You may know Jonathan Coulton for his humorous, often nerd-culture themed songs. Or maybe you know him as the co-host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. But Coulton is also the inspiration for a new musical that premiered Friday night in Boise.
Computer programmer turned musician Coulton is a rock star to geeks and nerds. That’s why computer programmer / musical theater director / Idaho resident Gregg Irwin and fellow techie Eric Shuss created The Future Soon. It’s a musical written around more than a dozen Coulton songs. Coulton keeps his music open-source. People can do whatever they want with it as long as they don’t try to make money from it. But Irwin met with Coulton and got permission to use it commercially, just to be sure.
Irwin says it was a challenge creating a story around songs that cover so many nerdy bases.
“It’s the story of two young roboticists who try to save the world while the girl who loves them becomes their cyborg nemesis,” Irwin says. “You know, boy meets girl, zombie apocalypse, girl becomes cyborg.”
The Future Soon has three more shows next weekend at Playhouse Boise. After that Irwin says the script, like Jonathan Coulton’s music, will be open-source online.
Irwin says his sci-fi comedy is fundamentally a story about human relationships.
“We hope people will come in wanting to see singing zombies and then we’ll hit them with some things that maybe they can talk about later and think about,” Irwin says.
Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam
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