In this unusual form of musical, YOU have a say in the story. The audience is taken on a 'choose your own adventure'-style journey that is a mix between a who-dun-it mystery and a role-playing game, where audience members are immersed- literally- in the story. Full of hilarity, cliché character stereotypes, and one-of-a-kind heart and originality, this musical brings a whole new type of experience into the realm of live theatre.
The actors playing the Leading Man, Ingénue, Comic Relief, Bad Guy, Outcast, Narrator, Ensemble Member, and even the techies have been trapped in the theater for longer than they can remember. Forced to act out plots given to them by the same mysterious force that kidnapped them, all they can do is hope that the audience will make the right choices that can lead to them being set free.
"Choose carefully along the track, for once you do, you can't go back."
Full Production in March 2015 at Theater Works in Peoria, AZ
"The Choose Your Own Adventure series for children ~ stories calling on the reader to make choices for the characters at critical turning points in a plot ~ is a nifty concept on which to base a musical entertainment, and the multi-talented Jamie Elizabeth Maletz has taken an inspired...stab at such a challenge with the staging of CHOOSE YOUR OWN... for which she has also written the book, music, and lyrics.
In this two-acter, an ensemble of actors ~ cutely named Leading Man, Ingénue, Comic Relief, Outcast, Bad Guy, and Narrator ~ has been trapped in space and in time, in the confines of a black box theater, by an unseen but ubiquitous Puppet Master, who challenges them to act out the plots of his creation. At every turn, there are knaves and monsters to be fought. It is to the audience that the Narrator invariably turns for decisions about which path the characters should take. The question is whether audience input will provide the keys to escape from the kidnapper's clutches.
The seeds of meaningful allegory reside in this script and are most poignantly revealed by Maletz's songs...the music and lyrics are definitely the work of a future star.
More importantly, the songs have an inescapable relevance to issues of self-respect and identity. Take, for example, this simple but elegant phrase: "The bottom line of fear is/Will I get out of here/and know myself?" It rather captures the thread that binds the allegory. It reminds as well that we all are responsible for the answer to this question and to the solutions that free us from the puppet master's entrapment. And Ms. Maletz is driving the point home.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ... ran for three performances at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts from March 6th to 8th. I, for one, look forward to her return and the further development of Ms. Maletz's work."- Herbert Paine, BroadwayWorld.com- Phoenix