Fan fiction has inspired so many movies we love, from After (inspired by a One Direction fan fiction) to The Mortal Instruments (inspired by a Harry Potter fan fic!), and now the genre has inspired a hilarious musical parody written and produced by comedians and musicians in Los Angeles based on the Fast and The Furious franchise.
Last weekend, I had the chance to catch The Fast and The Furious: A Musical Parody at the Dynasty Typewriter in LA at their third sold-out performance. It was a hot ticket, there were tons of people outside trying to snag a seat and I even spotted Modern Family star Sarah Hyland and her Bachelor alum boyfriend Wells Adams in the audience.
While I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show – mostly because I’ve never seen one of the Fast and the Furious movies, I enjoyed every minute of it. As a big fan of both musicals and fan fiction, this show had everything I could have wanted. Blending music, comedy, and theatre, the musical pokes fun at the movies and their characters in a way that’s fun for anyone, whether you’re a Fast and the Furious fan or not.
If you’re not familiar with the plot of any of the films or somehow, like me, haven’t made it to the theatre to see any of the eight installments on the franchise, they’re basically action movies starring huge names like The Rock and Ludacris, full of street racing, crime fighting, and a strong theme of family.
The musical parody challenges all of these concepts, using catchy songs about the ideas of “good guys” vs. “bad guys” and why movie-goers are so obsessed with action and violence. The first act of the show centers around the characters and how the franchise came to be, told with upbeat musical numbers like “Archetypal Character” a song about how movie characters are often pretty simple and left without complex human motives.
The show stars actors, singers, and comedians from the Los Angeles area, including Frankie, a singer-songwriter in LA who’s snagged attention from Taylor Swift (check that photo out below!) and released two EPs that are constantly in our steady rotation of perfect pop music. Check out this throwback interview we did with her when she released her first EP! She plays Charlize Theron in the show and gets to debut her hilarious acting chops while also showing off the vocals we know and love from her. The show is a must-see for any Frankie fan.
The whole show had me smiling ear to ear, but my favorite part had to be the personification of cars. Yes, you read that right. There are actors playing cars in the show, trying to get their revenge on the film’s characters who crash and “murder” cars without thinking of their feelings. Any show that makes the audience feel true sympathy towards a car is pretty powerful in my book.
Aside from being a really great night of music and comedy, I wanted to bring it to our readers’ attention because it was written, directed, and produced by a group of creative friends in Los Angeles, and proves that you can make anything happen with just an idea and a lot of passion. Starting as just a funny joke between two friends, the show’s creators made it all happen themselves, from the writing to the music to the casting, and now they’ve got a hilarious full-length musical that’s sold out every performance. I got to ask the show’s musical director and songwriter, Petro A.P. – who has his own impressive list of musical accomplishments including writing and producing with Frankie, Scott Hoying of The Pentatonix, and even working on One Direction’s hit Midnight Memories – how the show came to be and why he thinks you’ll love it as much as I did.
YSBnow: Tell me where the idea for this show began.
PA: Brad [Silnutzer] and Joey [Orton] came to me with a full script and a ton of music and I sort of thought they were kidding. They had taken what started as a joke between the two of them and actually built out an entire story line. I thought it was hilarious and their excitement for the project made me eager to get involved and help make it a reality.
YSBnow: You’ve worked on a lot of pop music. Was the writing process for this show different for you?
PA: Yeah it was way different! Writing songs in the musical format is a lot of fun because it’s not as limiting as pop music. You can break a lot of rules by exploring different genres and extending parts. With a pop song it has to be short and concise, and the production has to be modern but in a musical song you can bust into a dance break or extend a note for an awkwardly hilarious amount of time for no reason other than to get a laugh. As soon as we knew what each song would be about Brad, Joey, and I would put together a list of all the jokes/puns we wanted to hit in that song and we would build our songs out based on those lists. Some songs came super quickly and others – especially in the second half of the play where it gets more philosophical – took more time to get right because we wanted to make sure they hit the themes in the most impactful way.
YSBnow: Do you have a favorite song in the show?
PA: That’s tough. I really like Rev-Rev-Revolution, Archetypal Character, and Violence, but my personal favorite is probably Bromance. It’s an ode to the friendship between The Rock and Jason Statham. It’s also the one song I play acoustic guitar during the show so it’s a nice break from the piano and hi def musical productions.
YSBnow: What advice do you have for someone who wants to bring their creative idea to life?
PA: Just start doing it! When Joey and Brad initially came to me with the idea their excitement was palpable and it made me want to help. Once we were joined by Michael Klein and Andy Aidekman the excitement of our small team made the cast want to work super hard and kick butt. It was our excitement that kept the project going every step of the way.
So many people come up with fun creative ideas but are too overwhelmed with what it takes to to pursue them. But the universe favors people who take action and move forward even if it’s small steps.
YSBnow: What’s next for The Fast and the Furious Musical Parody?
PA: We’ve sold out every time we’ve put it on so our plan is to keep that streak going here in LA! The Dynasty Typewriter Theater has been an incredible partner and we’re really lucky to work with such a rich historic venue. Taking it to New York and putting it on in other cities across the USA would be a blast, but for now LA is the home base and we’re going to do our best to keep packing the theater and let the word of mouth travel organically.
Make sure to follow the show on Instagram @thefastandthefurious_musical for upcoming performances!