Dinosaurs, show tunes and sex changes are not topics people typically expect to encounter when they go to the theater.
But that’s what they get in “Triassic Parq: The Musical, ” now onstage in The City and presented by Ray of Light Theatre.
It has a deliciously quirky plot: A female Tyrannosaurus rex turns male, and suddenly, members of the entire dino pack begin to question their own individual identities and genders.
The show, which earned raves in 2010 at the New York Fringe Festival and won best musical at Los Angeles’ 2013 Ovation Awards, was concocted by Marshall Pailet, Bryce Norbitz and Steve Wargo; Pailet wrote the music.
“It’s not very often that theater audiences get the chance to see something so new and edgy. The excitement generated by this show gives an indication that people want to see material that’s less run-of-the-mill,” says Alex Kirschner, Ray of Light’s production manager and director of the San Francisco production. He adds, “‘Jurassic Park’ was one of the biggest blockbusters of its time, and when audiences hear that there’s a rock musical that tells the dinosaurs’ side of the story, you can’t help but be curious.”
Frothy and savage, the show shines a spotlight on love, faith and science — all that with singing dinosaurs, such as Velociraptor of Faith (David Naughton), Mime-a-saurus (Javi Harnly) and Velociraptor of Innocence (Lewis Rawlinson making his Bay Area debut).
Kirschner says the casting process involved finding six local actors who have “impeccable comic timing, could sing rock music and dance traditional Broadway, jazz, soft shoe, tap, and hip-hop.
“That’s no minor feat when there’s so much theater going on in the area,” he adds, “but we gathered an insanely talented group to tell this story; if I could bottle this cast up and take them with me everywhere I go, I would.”
The show’s producers think “Triassic Parq” should do well in The City.
“San Franciscans have impeccable taste, uncanny senses of humor and can handle some unapologetically crass material, so we’re stoked to bring them this show,” Kirschner says. “[It] touches on very human themes — community, identity, love and betrayal. There’s a level of incongruity and absurdity there that is very San Francisco.”
IF YOU GO
Triassic Parq: The Muscial
Presented by Ray of Light Theatre
Where: Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, plus 2 p.m. June 21 and June 28; closes June 28
Tickets: $25 to $36
Contact: (415) 788-7469, www.rayoflighttheatre.com