In writers Emma Barash, Bryce Norbitz, Steve Wargo, and Marshall Pailet's clever reimagining, the dinos (who, you may remember, are all engineered to be female to prevent "unauthorized" reproduction) live in a peaceful, faith-based community that worships the lab workers who created them. However, their world is turned upside down when one of the 'saurs suddenly turns male, due to a DNA glitch. Sex, jealousy, frustration, and the release of the heretical Velociraptor of Science sends the dinosaurs into the frenzy that was depicted in the movie. As Jurassic Parq shows us, all that carnage wasn't because dinosaurs are bloodthirsty -- it was because they were a community in crisis.
Jurassic Parq has a marvelous cast of "chorusasaurus" who really commit to the authors' crazy vision. Special credit goes to John Jeffrey Martin's Velociraptor of Faith, Mary Ellen Ashley's Velociraptor of Science, Lee Seymour's Morgan Freeman, and Brandon Espinoza as the Mime-a-saurus. And major kudos to director Pailet and choreographer Kyle Mullins, who help this musical do for dinosaurs what Cats did for felines. During an inspirational power ballad late in the show, Mullins has Espinoza mime an entire Lifetime movie tragedy about a father losing his son. What it has to do with dinosaurs, I don't know, but it's impressive and had me crying with laughter.
The show's songs (accompanied by Jonathan Breit as Pianosaurus) won't win any awards for craftsmanship, but they help the story along, and most -- notably Mary Ellen Ashley's profanity-laced rap about the scientific method -- are quite funny. The finale actually puts lyrics to music from the movie that will have you singing "We are dinosaurs" to the tune of John Williams' well-known theme music for days to come.
-- Brooke Pierce