Wake up and smell the rocket fuel! Whether you’re a bona fide musical theater buff, an industry professional on the prowl for the next big hit, or simply someone looking for zany entertainment suitable for the whole family, Space Vacation: The Musical may be just the ticket.
Created by Jonathan L. Segal (who wrote the music, lyrics and book), Space Vacation is a true labor of love. It was originally conceived as a series of bedtime stories for his children who dreamed of going to Disney World, and over the pandemic, it became a full-fledged album designed to attract producers of both stage and screen. Through the use of digital recording software, Segal (alongside engineer Chip Fabrizi) managed to bring outer-space down to earth. After vetting nearly 300 actors, Segal settled on four voices to sing his sensational score — two from New York, one from Alabama and another who flew in from Barbados to perform as the voice of the young girl, illoh (just read on for more about the wonderfully whimsical plot).
The theme of Space Vacation is one that’s near and dear to all of us: family. The musical’s protagonists hail from the Bright Yellow Planet, where every resident just so happens to be blue. The main character, Haon, is obsessed with “visiting the universe,” and his family (little sister illoh and parents Lorac and Ynnoj) makes it happen — procuring a beat-up rocket for their intergalactic voyage. Along the way, they’re faced with hilarious hijinks, crucial learning experiences and, most importantly, good old-fashioned fun. The overall message is laid out best in “The Universe Is Like A Song” (track 4), where the crew croons “The universe is like a song where not a single note is wrong, and everybody sings along… in perfect harmony.” The sweet sentiment is a much-needed reprieve from today’s times and bound to resonate with all ages.
Segal drew on many styles to create this eclectic musical, including jazz, pop, funk, operetta, Latin and more. With a wealth of experience as a songwriter, pianist, singer, entertainer and educator (not to mention an Upper West Sider who was immersed in music since birth thanks to two Juilliard students as parents), he brings a truly comprehensive approach to his work (impressive full list of credits here). As a lifelong musical theater fanatic myself, I can safely say these songs are pure hits — melodic, digestible, delightful and more. Segal’s peers are piling on the praise, too; Steve Orich, orchestrator of blockbuster musical Jersey Boys, wrote that it’s a “wonderful musical adventure” filled with “great tunes, great arrangements and great production.” Listen for yourself here!
As mentioned above, Segal is hoping to take this to the next level; that means producers, investors, publicists, the works. If you or someone you know fits the bill (or Playbill, if you will), get in contact with Segal here. Here’s to exploring galaxies far, far away!