Greg Hundemer’s musical Metalhead, at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, is set 100 years in the future when robots, who have mostly replaced humans in the workforce, are starting to rebel against their creators, even to the point of killing them. Hasbro has created a “botstick” that will keep a robot in line but does not kill them. The Governor of Texas, Kathy Bea (Tami Hillberry), hopes to be the first woman president. She is running on an anti-robot platform against Roto (Brian Nichols), the first robot candidate for president. Into their fractious campaign comes news of a Bot Killer who survived the massacre of students by robots at an academy. Jaz (Audi Resendez) and her boyfriend Tack (Paul Salzar, Jr.) revel in her newfound power and prestige. Jaz gleefully joins in Bea’s campaign but then disappears during an anti-robot demonstration. She was rescued and her life saved by Arnie (Matt Citron), a robot RN. During her convalescence, the two develop feelings for each other. When Jaz discovers she is pregnant, who is the father? Hundemer’s script is fun and even witty at times, making comments on today’s political atmosphere from 100 years in the future. What doesn’t work are his songs which really aren’t that melodic and don’t really propel the story as much as his dialogue. The cast is game (Nichols and Citron really do well as robots) but they just don’t have the singing prowess to pull of even the lackluster score. Metalhead might work better as just a full out political parody.
June 27, 2017: