The final installment of the epic futuristic dystopian podcast The World to Come, set in the post-apocalyptic world of “Fiveboro,” with no internet or electricity, was released on Monday, October 4 (prophetically, the same date as this week’s epic social-media dysfunction and outage!), making all twelve episodes of the saga’s inaugural season (produced by Iconoclast Theatre Collective and David Treatman Creative) now available for binge-listening across all popular streaming platforms.
Recorded and engineered remotely, the original serial musical, created as a pandemic-time project by longtime collaborators Erik Ransom (book and lyrics), Andy Peterson (music and orchestrations), and Rachel Klein (director), with more than 50 original songs and hours of cinematic scoring, will be presented in a concert version on Monday, October 25, beginning at 9:30 pm, at The Green Room 42.
Directed by showrunner Klein (Red Roses, Green Gold) and emceed by audio cast members Remy Germinario (Buyer and Cellar) and Kate Hoover (The Imbible), the world-premiere live in-person event of selected numbers will feature performances by stage, screen, and recording artists from the podcast’s stellar roster of talents. Along with Off West End (Offie) Award winner Ransom (GRINDR the Opera), the concert line-up includes Justin Sargent (Spiderman: Turn off the Dark; Rock of Ages), Marissa Rosen (For the Girls with Kristin Chenoweth), MAC Award winner Tara Martinez, Em Grosland (New Amsterdam), Sandra Marante (Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular), Luis Villabon (A Chorus Line), Tsebiyah Mishael Derry (SKiNFoLK: An American Show), Jonathan Hoover (Joseph International Tour), and Joanna Carpenter (King’s Blade), with musical performances by Peterson (Tootsie), W2C audio producer Mike Lunoe (Chicago), Debbie Christine Tjong (Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future), Michael Ferrara (Flying Over Sunset), and Mike Rosengarten (Be More Chill).
Erik told me that the emcees will provide narrative commentary between songs, to set the stage for their context and to give those who might not yet be familiar with the podcast a sense of the World. He added that he enjoyed the freedom of being able to create such a multitude of characters and locations for the audio format, without having to worry about the budgetary constraints that come with a full stage or screen production. But now with the live concert, fans will be able to see many of the original performers and to connect them with their voices. And though he says he’s a bit nervous (like a “born-again stage virgin!”) with some feelings of stage fright after the long pandemic closure of theaters, he’s looking forward to the show and to seeing an audience again. As far as future plans for The World to Come, he’s not at liberty to discuss them at the moment, but he does have three full seasons mapped out, so he already knows the arc of the story.
We’ll have to wait to see what happens in the future of Fiveboro, but in the meantime, devoted listeners and newcomers can follow the stand-alone first season by binging on the podcast and attending the highly anticipated upcoming stage concert later this month.
The World to Come: The Songs of Fiveboro plays on Monday, October 25, at 9:30 pm, at The Green Room 42, 570 Tenth Avenue, 4th floor (inside YOTEL), NYC. For tickets, priced at $29-69, call (646) 707-2990, or go online.