1979 the Other Gods Theatre, a troupe of Los Angeles thespians,
began production of a theatrical event like none ever before
attempted. Using the score of a classic American musical,
they adapted the collected works of H.P. Lovecraft into an
all-dancing, all-singing theatre extravaganza: A Shoggoth
on the Roof.
For reasons not entirely known, the production failed to
open and the members of the company went their separate ways.
Their bold enterprise would likely have vanished into the
footnotes of musical theatre history were it not for one fact.
An unknown party captured a rehearsal on Super 8 movie film.
In 1999, long-time Lovecraftian writers/producers Sean Branney
and Andrew Leman managed to obtain a forgotten press release
and the only known copy of this footage from A Shoggoth
on the Roof. With these clues, they set out on a relentless
mission: to learn who would actually attempt to stage a Lovecraftian
musical, and what happened when they did. The result is A
Shoggoth on the Roof: the Documentary.
investigative documentary intercuts between original production
footage and contemporary interviews with Lovecraftian luminaries.
The filmmakers track down cast members from the 1979 production,
some of whom went on to receive Oscar… nominations, others
of whom were confined in psychiatric institutions.
Although mystery still shrouds the production, this 20 minute
documentary irrefutably proves that there are some things
man was not meant to adapt to musical theatre.