The Trail To Oregon! is the ninth original online musical from Team StarKid. It is the story of a pioneer family and their journey to Oregon in the style of the Oregon Trail video game.
The Trail To Oregon! was written and directed by Nick Lang, with music and lyrics by Jeff Blim, additional writing by Brian Holden and additional music by Drew DeFour. The show was also based around a book by Jeff Blim and Nick and Matt Lang. It features dance choreography by Katie Spelman, set design by Jen Lang and Teia Smith, costumes by Nick Lang, lighting design by Sarah Petty and sound design by Mark Swiderski.
The Trail to Oregon! performed alongside Ani: A Parody in 2014 as a part of the Starkid Summer Season. Audience members were allowed to buy tickets to both shows or choose one. The show ran from July 3rd to August 10th 2014 with 24 performances. It was done on Stage 773 in Chicago, Illinois. It also had a limited off-Broadway run the following year at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York, and ran from May 26th to 31st, 2015.
The recorded show premiered on YouTube on February 13th, 2015. The album was released the same day on iTunes.
The Trail To Oregon! holds the record for the smallest cast in a full StarKid show, at six actors.
|Jaime Lyn Beatty||Daughter(Mouthface) / Darla / General Store Guy's Wife / Animal|
|Jeff Blim||Father(Jack Bauer) / Father Buffalo|
|Corey Dorris||Grandpa (Titty Mitty) / Cletus Jones / Fire / Animal|
|Lauren Lopez||Son (Craphole) / Fire / Animal|
|Joey Richter||McDoon / Citizens / General Store Guy / Baby Buffalo / Owner / Cornwallis / Doctor / Animal|
|Rachael Soglin||Mother (Slippery When Wet) / Mother Buffalo / Animal|
(*) Bold names denote the actor's onstage Starkid debut
The show begins, and we are introduced to the characters: Father, a farmer from Illinois, Mother, a mother of two, Daughter, looking for love on the trail, Son, seven and male, and Grandpa, who wants to go to Wisconsin instead because his legs hurt. The characters are named by the audience (Gone to Oregon), with the names in the live show on YouTube as follows:
- Father - Jack Bauer
- Mother - Slippery When Wet
- Daughter - Mouthface
- Son - Craphole
- Grandpa - Titty-Mitty
- Family name - the Dikrats
The family arrives in Independence, Missouri, the "place where [their] great journey begins." Father is taken in by a shyster of a general store owner, called General Store Guy (Independence!). Daughter meets and is charmed by Henry McDoon, a smooth-talking "fur trapper and trader" who at the end of the conversation is revealed to be the Bandit King (peace sign across face), famed along the Trail for his thefts from travellers. After he is refused Daughter's hand in marriage, he swears his revenge on the family and leaves with his companion, Cletus Jones. Meanwhile, Father purchases a ludicrously overpriced wagon and a blind, horny ox (believed to be the offspring of one of the townspeople in Independence and his ox) from General Store Guy. As the family travel, Father tries to convince everyone that the trip will be fun and "edumacational" (The Grind).
Later, Son gets into trouble for eating all the grass that the ox was supposed to eat as they travel, and is tasked to go hunting with Daughter and Grandpa. Son successfully hunts and kills buffalo, and is wracked with guilt for doing so (Pays to Be an Animal).
Mother and Daughter have an argument because Daughter feels like Mother never lets her do anything she wants to - in reference to when Mother tells McDoon to leave her daughter alone and that he'd never marry her, saying he would have "better luck sticking [his] pecker in a cactus." After Daughter storms off, Mother tries to reassure Son that killing the buffalo was the right thing to do, and is left guilty herself for upsetting her daughter (When the World's at Stake).
Mother and Father talk, and Father tries to woo her in a complicated exchange that ends up with the band helping get them in the same bed. In the bed, Mother gets bitten by a snake and Father accidentally consumes the snake venom after sucking it out of Mother's blood. He becomes delirious and is told one of the family will die of dysentery, as chosen by the Watchers (who are actually the audience) (Dysentery World).
Meanwhile, the family is preparing Father's funeral, with Mother digging the hole and the children making a tombstone (peperony and chease). Just as Father is about to be buried, he wakes up, still delirious, but now with an addiction to snake venom. He then 'flies' off, with Grandpa seeing that he's "finally making sense" and flying with him. The children join, and Mother is left looking on. She decides to snap them out of it by slapping them, and we discover that McDoon is watching them, in preparation to steal Daughter to make her his child bride. He sets fire to the family's wagon and kidnaps Daughter, leaving the rest of the family devastated (Wagon on Fire).
Daughter is alone with McDoon and Cletus Jones as they make their way to Mexico, missing her family and feeling very lost (Lost Without You). The rest of the family arrive at an inn along the trail, where Mother removes her wedding ring and gives it away, in anger for Father allowing Daughter to be taken. She leaves Father, taking Son with her. Grandpa tells Father how he actually lost his wife, Eleanor, to lobsters, who banished him to the land, and took his million dollars, which Father dismisses. The General Store Guy enters, and Father demands the General Store Guy at gunpoint that he give the family a better wagon for free, and reflects on his own failings (When the World's at Stake (Reprise)).
He and Grandpa leave on the new wagon and catch up with Mother and Son, who agree to help try rescue Daughter. They blaze the trail at superspeed to catch up to Daughter and McDoon (Speedrun). Meanwhile, McDoon decides to float his wagon down the river, so he turns his ox into caulk to use on the wagon (Caulk the Wagon). The wagon tips up, however, and McDoon and Cletus are washed down the river. Daughter is rescued by the family, but they hit a rock and crash into the river, saved only by Cornwallis, the leader of the lobsters. He tells Grandpa that he did it only in Eleanor's memory, gives Grandpa his million dollar bill back, before leaving.
The rest of the family then wake up and finally prepare to cross into Oregon but are stopped by a doctor right at the border. One of them is diagnosed with dysentery, based on audience choice. They then collapse to the ground and reflect on their dysentery (You Gotta Go). What happens next depends on the audience choice:
- Son/Father/Grandpa all die but are brought back to life by the cool, clean Oregon air
- Mother faked her death again, mirroring an instance she did in Act 1, in order to earn more respect from her family
- Daughter faked her death in order to make Mother feel bad about faking her death earlier in the musical
After the family member chosen to "die" has come back to life, the family celebrates being rich with Grandpa's million dollar bill, and they go skinny dipping together (Naked in a Lake).
- Gone to Oregon
- The Grind
- Pays to Be an Animal
- When the World's at Stake
- Dysentery World
- Wagon on Fire
- Lost Without You
- When the World's at Stake (Reprise)
- Caulk the Wagon
- You Gotta Go
- Naked in a Lake
- In the YouTube version, the family is given the last name, "Dikrats". This is a reference to the team itself, as Dikrats is just Starkid backwards. It also worth noting that this joke was done before during the Apocalyptour.
- TTO is the first, and so far, only StarKid show to have an Off-Broadway run.
- Ani cast member Eric Kahn Gale operated a camera for TTO's recording. In return, Jeff Blim and Joey Richter both operated cameras for Ani's filming.
- A full list of all of the names chosen during the show's run can be found here.
|Team StarKid Musicals|