RT's Elissa Reports Back From Twilight: The Musical

Twilight: the Musical? That’s right, that most angsty of paranormal love stories, featuring Bella, Edward and Jacob has hit the stage — complete with songs like “Supernatural Love Triangle,” “Die Bella Die” and “I Imprinted on an Infant.”

The resulting stage read, performed last night at New World Stages in Manhattan, delighted Twilight fans and detractors alike. Indeed the tagline for the production, directed by Gabriel Barre, promises “If you love Twilight, you’ll love this musical. If you hate Twilight, you’ll love this musical” — and judging from the cheers and laughs from the audience, it delivered. Though the actors rehearsed together for only 24 hours, the cast members — who donated their time to the show, which benefited the charity Blessings in a Backpack — gamely sang and danced their undead hearts out. Colin Hanlon (literally) sparkled as Edward, Jared Zirilli flexed his pecs as an earnest Jacob and Meghann Fahy’s Bella made you understand just why all those guys were gaga for Miss Swan in the first place.

Eight actors portrayed a multitude of roles in the piece, which was written by Ashley Griffin, with additional music and lyrics by Jeremy Ezell, David Mallamud, Sean Mahoney and Michael Sutherland. Fans of '90s TV would have quickly recognized Sabrina, the Teenage Witch villain Libby aka Jenna Leigh Green, who played Angela/Rosalie/Leah/Esme/Hermione. That’s right, Hermione. Griffin’s retelling of Stephenie Meyer’s blockbuster series replaces the vampire villains of the earlier Twilight books with Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.

While the switch-up worked, as the wizards told Bella and Edward that they were jealous of being usurped as the favorite paranormal young adult series, Harry’s intrusion struck a slight off-note in the final scene of the production, when he and Bella, protagonists of the bestselling series of the ’00s, have a chat about What It All Means. It's an intriuging premise, just what would they say to each other? In Griffin's world, Harry tells Bella he would have sacrificed all for his friends, family and life as they all knew it, while all Bella did was give up everything for Edward. (Of course, one must argue, she did it for Eternal Love. Is such a premise not worth the sacrifice?) The ending seemed to momentarily dampen the spirits of the gathered Twihards, who had been gleefully cheering for Team Edward or Team Jacob just a half hour before.

Nonetheless, a good time was had by all, and I can only hope that Twilight: The Musical will return here to New York City as well as to other parts of the country soon so that you all can sing along with Hermione to “Die Bella Die.” The tune is quite catchy.

For more information about this event visit www.thetwilightmusical.com. And for more booklover fun, be sure to stop by the RT Daily Blog!