X-Men musical coming to OPRF

The Oak Park and River Forest High School theater department will produce a world premiere of a musical about Marvel’s X-Men penned by alumnus Riley Thomas.

“It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s a good pressure,” said the director, Michelle Bayer, head of the theater program.

“X-Men: Mad Avenue,” to run May 5 through 13, is based on the fan-favorite Marvel characters and their storylines. However, Thomas has put his own spin on this musical with the permission of Marvel and Disney.

“X-Men is the best Marvel property to adapt for a musical…the characters are larger than life but instantly relatable, and their conflicts are based in their humanity,” Thomas said.

Science teacher Peter Vishneski, who is also an OPRF alum and did many shows during his student years, will portray Professor X. “I’m so behind the idea of having disabled people play disabled characters. I’m really happy to represent that population,” he said.

“This is one of the most exciting shows I’ve ever directed but also one of the scariest,” Bayer said.

Thomas urged everyone to come see the show and support the students regardless of familiarity level. “It’s created to introduce new audiences to the characters and conflicts that anchor the series in reality…(however) superfans…will be able to pick out all of the easter eggs,” he said.