Johannah and I have been reworking the show for the past year-and-a-half since the performances at the Waterville Opera House. The show has evolved quite a bit, as we sharpen the themes of immigration, women’s empowerment, and environmental awareness. Now consisting of about 32 songs spanning a 30-year time frame (from when Paolo and Cassandra’s families meet by accident in a police station in 2008 until Cassandra joins Paolo on Mars in about 2037… The show is now nearly complete enough for a new series of productions. The dream is still alive and well. Stay tuned!
“One Way Trip to Mars” has been staged in several formats, including the original multi-media concert at the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath, ME in the fall of 2016 and a more recent, fully-staged version for musical theater at the Waterville Opera House. The show is currently being re-worked for a production in 2019 in a venue yet to be announced. The following “news” announcements are from previous performances.
Scenes from “One Way Trip to Mars” at the Waterville Opera House, August 27, 2017.
Hollowbody Electric Band to perform concert version of their rock opera “One Way Trip to Mars”
On Tuesday evening, September 19, 2017 Hollowbody Electric Band returned to the tiny Drummore Bay Concert Hall in Phippsburg, to perform a concert version of their rock opera, “One Way Trip to Mars,” which opened to standing ovations at the Waterville Opera House at the end of August. Drummore Bay Concert Hall is located next to the Phippsburg Post Office at 516 Main Road (Rt. 209). Tickets are $20, and reservations are recommended (call 446-7199).
“One Way Trip to Mars,” written by local band leaders and songwriters Peter Alexander and Johannah Harkness, tells a fictional story, set in 2033, of the first humans to travel to Mars amidst cataclysmic events occurring on Earth. The story has all the elements of a classical Greek tragedy or Shakespearian play, but is told entirely through the contemporary medium of rock music.
The theatrical premiere at the Waterville Opera House, featured an 11-member New York cast, 8-piece rock orchestra, full stage sets and cinematic lighting.
Alexander and Harkness began working on “One Way Trip to Mars” in 2015 after learning about the Netherlands-based Mars-One Program, which proposes to create a human colony on Mars within the next decade. Over 200,000 individuals have volunteered for the program. “We were intrigued that so many people were willing to leave behind everything on Earth—including spouses and children—to go on the one-way mission,” said Harkness, “And I was particularly interested in what it would be like to be the ones left behind. That idea inspired me to write the first song, “It Catches Up to You,” which is now the closing song of the opera.”
For the concert performance at the Drummore Bacy Concert Hall Alexander and Harkness were joined by their long-time band mates from Hollowbody Electric Band, including Joe Beninati on drums, Parker Kenyon on bass, and Courtney Babbidge on keyboards.
Listen to WBLM’s ad for the theatrical premiere of “One Way Trip to Mars.”