Fix: How is it Different from the Broadway Production?
Roufaeal: It’s funny on purpose.
Review Fix: What Does Spider-Man mean to You?
Roufaeal: Spider-Man has always been one of my favorite superheroes, because he was one of the few that had a sense of humor. He’d make jokes at the villains while he fought them. He was the only superhero who ever seemed to enjoy being a superhero in the moment, which is how I thought I’d feel if I had all those powers.
Review Fix: Who Will Enjoy this Production Most?
Roufaeal: I actually think Spider-Man fans will really enjoy this show the most, because it’s got a bunch of Easter eggs that people who aren’t familiar with the comic books may not pick up on. But you don’t need to know anything about Spider-Man to enjoy it, though I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know anything about Spider-Man.
Review Fix: How Do You Want it to Be Remembered?
Roufaeal: Ideally? As the longest-running Off-Broadway parody musical in history… but since that’s probably a bit of a reach, as a great night out at the theater. Also, as the first Spider-Man musical ever to open in NYC (because it was).
Review Fix: What’s Next?
Roufaeal: Hopefully we can keep Peter, Who? rolling after the festival. We’d love for it to find a full life somewhere. The first week in August we’re also doing a workshop reading of POPE! our NYMF musical from 2015, which has an amazing Broadway cast and some great new material.