2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘The Young Olympians & the Most Amazingly Awesome Adventure Ever!’ by Vanessa Strickland

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Debuting in DC this summer, The Young Olympians & the Most Amazingly Awesome Adventure Ever! (aka “YO“) is an all-ages musical with a story rooted in Greek mythology. Drawing inspiration from pop culture classics such as the Goonies and Scooby-Doo, “YO” features original music, puppets, and fight choreography to create an extraordinary adventure for audiences of all ages.

met-logoThe story opens with four young heroes-in-training: Hercules, Jason, Perseus, and Andromeda, in the prime of adolescence. A school field trip to goes horribly awry when the heroes arrive at Mt. Olympus to meet the all-powerful Gods, Poseidon, and Zeus. Within moments of drinking from a chalice of Ambrosia, the Gods come under a bizarre curse, causing them to lose their memories and regress to a childlike state. It’s now up to the four friends to return the Gods to their former selves.

The future heroes embark on their adventure, singing and dancing their way through battles and out-witting mythological monsters; including the pouty cyclops, Polyphemus, and a misunderstood Medusa. On their adventure, the four use their bravery, wisdom, and loyalty to reconcile their differences with each other. In the end, they realize the importance of friendship and work together to overcome the odds and face their destinies.

This show marks the Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) Fun Company’s first appearance at Capital Fringe, but Playwright Sarah Shulman, composer Thom Huenger, and Director Julie Herber regularly collaborate to create original theatre. Shulman has written several original shows, most of which are adaptations or reinterpretations of classic literature in a modern context, like Robin Hood: Occupy Sherwood, a rock musical also composed by Huenger and directed by Herber, which premiered last summer at Frederick Community College.

When the three heard that “YO” had been accepted to Capital Fringe, they contacted the original cast and crew, all of whom are returning for the DC run. “The cast is thrilled to be doing it again and that’s always awesome when you have a cast and crew who are pumped to do a show again,” Shulman says. “I don’t really think any of us felt like we were done with the show. We were always wondering ‘what’s next?’” The show will have a 6-performance encore run in Frederick at the MET this June before opening at Capital Fringe.

Though “YO” was chosen as part of the Fun Company children’s season, it’s appeal extends to adults as well. For the most well-versed in Greek mythology, there’s plenty of in-jokes and references, but the plot is straightforward and characters clear enough that the story is accessible to anyone. As critic Charlie Smith wrote about the original run: “The humor appeals to all ages and is charming, witty and refreshingly free of the mean-spiritedness and cheap laughs of insult and gross-out bodily function comedy, which all too often is the easy out of those writing for children…. The Young Olympians was… a serendipitous triumph of words, music and performance… Take everyone from toddler to grandparent, aunts and uncles, teens and random folk you meet on the street too. You’ll be glad you did.”

YO runs at Capital Fringe at The Studio Theatre’s Stage 4 on July 11, 12, 17, 23, & 27th and is recommended for all ages. Our three-headed dog, Cerberus, may look a little menacing, but he doesn’t bite, we promise!

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Performance Schedule
July 11th at 7:00 pm
July 12th at 10:30 pm
July 17th at 7:00 pm
July 23rd at 6:00 pm
July 27th at 4:30 pm

At The Studio Theatre – Stage 4
1501 14th Street NW, in Washington, DC.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

This production is a part of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, a Washington, DC non-profit, Capital Fringe.

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