‘Jurassic Park’ Gets a Musical Parody Makeover

by Hiko Mitsuzuka (@TheFirstEcho)

Photo Credit: Bryan Carpender

The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of series at L.A.’s historic Rockwell Table and Stage has conquered such pop culture-friendly hits as Mean Girls, Home Alone, and Bridesmaids, but how can the talented troupe of entertainers top themselves in 2018?

By spoofing the biggest action-blockbuster of the 90s, of course. (And just in time for the film’s 25th anniversary.)

Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is the latest movie to get the UMPO treatment, and the result is an immersive joyride that die-hard JP fans will wholeheartedly appreciate while sipping their cocktails inside the intimate venue located in the city’s Los Feliz neighborhood.

Photo Credit: Bryan Carpender

In this cabaret-style adaptation, the audience goes back to where it all started with paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Keir Kirkegaard), paleo-botanist Ellie Sattler (Lesley McKinnell), chaos theorist Ian Malcolm Goldblum (a scene-stealing Michael Thomas Grant), the chainsmoking Dr. Arnold (Dedrick Bonner giving us some Samuel L. Jackson realness), eccentric park owner Richard Hammond (a delightfully loopy Owain Rhys-Davies), and his precocious niece and nephew, Tim and Lex (Amanda Kruger and Lana McKissack). Directed by Nathan Moore and written by Kate Pazakis — with musical direction by Gregory Nabours — UMPO Jurassic Park is loaded with nostalgic and contemporary pop-rock hits tailored to perfectly complement the action. Destiny Child’s “Survivor,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle,” Sia’s “Alive,” and P!nk’s “What About Us” are just a few of the show-stopping numbers that appear — along with the inevitable “Walk The Dinosaur” from 80s group Was (Not Was).
The fun of Pazakis and Moore’s abridged version is all in the unabashedly lo-fi approach to this big-budget epic. Sight gags involving motion-capture suits and dino puppeteering abound, and everyone involved seems to be having a tongue-in-cheek blast paying tribute to one of the most popular films of all time. The aforementioned Michael Thomas Grant seems to be having the most fun of all, donning Jeff Goldblum’s iconic black wardrobe and hilariously hypnotic stutters. (Look out for some audience participation during his famous monologue on Chaos Theory.) Elsewhere, Dedrick Bonner pulls out all the stops to incorporate “It’s Raining Men” into the action while Pazakis herself roars on stage as the T-Rex with her own powerhouse vocals.

Photo Credit: Bryan Carpender

“Our UMPO series has grown its fan base exponentially over the past three years,” said Pazakis, “and audiences have been clamoring for the arrival of T-Rex and other creatures to populate the Rockwell stage. So I’m very excited about this historic, or shall I say, “PRE-HISTORIC Production!”

UMPO Jurassic Park runs now through April 28. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

About The Author

Hiko Mitsuzuka
Entertainment Editor-at-Large

Hiko Mitsuzuka is a self-proclaimed pop culture connoisseur who resides in L.A. and obsesses over songs months before everyone else obsesses over them. He has worked in TV and commercial production ever since he left his native New York in the early 00s. He has worked at the world-renowned Anonymous Content and Carsey-Werner and freelanced as a treatment writer for award-winning directors as well as a contributing writer for 'Instinct.' In addition to writing about entertainment and travel for 'Bello,' Hiko can currently be seen in the roles of Manager of Creative Planning at Stun Creative (PromaxBDA's North America Agency of the Year, 2013, 2014, 2017), film critic for ScreenPicks.com, and contributor for The Huffington Post. He's also currently working on the novel 'Slasher Movie Girl.' His obsessions include quoting old sitcom dialogue and stalking people on Instagram. His vices include chocolate chip cookies and movie theater popcorn. Tweet him @TheFirstEcho.

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