World Premiere Musical about Plus-Size Dating Busts into Space 55

Written by Wynter Holden Category: Performing Arts Issue: April 2016
Group Free

Photo by Glen GoldblattAs anyone who’s spent countless hours perfecting a profile or braved a blind date that felt more like a job interview can attest, dating sucks. And what if you’re not the perfect blonde size-two? Prepare to receive more left swipes and painful jabs than a MMA rookie.

The perils of plus-size dating are at the heart of local playwright Kim Porter and San Francisco songwriter Roger P. Clark’s new musical, Blue Galaxy, opening this Friday, April 29 at Space 55. The show follows Lana, an Amazonian pin-up gal who owns a vintage shop and drives a sweet ’59 Ford Galaxy. She gets more than her fair share of men – unfortunately, they’re all late-night booty calls more interested in her car’s curves than her own.

“The play is extremely difficult in subject, and is not recommended for everyone,” says director Duane Daniels, a veteran TV actor and former artistic director of Buzzworks Theatre in L.A. “The cast is amazing.” The leading role’s physical and emotional requirements made casting a challenge. After an extensive search, Daniels tapped local actress Libby Mueller to bring Lana to life. The cast also features Jamie Sanderson as Lana’s new beau and Space 55 regular Ashley Naftule as Louie.

In the show, Mueller’s curvaceous character stumbles upon a catch-22 when she dates around looking for someone who loves her in spite of her size, only to be courted by an adorably geeky comic book shop owner who prefers his girls pleasingly plump. Add an abusive musician father to the mix and you have a hard-hitting play that ventures far from typical Sound of Music territory.

Though most musicals are family-friendly, Blue Galaxy scores a solid R-rating. “[It’s] extremely challenging to direct,” says Daniels. “There is sex, violence, songs and a lot of locations.” The settings are so varied that some audience seating had to be removed just to accommodate the scenery. Catch the world premiere of Blue Galaxy at Space 55 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 22. Tickets are $15-20.

If you go:
Space 55
636 E. Pierce St, Phoenix