Andrew R. Butler is a recipient of a 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant and, after seeing his new musical Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, it’s clear why. His music is catchy AF (see the video below for a sneak listen), the show feels all at once delightfully retro and yet also ahead of it’s time, and you’ll feel super hip seeing a show at this stage of its development. If you were not one of the lucky few who caught the first incarnation of The Great Comet at Ars Nova before it went to “the tent” and then on to Broadway, then now’s your chance!

Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future is billed as a “sci-fi folk musical” and you’ll agree that is a perfect description once you see it. Imagine the canteen scenes from Star Wars, turn up the volume of the (really good) music playing in the background, and hear the stories of some of the wacky space citizens who barely got off their war-torn planets alive.

Check out some photos from the show:

Photos: Ben Arons Photography

Extra special shoutout to Stacey Sergeant, who carries much of the show on her voice…er, shoulders. Scenic designer Laura Jellinek also does a great job of making the tiny cramped theater feel so much like an underground space-age bunker-ish canteen on Mars that you can’t imagine 54th Street is a few feet away from you outside.

Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future is hip, fun, and the future of musical theater.

Runs through November 10.