The Brain From Planet X
The Brain From Planet X
Music and Lyrics by Bruce Kimmel | Book by David Wechter and Bruce Kimmel | Orchestrations by Larry Moore
A hilarious musical send-up of bad 50’s sci-fi movies, THE BRAIN FROM PLANET X tells the story of an alien invasion circa 1958. A Brain and its two alien cohorts arrive on Earth with a plan to take over the San Fernando Valley - starting with a happy nuclear family. It’s the first step on the road to their quest of taking over the entire planet and destroying the family unit. This rousing, toe-tapping musical features a dancing, singing brain ... what more could you want from a musical?
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About The Show

History for The Brain From Planet X

Production Info


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News for The Brain From Planet X

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Trivia for The Brain From Planet X

The birthday of Bruce Kimmel, writer and composer of THE BRAIN FROM PLANET X. Kimmel has produced acclaimed Broadway cast albums, including revivals of THE KING AND I and HELLO DOLLY.
In 2006, THE BRAIN FROM PLANET X had its world premier in Los Angeles.

 Press for The Brain From Planet X

  • Quotes
"Deliciously silly and broad… catchy, clever and nervy" — TalkinBroadway.com
"A funnier script and premise you'll never see. The songs rock" — James Scarborough, What The Butler Saw
"The Brain From Planet X, is proof that when silly material is presented by an excellent company, the results can be spectacular…A delight from beginning to end, fast moving and constantly fun" — Stan Jenson, Blade Magazine
"The Brain From Planet X, is proof that when silly material is presented by an excellent company, the results can be spectacular…A delight from beginning to end, fast moving and constantly fun" — Stan Jenson, Blade Magazine
"The Brain from Planet X" is also a glorious salute to the great American musical, with the same satiric air and sexy style as "The Producers" and the same nostalgic feel as "Little Shop of Horrors"" — Eric Marchese, Orange County Register

Musical Numbers for The Brain From Planet X

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THE BRAIN FROM PLANET X is a hilarious, wacky salute to both B-horror movies and musical theatre. The spoof musical was originally produced at Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy,  and continued on to a successful run at The New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2007. With music and lyrics by Grammy-nominee Bruce Kimmel and book by Kimmel and screenwriter David Wechter, this sci- fi send-up has been compared to THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

THE BRAIN FROM PLANET X tells the story of an alien invasion, circa 1958. A Brain and its two alien cohorts, Zubrick and Yoni, arrive on Earth to take over the San Fernando Valley, starting with the happy nuclear family, the Bunsons. Little do they anticipate the wily resistance of local inventor Fred Bunson, his doting wife Joyce, and their lovely daughter Donna. But the aliens will not be deterred on their quest to take over the entire planet and destroy the family unit! Along the way, we encounter such obligatory characters as the military leader General Mills and his adjunct, Private Partz; Joyce's dying-but-clever octogenarian father, Professor Leder; and Donna's amorous beatnik boyfriend Rod. 1958 was never this much fun!

"A suburban family is forced to save the world from a band of aliens intent on taking over—all with catchy music and clever lyrics," says critic Pat O'Brien.

This bright, zany musical, complete with soft rock; 1950s jazz; patter songs; striptease music; vaudeville revue and even a socko, Broadway-style tap dance number, is sure to enthrall audiences everywhere!


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Writers Notes for The Brain From Planet X


