Saga: The Rock Opera

You got a taste of it at Pride, but we have the inside look at Philly's next big musical

Mullets, skinny ties and the Cold War. These are a few of Erik Ransom’s favorite things. His new show SAGA: The Rock Opera travels back in time to the 1980s, channeling synth-pop and inspired by (oddly enough) Nordic mythology. The Brat Productions show opens June 22 with a live concert reading at L’Etage (6th and Bainbridge), and delves into what it means to be living on the fringe of society.

The ingredients may seem a little over the top, but the story will likely resonate with LGBT audiences today thanks to the lead character. Aleric is a man on the fringe in 1984, with two wars raging in the U.S. – a Cold War and a culture war (think art, AIDS and coming of age). Through some unusual turn of events, he ends up gaining special insights and a power that could change everything.

With musical direction by Henco Espag and direction by Greg Giovanni, SAGA features a slew of new performers, including Zachary Chiero, Valerie Jonkoff, Daniel Kiernan, Eric B. Oliver, and Chelsea West.

SAGA deals with the Nordic legend of the Ragnarok, a conflagration that consumes men and gods alike destroying all the world,” says Ransom. “The beauty of the Norse mythos is that Ragnarok is not as final as the Christian apocalypse. Although the world is essentially destroyed in both myths, in Ragnarok, that purifying destruction is only part of a cycle wherein the world can begin again – a fresh start. I hope that SAGA will make people think about the choices we made as a society in the 1980s and how they’ve come to haunt us in the present day.”

SAGA: The Rock Opera, June 20 – 22, 8 p.m., June 23, 5 p.m., L’Etage, 6th and Bainbridge, 267-586-9093.