Unorthodox theater does Scientology musical
By Laura Kelly
Published: Monday, January 4, 2010
The Next Theatre Company prides itself on producing unorthodox plays. This holiday season the Evanston-based group did just that with its production of “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant.”
The musical, written by Kyle Jarrow and based on a concept by Alex Timbers, chronicles and satirizes the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Although the musical pokes fun at some of the tenets of Scientology and the practices of its members, Marketing Director and Artistic Administrator Chelsea Keenan said the play had more substance.
“The play works on a couple of levels,” she said. “First it parodies children’s Christmas pageants ... those sorts of plays that you are forced to go watch as a parent.” . . .
Although the musical is aimed at adult audiences, Keenan said kids understood the play’s message as well.
“Kids understand criticism,” she said. “A message here is that it is wise for children to question their elders, and I don’t think that message is lost on them.” . . .