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'Hedwig' star goes galactic with 'King GuitArthur'

Science fiction and glam-rock meet in a musical that is set to become a contest video.
Published: April 6, 2012

An intergalactic band of guitar-wielding assassins are on a mission to destroy Earth, but before King GuitArthur and the Druggs lay humanity to waste, they will give the world one last great rock show.

A glitter-rock musical written by Matthew Alvin Brown and Nicholas Tankersley, “King GuitArthur and the Druggs” premieres at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and continues April 13 and 14 at The Boom, 2218 NW 39. The concept for the ambitious stage production began when Brown and his fellow members of The Fellowship Students developed a science fiction glam-rock alter-ego for their group, and made a semi-permanent commitment to the project by creating a MySpace page.

The page still lingers out there, much like MySpace itself, but Tankersley said “King GuitArthur and the Druggs” became reality when Brown and Tankersley became neighbors and started pooling their lunacy.

“We started hanging out more, and through the course of hanging out one day, he said, ‘I have this project. I really want to do something with it, and I think you're the right person to get it written,” said Tankersley, whose film projects include “S&M Lawn Care,” which played at both the deadCenter Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival in 2010.

“So we originally wrote it as a screenplay,” he said. “We had been working on that for about a year and a half and we wanted to do something with it, so we went to the Boom, because they are really good about letting brand-new, crazy-show ideas on their stage to workshop them through.”

Tankersley and Brown set up the dates and began streamlining the screenplay, cutting scene changes and characters until it operated smoothly as a stage musical. The template for staging “King GuitArthur and the Druggs” comes from John Cameron Mitchell's “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” a musical Brown starred in with The Fellowship Students in the early '00s and revived in 2010. “King GuitArthur” stars Brown, his fellow Fellowship Students Nathan Siler and Jacob Becannen, David Spindle of the Rounders and Richard York of American Boyfriends.

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