Written By: Bruce Kimmel

HELLO, BRAINIACS!
Here are some thoughts about THE BRAIN FROM PLANET X, and some tips that may aid you.  I’ve directed three productions of the show, each with different casts, and in each production, though the staging has remained the same, the actors all brought really interesting things to the characters, and David and I even made some adjustments to the script based on those interpretations.  The fun of this show is to let your imagination run wild.
Some things we learned along the way:  
THE CHARACTERSThe actors should not make fun of their characters.  In a spoof, it’s easy to go that route, but with this show we’ve found that it doesn’t help the comedy at all, because the audience then has nothing to invest in or hold onto, and, as silly as it seems, we’ve found that it’s needed.  We also found that the straighter that Fred and Joyce are played, the funnier it is – straight as in that Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver and Robert Young and Doris Day sort of way.  
Fred’s a dreamer – an endlessly positive dreamer – even when he’s faced with no one wanting to hear about his inventions, or worse, when he’s faced with a wife who’s suddenly not the wife he knew he shouldn’t get too negative.  
Joyce, too, is there for her husband, loves what he says, loves what he invents – he can do no wrong.  Once she’s alienized however, she becomes his worst nightmare.  She shouldn’t be played as an “alien” when she’s zapped – in other words, not robotic.  I like to describe her as Joyce Gone Wrong – she’s still Joyce, she just isn’t having any of that 1950s wife lifestyle anymore.
As for the aliens, Zubrick, Yoni, and The Brain, as outrageous as they may be, they, too, have wants, desires, and needs.  They may be obvious wants, desires, and needs, but they have them.  Same with Rod and Donna, General Mills, and the rest of the characters.  But have fun with them, especially the aliens.
“FEEL-O-RAMA”Some specifics that may help you: setting up the Feel-O-Rama first gag.  The audience member is, of course, a cast member.  You’ll need to save one seat for every performance, and your cast member should be dressed in a casual way, perhaps slacks or khakis and a sweater, because once he joins the actual play his clothing has to have a 1950s feel.  Once the kiss is over, the cast member stays seated until the ensemble enters for the first time in the title song – at that point, he jumps out of his seat and jumps up on stage, joining his fellow cast members.  
THE BRAINWe originally wrote The Brain as sort of a Borscht Belt kind of character, like a Jack Benny or a Henny Youngman – but it can be played many different ways.
In that first production, we used a huge Brain head – you never saw the actor’s face at all.  He wore a black robe and when he played against a black background he really did look like a floating Brain – complete with glasses.  In the two other productions, because we had well-known actors playing the role, we built a brain head that allowed us to see the face of the actor.  Both ways worked, and I’m sure there are other ways to do it, too.  Be creative!
THE SETSAnything goes.  As you probably have figured out, THE BRAIN FROM PLANET X is an affectionate send-up of cheesy 1950s sci-fi movies.  Watch some of them – I recommend Plan Nine From Outer Space, The Brain From Planet Arous, Catwomen Of The Moon, and there are many others.  Check out the sets.  They’re usually made of cardboard and spit.  
In the three productions I’ve done, we’ve had three completely different kinds of sets.  In the first, we were in a very large theater and our sets were fantastic – we used a large wagon for the patio of the house and that unit turned around and became the interior of the spaceship.  The house side was very 1950s and realistic, the spaceship side was total cheese, with all manner of switches and gizmos and other silliness.  We had other fun set pieces in that production, and it all moved very fluidly – fluidity is what you want.  The show begins in limbo and then things move in and out as needed.  
In the second production at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, we couldn’t really have sets, so we used projections and set pieces – that worked okay, too.  And in the third production for the Los Angeles Festival of New American Musicals, we were in a small theater and the set designer came up with a wall that had three doors – one for the poorly-working spaceship door, one big door that went up and down (used for the entrance of The Brain), and another door that became the entrance from the house to the patio.  The wall was white and projections were used to establish where we were.  It, too, worked just fine.  But, anything goes.  We just tried to keep the Earth stuff real, and we went nuts with the alien stuff – funky ray guns, silly switches that do nothing, a lot of gizmos that have no point at all.  
COSTUMESAgain, we kept all the Earth stuff real, and had grand fun with the alien outfits.  Yoni, especially, should go from her alien outfit to a series of more and more outrageous 1950s Jayne Mansfield-type costumes – leopard skin pantsuits, clinging gowns, whatever.
THE BRAIN TAPThis is one of the biggest laugh-getters in the entire show.  Here are some tips:  We found that older people are funnier.  Younger people tend to try to be funny, and that’s absolutely what you don’t want.  We scoped out the various audience members before the show, and during act one I would always tell Zubrick to choose the person I thought would be really uncomfortable and awkward – that’s what works best, someone who’ll be slightly embarrassed – or really embarrassed, the kind of person who looks like they’d be praying “not me, not me.”  That’s the guy you want.  
Also, we’ve written one example in the script of how to say the mark’s name – if, when asked his name, he says, “Uh, Phil” then that becomes his name throughout the bit: Uh, Phil.  We had one guy in New York who, when asked his name, said, “Oh, crap, they want my name.”  That became his name for the entire bit – “Oh, crap, they want my name is the quintessential Earth speciman.”  Usually people will stammer or mumble as they’re telling you their name, so listen carefully and be sure to repeat that for the entire bit. 
The Voice-U-Lator answers are, of course, all pre-recorded, as is the opening narration of the show, so choose an actor with a good voice to do that.  
THE BANDIn the original production in the large theater, we had the band onstage, on a platform above the action – that’s my favorite way to do the show.  But because of space limitations, the band was off-stage for the subsequent two productions.  

Anyway, those are some thoughts – basically just have FUN, but remember the show, as silly as it may seem, and as weird as it may get, has a plot and characters and you want the audience to be involved with them – spoofs are hard and we learned early on in our very first reading that a spoof wasn’t enough – we needed a real plot, real stakes, and some people to root for.  
Best of luck with the show, and remember: The time is nigh.


