'Khan!!! The Musical!' is a wacky 'Star Trek' adaptation best served live Off-Broadway

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. (Image credit: Paramount)

Director Nicholas Meyer's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is widely considered to be the best of the "Star Trek" movies and consistently takes the top spot in any respectable ranking. Now, the beloved Hollywood sci-fi film from 1982 will serve as loose inspiration for a wild new live theater production in New York City this spring.

Peekskill Productions just announced their official run dates for "Khan!!! The Musical!: A Parody Trek-tacular," co-written, composed, and lyrics by Brent Black, co-conceived and additional materials by Alina Morgan, and directed by John Lampe. 

This irresistible interpretation plays a limited five-week engagement inside Off-Broadway's Players Theatre in New York City. Performances begin May 4 and continue through June 4. 

Opening Night is scheduled for Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25-$65 and are available at www.khaniscoming.com or by calling the theater at 212-475-1449. In addition to the nightly performances, Saturdays and Sundays offer a 2 p.m. matinee.

Khan!!! The Musical!, a Star Trek parody, is warping off Broadway this summer. (Image credit: Peekskill Productions)

Here’s the official description:

"It is 2366, and Data the Android presents his campy musical adaptation of "'The Wrath of Khan.' In this sci-fi send-up, an older Captain Kirk is experiencing a 'coming of middle age' story when his nemesis Khan escapes exile and vows revenge. The ensuing cat-and-mouse game sparks an adventure that includes Vulcan tap dancing, Kirk’s long-lost son (a William Shatner impersonator), and of course ... mutant space chickens!"

Creator and composer Brent Black is likely one of the few hardcore Trekkies in the universe whose fandom arose specifically out of the "Star Trek" movies themselves. 

"I watched a little bit of "The Next Generation" as a kid, but around 2009, I watched the first seven "Star Trek" movies in pretty close succession and loved them," Black tells Space.com. "Around that time I also started exploring various "Star Trek" TV shows, but my gateway really was the series of movies including "The Wrath of Khan.

"In 2015, I went to a weird dance show in Brooklyn that had a pair of dancing astronauts; and I suddenly thought "These two kind of look like Chekov and Terrell in "The Wrath of Khan." And I started thinking about what it would be like to write a musical based on the movie. Pretty soon I had an outline, but I couldn't quite figure out a framing device that would explain why it was a musical. I thought the character of "Q" might be a narrator retelling the story in a way he found more interesting. But my friend Alina Morgan suggested that it should be Data presenting his musical version of the Khan story on the Holodeck. From there, I was off and running.

"One thing I learned in developing this show is that if you say "I'm writing a "Star Trek" parody musical," a lot of people are immediately skeptical. But a lot of time and craftsmanship has gone into making a show that's a loving roast of the "Trek" universe while simultaneously being a toe-tapping musical with heart and depth. One of the coolest surprises throughout the show's 7-year development has been how the folks who have never watched "Star Trek" have a really great time.”

The theatrical poster for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan from 1982. (Image credit: Paramount)

For director John Lampe, this project was a nostalgic return to the colorful sci-fi realm that Gene Roddenberry conjured up and was later expanded into "Trek" films, TV shows, books, and comics.

"There were infinite worlds and even better; infinite adventures," Lampe explains to Space.com. "And we only saw the voyages of one starship! I loved imagining how many different stories could be told with the crew of the Enterprise, not to mention all of the other ships in Starfleet!

Khan (Ricardo Montalban) on the warpath in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. (Image credit: Paramount)

"One of the things that I've always loved about TOS in particular was just how much had to be done on a limited budget and with a limited amount of time. That's certainly something that we can relate to in the theatre world. It also lends itself to some pretty exciting creative opportunities. When you can't throw $5 million at a problem, you've got to think of some unorthodox ways to address it, whether that's a pithy new line, a wholly rewritten scene or sometimes, a slightly visible zipper on the back on an alien costume. 

"One thing that Brent and I are both passionate about is making this show appealing not only to long term fans but to casual theatre goers alike. Whether you've seen every episode of every series, wore out your paperback copy of "The Eugenics Wars," or you've never watched a single frame of a "Star Trek" film or show, "Khan!!!" has something for you." 

"Khan!!! The Musical!: A Parody Trek-tacular" warps onto its New York stage from May 4 to June 4.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.