Campbell Theater: The Invisible man is both haunting and a bit unnerving

Can you imagine what it may have been like to be sitting in the same room with Andrew Lloyd Webber while he was creating Phantom of the Opera, or while Lin-Manuel Mirada was imagining his creation of Hamilton? Who are the people who answered the artist when he asked, “what do you think of these lyrics”, or “what do you think of this powerful crescendo as the Phantom comes down the great staircase during the masquerade ball?”

As a theater reviewer , I recently ,for the first time, had the privilege of being invited to sit in the living room with the author of a new musical as he and his co-creators worked on it as it emerged from their minds with computer keyboard and pencil rapidly embellishing their work.

This author, Jim Maher, has embarked on an exciting new musical interpretation of the Invisible Man, a story based on the original H.G. Wells novel published in 1897, and the theatrical productions that followed. Now in the hands of the very talented musician and author, Jim Maher, the story has been re-formulated with a powerful musical format, reconfigured verbally to fit a more modern time-frame.

This is a story centers around a mysterious man, a Berkeley doctor and scientist, Jack Griffin (Christian McCooey), who left the field of medicine to devote himself to research into optics, and while doing so, discovered a way to change a body’s refractive index until it was comparable to that of air, so that it neither absorbs nor reflects light. He has become an excessively reclusive, irascible, unfriendly, and introverted individual, who spends most of his time in his residence working to near exhaustion on his formulas and chemicals. One of the principal chemicals used to formulate the chemistry he is experimenting with, is making him go mad and has transformed him to become invisible. He becomes obsessed with the belief that invisibility will allow him to become very powerful and perhaps allow him to get even with those impeding his progress. He also discovers that while being invisible and irascible, it is very difficult to continue doing his work while having to deal with other human beings for supplies and other necessities.. Consequently, while invisible, he must don somewhat unique clothing, along with facial bandages and dark glasses, a costume that makes him look like a man who has been injured in a very serious accident. The intensity of his study, and the cost of his chemistry and materials without adequate funding, has forced him into a perilous predicament when he cannot pay his rent or furnish himself with food to maintain a healthy sustenance.  He has no other option but to seek assistance from a now married, ex-girlfriend, Mary (Angelina Donhoff) and her husband, Robert (James Schott).

This ploy allows him to hide his invisibility (until he finds a way to reverse the process). His battle to deal with his chemistry and survive, causes him to become even more chaotic and enraged, leading him into a state of irreversible madness. The situation becomes more fearful and foreboding in the play’s new storyline.

This powerful new musical comes alive in the Campbell Theater in downtown Martinez, at 636 Ward Street, Martinez, CA 94553 on this coming Friday, June 24th at 8pm.  The play continues Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm, with performances on Sundays at 2:30 pm and on Thursday, July 7th at 7:30 pm.

Author Maher invites you to join him and his company of actors as they open this spell-binding tale and keep you in suspense until the final searing moments unfold. The lyrics and exciting music will resonate throughout the evening.  Tickets are quite reasonable at $22 for Seniors (62+), Students and Military. General admission will be slightly more at $25 each. If you go to his website for more information at https://jimmaher1.com/ you may purchase tickets in advance with a small additional service fee for the Ticket providing company. Also, tickets may be purchased at www.campbelltheater.com or at the theater itself. As far as Covid requirements, you must provide evidence that you and your guests are fully vaccinated, and masks are not required in the theater!

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