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SYFY WIRE the terminator

Listen to the machine war's dulcet tones during Terminator: The Musical

By Don Kaye
Terminator The Musical Cast

We've seen Broadway shows based on Spider-Man and King Kong, and more recently a Sigourney Weaver-endorsed high school play adapted from Alien. Now prepare yourself for Terminator: The Musical.

That's right: Launching a four-weekend run this Friday (May 3) at the Fallout Theater in Austin, Texas, is Terminator: The Musical, described on its official ticket ordering page as "a musical parody" based on not just James Cameron's classic 1984 thriller The Terminator but also its blockbuster 1991 sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. According to Birth.Movies.Death, the show features "singing and dancing T-800s, murderous musical numbers, confusing time travel, and so much more."

The ticket page adds, "Come explore L.A.'s sexiest time-travel conundrum with face-melting song-and-dance numbers only fit for back alley Broadway! Featuring explosive original songs sure to make you say 'I'll be back ... to see this shiz again!'" Here's a brief teaser trailer featuring an excerpt from the song "Programmed to Kill":

The production is written and directed by Breanna Bietz and stars Robert Slack (who also apparently wrestles in Austin under the name Pluto Mars) as the Terminator, Lena Long as Sarah Connor, JP Bremer as John Connor, Kyle Irion as Kyle Reese, Jon McMahan as T-1000, and Mars Wright as Miles Dyson.

Bietz tells SYFY WIRE via email how the inspiration for the show came about: "A few years ago I said, as a candid joke to a friend, 'Hey, wouldn't it be funny if there was a Terminator musical?' And then I just ... decided to start writing it. I've always loved the films, especially the original Terminator and Judgment Day (the two films covered in the musical), but the fun for me was finding the less-obvious throughlines about love, family, and time-travel situational awareness and playing with those elements, bringing them to the forefront."

Terminator The Musical T-800

Bietz workshopped an initial version of the show in New Orleans in 2015, eventually landing on the version that she is opening later this week. "It's definitely an homage, with an underlying essence of parody," she explains about the show's tone. "It's also a bit of a parody of, and homage to, musical theater in general. We run the gambit on a variety of iconic theatrical song and dance styles that the genre is known for. Our driving force has been the idea of melodrama, so as to take it so serious that the humor comes from that emotional portrayal."

One of the elements that Bietz invented for the production is the "Terminatrixes," three ensemble ladies who function as what Bietz calls a "'hyper-aware element' of the show, much like the three fates or how Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon served as a Greek chorus in Little Shop of Horrors. Each of them play different characters and are murdered in different ways throughout the entire musical."

Terminator: The Musical will run every Friday and Saturday from this weekend through May 25, with tickets priced at $18 online and $20 if you buy them at the door. It sounds like a pretty wild night out, especially while we await the next movie in the franchise, Terminator: Dark Fate.