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Corner Brook company bringing ‘The Simpsons’ and the post-apocalypse to theatre

This is a scene from “Mr. Burns,” which runs Thursday to Saturday at the Grenfell Fine Arts Theatre. Tickets are available online and at the door.
This is a scene from “Mr. Burns,” which runs Thursday to Saturday at the Grenfell Fine Arts Theatre. Tickets are available online and at the door. - Contributed

The apocalypse, rap, pop, opera, and to cap it all off … “The Simpsons.”

Perhaps Allison Crowe could borrow a phrase from the animated show’s character Bart Simpson to describe her feelings toward Hard Ticket Productions doing “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” - “Whoa, mama.”

“I am so excited,” Crowe, the musical director, said about the upcoming production by the theatre company based in Corner Brook.

“It is such a cool show. It has everything that I would ever want in a play.”

The talented musician is self-proclaimed likely the biggest Simpsons fan in Corner Brook, often heard quoting things from the long-running, satirical animated sitcom.

“Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” is a dark comedy written by Anne Washburn and featuring music by Michael Friedman. The premise revolves around Mr. Burns’ tale of a group of survivors telling stories about an episode of “The Simpsons” during a post-apocalyptic period and the evolution of those stories over time.

Crowe is especially excited to take on this project.

“I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there are things I am super excited that I get to act out,” she said. “13-year-old me is freaking out.”

The concept of the evolution of decades of telling stories about the “Terror Lake” episode of “The Simpsons” is not lost upon a fan of the show. That writers of the sitcom predicted such things as the outcome of elections leaves Crowe wondering just what people may think of the show and its cult-like following hundreds of years from now.

“The crazy things that you can look back at now and say ‘The Simpsons’ already did this like 20 years ago,” she said.

On the other hand, director Todd Hennessey is not a “huge fan” of the show by any means. However, he was impressed by this play when he first read it.

“I am doing the show because of all the things it says about the power of theatre and the nature of stories, people coming together and helping each other out,” he said.

The director says one doesn’t have to be a “fan” of the sitcom the play is based upon to appreciate it, but recognizes everybody likely has a vague knowledge of the characters that will help them identify with it.

Hennessey, who has been waiting for years to do this play, describes the production as “huge” — complete with outlandish costumes, big dance numbers, and great dramatic scenes.

“There’s a lot going on,” he said. “It’s the biggest thing I have done outside (Memorial University’s Grenfell theatre arts program productions) ever. It’s massive, and a lot of fun. People have been working really hard, and we are all having a great time.”

The show runs Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. nightly at the Grenfell Fine Arts Theatre. Tickets are available online and at the door.

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