Performance Tools for The Brain From Planet X

Playbill VIP:

MAKE YOUR OWN PLAYBILL! Playbill VIP allows you to create your very own Playbill Program. We have provided Playbill with all of the credits, song listings, musical numbers and more so that most of the work is already done for you. Just add your productions details, photos of the cast and share it with all of your friends. Learn more: www.playbillvip.com


Rental Materials for The Brain From Planet X

STANDARD

  • ORCHESTRATION PACKAGE (5 BOOKS)
    • 1 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE
    • 1 – REED (Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Flute, Clarinet, Bs Clarinet)
    • 1 – ACOUSTIC BASS/BASS GUITAR
    • 1 – DRUMS: Trap Set, Toms (High and Low), Tam-Tam, Bells, Mark Tree, Wood Block, Wind Chimes, Police Whistle, Triangle, Tambourine [Mallets, Sticks, Brushes]
    • 1 – SYNTHESIZER
  • REHEARSAL SET (22 Books)
    • 2 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE
    • 20 – LIBRETTO-VOCAL BOOK

ADDITIONAL

  • PRE-PRODUCTION PACK
    • 1 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE
    • 1 – LIBRETTO-VOCAL BOOK

Cast Requirements for The Brain From Planet X

PRINCIPALS
3 Women
4 Men

FEATURED
2 Men

ENSEMBLE
Singing-dancing ensemble of Townspeople, Newscasters and Aliens

CHARACTERS
Narrator/Professor Leder
Fred Bunson
Joyce Bunson
Donna Bunson
Rod
General Mills
Private Partz
Zubrick
Yoni
The Brain
Townspeople, Newscasters and Alien Tappers

Set Requirements for The Brain From Planet X

THE BRAIN FROM PLANET X takes place in the San Fernando Valley, California, U.S.A. during the summer, circa 1958.

Fred and Joyce’s Backyard
The Front Seat of Rod’s Car, Makeout Mountain
A Farmer’s Porch
An Unprecedented Joint Military Conference
Inside and Outside the Spaceship
Around the Town
General Mills’ Tall Platform
Muscle Beach

Materials Notes

SYTHESIZER SOUNDS: Hammond Organ, Rock Organ, Harpsichord (Sharp and jangly/mixed with banjo), Electric or Rhodes Piano (interchangeable in terms of the score), Celesta (written at pitch), Harp, Chimes, Bells (sounds one octave higher than written), Vibes, Xylophone, Electric Guitar, Jazz Guitar, Arco Strings, Pizzicato Strings, Solo Cello, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Horn Brass Ensemble (Jazzy Brass), Orchestra Brass (Wagnerian), Choral Voices, Something Moog-y ("Switched on Bach" sound), Awful Sounds (a combination of vomiting, farting, hissing and other gross sounds)
Trap Set, Toms (High and Low), Tam-Tam, Bells, Mark Tree, Wood Block, Wind Chimes, Police Whistle, Triangle, Tambourine [Mallets, Sticks, Brushes]

Media Rights

Promotional

1. The Promotional Video shall be recorded and shown for the sole purposes of advertising your licensed production of the Play. For such a video, R&H allows theatres to film up to 10 minutes of total footage taken at either a performance or rehearsal (i.e.: 10 minutes of scripted moments.)

2. The Promotional Video may not include more than (i) 1 minute from any song or (ii) 3 minutes, in the aggregate, of footage of copyrighted material from the Play.

3. The Promotional Video may not include any sponsorship or underwriting without the prior consent of all R&H.

4. The Promotional Video must be submitted to R&H by sending the source video and video link to editor@rnh.com.

5. The Promotional Video must include the following: "Rights courtesy of Rodgers & Hammerstein, www.rnh.com"

6. Upon approval by R&H of the Promotional Video, you agree not to make any alterations in the approved copyrighted material used therein and you agree to obtain the prior written approval of R&H for any other use of the Promotional Video not specifically granted herein.

7. Upon termination of the Term, you shall cease to have any rights to use the Promotional Video including, without limitation, in connection with a future production of the Play, and shall immediately remove its content from any and all websites on the Internet.

8. You may not use a commercially available recording.

9. Any additional promotional rights must be approved by R&H by contactingTheatre@rnh.com.

 

*Promotional video rights can only be granted once a performance license for The Brain From Planet X has been secured. Please contact customer service if you have any questions. If you have not yet applied for The Brain From Planet X, you can do so here. LOG IN to learn more.

Archival

1. Subject to the information provided in Licensee’s application and payment of the fee as set forth in Paragraph 3 herein, Licensee shall have the right to create a single copy of the Video for internal archival, private viewing purposes at Licensee’s address only and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved.

WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine.

This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present The Brain From Planet X in order to license Archival rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.

Distribution

1. Licensee shall have the right to create the Video and to make up to one hundred (100) copies of the Video for sale at cost to its Members for internal archival, private viewing purpose at Licensee’s address and for private, home-viewing purpose by Members, and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone other than the Members (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved. WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine. This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present The Brain From Planet X in order to license Distribution rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.
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