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Intergalactic Nemesis Book Two: Robot Planet Rising

Posted on November 6, 2013 | 3:36pm | Travel Costa Mesa

The Intergalactic Nemesis returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts with Book Two: Robot Planet Rising in the Samueli Theater.  The sequel to last season’s hit show picks up two weeks after the end of book one with the adventures of Molly Sloan and Timmy Mendez.

The star of the show is the storytelling method in this visually striking performance.  Intergalactic Nemesis combines radio-style storytelling drama with over 1,000 comic book visuals.  The show takes the original artwork from the comic book and projects the images onto a two-story high video screen.  Three actors provide the voices for all of the characters; one performer creates all of the sound effects while a keyboardist provides the score.

The Intergalactic Nemesis - Book 2 Robot Planet Rising Poster

We were able to catch up with Intergalactic Nemesis creator and producer Jason Neulander to get an inside perspective on the show.  The radio version of Intergalactic Nemesis was created in a coffee shop in Austin, Texas on a series of 4-track cassette recordings.  After gaining a following and reputation in Austin, the show was invited into a 2,000+-seat theater to be performed as a stage show.  Neulander said that he thought the venue was too large for the project at the time, but the space inspired the idea to create the comic book artwork projections and incorporate them into the show.  The artwork took 15 months to complete and since then, the show has been touring pretty much non-stop.

Intergalactic Nemesis Photos by Sarah Bork Hamilton-0001

Neulander admitted that he did not have much experience with radio-style shows when he first started recording Intergalactic Nemesis.  But, he is a huge fan of old, dialogue driven movies especially old pulp, short-action and sci-fi films and used these types of stories and storytelling methods to develop the show.  Neulander said that the opening set up for Book Two: Robot Planet Rising was inspired by the movie Aliens where the audience is thrust into the story, with no idea what is happening.  The opening sets up the pace of the performance with everything leading to an intense cliffhanger at the end of act one.  The rest of the performance builds with an edge-of-your-seat excitement with the culmination of everything creating an ultimate climax that is sure to leave the audience satisfied.

Neulander’s creation has mass appeal, not just for fans of radio shows and comic books.  He drew inspiration from movies like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Arc that give audiences a great story, action, adventure and, most importantly, fun.  Neulander said that Intergalactic Nemesis is like a Pixar film in that kids and adults alike will be entertained with the younger audience becoming enthralled by the story and visuals and the adults will finding humor in the jokes interwoven in the dialogue.

Intergalactic Nemesis Photos by Sarah Bork Hamilton-0009

Book Two combines four different story arcs with the actors playing multiple roles.  For Neulander, it is more challenging to perform than Book One, but the challenge is part of the fun.  The years of touring with Intergalactic Nemesis has exceeded Neulander’s expectations exponentially, but like the show’s humble cassette beginnings, it continues to grow and evolve.  Neulander is currently developing a staged show for Book Three.

For people who have never seen the show, if you love storytelling, action, adventure and fun, than Intergalactic Nemesis is for you.  Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with Book One because it isn’t a requisite for Book Two.  There are performances at SCFTA November 8-11.  Click here for tickets and showtimes. Be sure to arrive early because there are Intergalactic pre-show activities before each performance.