FernGully — A Musical Fantasia on Environmentalism in the Era of Climate Change
Smash together Hadestown and The Prom, and you've got FernGully The Musical.
Broadway really likes turning movies into musicals. Some people love it. Some people hate it. We're in it for the dream-casting opportunities. So instead of waiting for the next Notebook, or Devil Wears Prada, or Almost Famous, or Mystic Pizza (seriously, there are a million of them), we picked one of our favorite titles and dreamed up not just a cast list, but a fully conceptualized, guaranteed blockbuster: FernGully The Musical.
Broadway producers — feel free to thank us at the Tony Awards.
Every '90s child's favorite pro-environmentalism cartoon is coming to the stage in a fantastical period piece with fairies, Walkmen, and hockey-flow-haired bros who overuse the word "tubular." Legend has it that long ago, humans and fairies roamed the earth together, cohabiting in the forest, until a dark spirit named Hexxus who feeds on the world's pollutants brought about human extinction. The magical creatures of FernGully, however, are about to discover that the humans are alive and well — and destroying the planet one tree at a time (resurrecting Hexxus in the process).
Crysta is your average teenage fairy, flying through the forest in her crop top and teased-out pixie cut , wanting to explore the world beyond FernGully. Little does she know what treachery lies beyond the canopy. Yes, she's a nature expert, but she's about to get a crash course in human nature, with the help of the dreamy Zak (and his sweet dance moves), the wise matriarch Magi Lune, and the tormented Batty Koda who escaped his captivity as a science experiment (a peripheral reminder to shop animal-cruelty-free ). FernGully may be a 20th-century story, but the 21st century could use a little reminder that "all the magic of creation exists within a single tiny seed."
Music and lyrics by Anaïs Mitchell (Hadestown)
Book by Marsha Norman (The Bridges of Madison County)
Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (The Prom)
Additional music and lyrics by Thomas Dolby, Tone Loc, Chris Kenner, Jimmy Webb, and Alan Silvestri
Patrick Page: Hexxus, pollution spirit monster set on destroying human- and fairy-kind
Eva Noblezada: Crysta, teenage fairy and lifetime resident of FernGully
Ryan McCartan: Pips, teenage fairy with hints of toxic masculinity
Casey Cott: Zak, teenage lumberjack, Crysta's love interest, learns about the environment by dwelling among the FernGully fairies following a magical shrinking accident
Daveed Diggs: Batty Koda, traumatized subject of human science experiments; he also raps
Cicely Tyson: Magi Lune, the wise elderly fairy of FernGully, Crysta's mentor
Chuck Cooper: Goanna, a giant lizard who tries to eat Zak and has no other function in the plot
Songs (90 minutes no intermission)
Life Is a Magic Thing/How the Humans Went Extinct – Magi and Company
Mount Warning Warning (Never Go Above the Canopy) – Pips, Crysta, and Company
Help It Grow – Magi and Crysta
Lumberjack Zak – Zak
I'm Fairy-Sized! – Zak
Batty Rap – Batty Koda
The Humans Are Alive and Killing Everything – Batty, Crysta, Zak
The Leveler – Zak
If I'm Gonna Eat Somebody (It Might as Well Be You) – Goanna
Monster…or Machine? – Crysta, Zak, Batty
Toxic Love – Hexxus
How Do You Live Without Trees? – Crysta
Land of a Thousand Dances – Zak and Company
A Dream Worth Keeping – Crysta and Zak
Hexxus Is Alive and Killing Everything – Crysta, Zak
The Magic of Creation/Help It Grow (Reprise) – Magi, Crysta, and Company
Help Me Grow - Zak
Life Is a Magic Thing (Reprise) – Crysta and Company