Written by 6:37 am fullerton, Maverick Theatre, Review, Theater, Uncategorized

PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE @ Maverick Theater – Review

photo courtesy:halloweeneverynight.com

Written by Patrick Chavis

Art can be challenging in ways other disciplines are straightforward. For instance, math has rules. If you follow the rules, you get the desired result. Art and acting are not so straightforward. People are praised for having a certain level of technique and ability, but how to get there and what that looks like can vary, and there are a lot of different opinions. However, when someone does a bad job acting, you don’t have to be a critic. Most people can recognize a bad performance. A play like Plan 9 from Outer Space, playing now at the Maverick Theater in Fullerton. It’s trying to make something objectively bad that is the goal. But Ironically, to make something bad, you need good actors, that can act like bad ones.

This is an outlandish play about aliens, zombies, and the end of the world. On the surface, it may seem bizarre or a waste of time. But for the right person in the theater, that bizarre play about zombies may have been just what they needed to see. Having plays like this, they challenge you to take risks. If this guy who made this terrible film can make a film, what’s stopping me?


Simply put, Plan 9 from Outer Space is a play based on an independent black-and-white sci-fi horror film from 1950. The story centers around aliens trying to stop humanity from creating a weapon that could destroy the universe. For whatever reason, they believe raising the dead will get the attention of Earth, and convince the Earthlings not to make the weapon.

This is not a direct adaptation of the Plan 9 from Outer Space film. At the same time, a lot of the same story is told. This play not only tells the story, but it’s also poking fun at it while it’s telling it. Writer Brian Newell is aware that this story is bonkers, and he goes all in. There are whole scenes in this that feel like the actors are improvising, and purposely butchering lines with weird pronunciations.

One of the most ingenious parts of this show is the live video projection used to set the scenes. It’s not even hidden. You can watch them create the moving sets as the play continues, and the crew is a part of the show. Since everything is live and spontaneous, the play gives the feeling of something being created right before you, even though you know it’s scripted. The crew of experienced actors at the Maverick makes it feel organic, and I think that it comes from producing this show annually for several years now.


Most of the show is performed on stage in front of the live projected video screen. Every inch of theater space is used. The actors walk through the audience. They use the bar to the left of the stage. The show is constantly active. Despite being a mere audience member, I felt very involved in the performance from my seat.


The acting in this was bad; the delivery was bad, and that’s exactly what they needed to do. The director had a vision, and the actors communicated it well. The material is delivered well. Whether it’s your cup of tea is another thing altogether.

Maverick Theater veteran members Jaycob Hunter, Hailey Tweter, Jeremy Krasovic, Tara Pitt, Kevin J. Garcia, Rob Downs, and Frank Tryon deliver the funny and make scenes that could easily fall apart work.

The show has no intermission. It doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s a charming show and a love letter to those B Movies of yesteryear that don’t get the same reverence as the more critically acclaimed films of the past do.

8.1 Overall
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Set & Design8.5
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Good Show! OCR Recommended! August 11 – 26, 2023

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