Return to the Forbidden Planet
is a Jukebox Musical
by Bob Carlton, based on the 1956 film Forbidden Planet
(which was itself inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest
In this case the jukebox is full of '50s rock, including songs such as "Good Vibrations", "Great Balls of Fire", "Shake, Rattle, & Roll", plus of course "The Monster Mash".
In addition to tropes inherited from the movie, the musical provides examples of:
- Applied Phlebotinum: The X Factor drug, which creates planets and monsters when necessary but not consciously.
- Audience Participation: The audience is required to help out when the polarity is reversed.
- Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Miranda tries this on Captain Tempest after he sings about how she's much too young for him. "Good morrow, big boy!" It doesn't work quite the way she wants it - on the one hand, it does get the Captain's attention, but the robot Ariel has to remind her that it was her sweetness and charm that attracted the Captain to her in the first place, not a frou-frou frock.
- Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: Every spoken line in the musical is iambic pentameter, with many passages lifted (with modifications) from Shakespeare's plays.
- Referenced in the play itself, with the lines "Iambic's functioning; Pentameters locked in"
- Knight Templar: As Doctor Propsero wails, "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good - oh Lord, please don't make me be misunderstood."
- Love Triangle: Cookie The Woobie, Miranda The Ingenue, and Captain Tempest The Ace.
- Mad Scientist: Doctor Prospero, whose own wife recognized the potential horror of his creations and sent him into outer space for the greater good.
- Meaningful Name: The names of many main characters are altered for the musical to fit more with Shakespeare's The Tempest: Captain Tempest, Doctor Prospero, Miranda, Ariel the Robot, with the exception of Cookie and Gloria (G-L-O-R-I-A).
- Cookie's name isn't taken from The Tempest, but it's still an example of this trope. He's the cook.
- Arguably, the Ariel analogue in the movie wasn't the robot, it was the id monster. The Robot in the movie was a closer analogue to Caliban.
- Reality Warping Is Not a Toy
- The Reveal: An entire song is given over to the discovery that the seductive and dangerous Science Officer is none other than Gloria, the wife of Doctor Prospero, who sent him into space years ago (with their daughter, accidentally) to save the world from his madness. Other revelations (sadly not sung) include the true effects of the X Factor, and the nature of the planet D'Illyria.
- Retcon: the backstory for the mad scientist and his daughter is amended significantly, new characters are added, and everyone's names are changed.
- Reverse Polarity: Naturally.
- Sensor Suspense: During the third visit from the invisible monster. Radar showed something approaching, but no one can see it...
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: "Blow winds and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow... strike flat the thick rotundity of this world! I am a dad more sinned against than sinning."
- Thermal Dissonance: The Krell's machine room doors.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Doctor Prospero's masterpiece, the X Factor drug, can make matter out of thoughts - unfortunately, this includes the Id, the repressed base desires of every human being. In an extension of this, it is revealed at the end that the entire planet of D'Illyria was generated from Doctor Prospero's Super-Ego, thus the planet destroys itself when he does.