The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors At First Stage

A legend has got to start somewhere!

screen capture for the First Stage website

This is just a rocking full on depiction of many a young persons imagination. Silly characters, seemingly fraught one on one confrontations, and music and dance to warm anyone’s heart…and get those toes tapping under the Marcus Center Todd Wehr Theater’s seats (mine were). And quite literally this musical had the kids jumping up and down in their seats. What a fun accomplishment for these players and this theater company.

The backstory? We have the featured three protagonists or champions or eventual opponents…all facing down other characters on their home turf. After not finding anyone able to ‘challenge’ them, they move on from their comfort zones…until the three of them…Rock, Paper, and Scissors square off and find out exactly how the game rock, paper, and scissors works. It’s an amazing journey. And I won’t give away the other characters that they face or how they eventually defeat them. And a legend has to start somewhere!

But besides our three ‘heroes’, we also have the MC who leads us through the story and fills us in on any of the action that they think we might miss…including a number of dad jokes that provoke the requisite number of giggles!

Max Larson (center) and cast in THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. First Stage, 2022. Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

As you can see from the photos that I’ve selected to accompany this article, this is just simply a fun combination of disco, Vegas, futuristic, Sci-fi, wrestling, and Soul costuming…I haven’t see just such a collection of patent leather shoes or lame’ material in years. Completely in sync with the show tunes vibe that The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors maintains for 70 solid minutes. So a special hats off to Jenny Thurnau, Costume Shop Manager for bringing this all together.

Karen Estrada (center) and cast in THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. First Stage, 2022. Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

And as you can see the lighting and imaginative stage really supports the tone and whimsy of the songs and book for this play! Kudos to Jason Fassl, Lighting Designer and Arnold Bueso, Scenic Designer.

And what I said about kids bouncing in their seats was absolutely true…the cast and play totally reach youngsters where they live! And I saw a number of family groups playing rock, paper, scissor as we walked along the Marcus Center grounds on the way to our transportation. The story has ‘legs’.

The highlight of the show that I attended was the MC (Max Larson ) asking a rhetorical question…how do you spell pterodactyl? But before he could answer himself, a young audience member just went ahead and started spelling it aloud. Bravo!! I won’t tell you the dad joke that follows, but Max wasn’t quite able to deliver that punchline before his audience did! What sheer fun!

My other big plaudit goes out to choreographer Molly Rhode who had a lot of different songs and tempos to deal with, a large cast and ‘chorus’, and special one on one dance moves during the various ‘battle scenes’! It all fit and worked far more smoothly that I would have expected with all of the players involved.

Daisha Lafford and Rick Pendzich in THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. First Stage, 2022. Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

But none of this would have worked without the amazing staging by Director Kelly Doherty and of course the story, lyrics, and music from John Maclay and Eric Norden.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors runs at the Marcus Center through April 3, 2022 and is recommended for theatergoers aged FOUR and older!!

Here is the Link to First Stage for more information and please pay attention to their current COVID protocols.

Oh goodness gracious, I almost forgot Paper!

Austin Nelson, Jr. in THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. First Stage, 2022. Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

And last but not least: extra credit reading: The Playbill!

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