If you’re familiar with science fiction at all, then you know of Ray Bradbury – or at least, you know of his work. Bradbury spent the better part of his 70-plus year career creating fantastic tales of a wide variety – in particular, he had a penchant for working in the genres of horror, mystery fiction, fantasy, and of course, sci-fi. His best-known works are instantly-recognizable titles like ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes,’ ‘The Illustrated Man,’ and ‘The Martian Chronicles,’ among many others. When Bradbury passed away in 2012, The New York Times called him “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.”
Now, Bradbury’s tales and his legacy live on in a brand new way: on the live-performance stage. ‘Ray Bradbury Live (Forever)’ is a new, multi-media-heavy show that celebrates the author and his sizable bibliography. Bradbury is brought to life on stage by long-time stage and genre actor Bill Oberst Jr. The official synopsis of the show reads as follows:
From Mars to the Cretaceous, Oberst stars as Ray Bradbury circa 1970, whirling through worlds fantastic in a death-defying, life-affirming 90 minutes. The show includes excerpts from many classic Bradbury tales and is performed entirely in Ray’s own words, with permission from Ray Bradbury Literary Works and Don Congdon Associates, Inc.
The show features an original music score and a large screen video that shows excerpts from classic Bradbury works, and even an appearance by an actress portraying Bradbury’s wife, Maggie – so it’s not quite a one-man show, but it’s darn close. Of the show itself, Oberst explains it thusly:
“[It’s] ‘The Belle of Amherst’ meets ‘Mark Twain Tonight’ – with dinosaurs … a mix of Epcot ride, Planetarium show and dream.”
The show opened with a one-day special performance in Pasadena, California in March of this year; the show is set to open for a one-weekend-only engagement in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 3-5 and in Charleston, S. Carolina on May 28-31. The Indianapolis show features a unique connection to Bradbury in the form of Jonathan Eller, Ph.D., who is the director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Eller was a script advisor for the show and has himself authorized two Bradbury biographies to date.
You can learn more about the show itself and purchase tickets to the Indianapolis and S. Carolina showings by visiting the official website.