Every theatre person has, in the bloom of youth, cried out, “That’s a great idea for a show!” then made camp in an organic-only coffeehouse for two years, scribbling on a Moleskine and occasionally, for extra artist-cred, napkins. They max out their credit cards to buy secondhand props, hire their most talented friends, and launch the show to rave reviews by the campus paper for the full two weeks of the run. Usually, that’s where it ends, because usually these sorts of projects aren’t very good. This is where Terrance Zdunich and Darren Smith should have stopped. Instead, we get Repo.
Repo! The Genetic Opera is a high-concept rock opera that tries earnestly to be this generation’s Rocky Horror Picture Show. The movie imagines a near-future urban landscape in which a family monopoly rules over the ruthless organs-for-hire industry — if you can’t pay up, they send out Repo Men to recall all your viable organs. The concept is intriguing, and promises an anarchic dystopia that seems the ideal setting for a modern rock opera.