Festival Show Update: The Astonishing Return of…The Protagonists!

This month, we caught up with Kevin Del Aguila and Michael Shaieb, the writers of 2013 Festival show The Astonishing Return of…The Protagonists!. We chatted about the musical’s development since the Festival and what next steps they are looking for.

What was the initial reaction to The Astonishing Return of…The Protagonists! when it was first presented at the 2013 Festival?
The reaction was thrilling! Big laughs, lots of excitement. People came out of the theater with huge smiles, eyes wide saying, “WOW! HOW DOES IT END?!” We couldn’t have been more pleased. 

What developmental work have you done on the show since it was at the NAMT Festival?
We had an interesting trip down the rabbit hole of development for many years. Lots of great things came from it, but eventually we had to stop and remind ourselves what we loved about the show and what prompted us to write it in the first place. It’s all conspired to make the piece stronger than it’s ever been.

How has the show evolved since it was presented in the Festival, and what message does the show hold for audiences today?
Interestingly enough, the show’s message hasn’t changed, but the times have finally caught up with it. It’s always been a bit of a political satire about life in the information age, fighting for democracy in a world of misinformation. Today, it’s even more relevant. How does a superhero fight for Truth and Justice during a time of “fake news” and political corruption?

What would you like to see as a next step for the show, and how can interested NAMT members get involved now?
We’re still looking for a producer who can give us a clear path to production. Even though we’ve had tremendous enthusiasm for the show whenever it’s presented, we’ve yet to find someone who can give us that. The show will be part of the MT Fest in the UK in February. Any mild-mannered producers out there who are ready to change into their capes and join our supergroup, heed the call and contact us at!

For more information about The Astonishing Return of…The Protagonists!, email the writing team at

Photo by Ric Kallaher of the cast of the 2013 Festival presentation.

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