Kurt Vonnegut's apocalyptic novel Cat's Cradle may be too weird for a straight-up adaptation into other media, with its crazy tangents about the religion of Bokononism and its meandering storyline. Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales) took a stab at making a movie version, but now says it's probably not happening. Instead, you can see a very silly-looking "calypso musical" theater version, which opens Feb. 22 in New York.
Why a calypso musical, you ask? Because much of Vonnegut's novel takes place in the fictional island of San Lorenzo, whose dictator brings about the end of the world using "ice nine," the substance that causes all water to freeze solid. And Vonnegut wrote several "calypsos," or Bokononist prayers, for the novel — which are being turned into songs. Here's how the Untitled Theater Co. #61 describes the adaptation:
A pageant that decries "the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind," this faithful, humorous adaptation of the cult classic is set in the Church of Bokononism, Vonnegut's fictional religion. Presenting a Bokononist passion play, the members of the church sing, play instruments (trumpet, flute, guitar, clarinet and xylophone are among the repertoire), and enact Vonnegut's politically resonant satire. A model set, projected on the back wall of the "church" via live video, forms the backdrop to the action.
The play runs from Feb. 22 to March 15, at Walkerspace, 46 Walker St. between Church and Broadway, two blocks south of Canal St. Tickets are $18. [Untitled Theater Co. #61]