Telluride Theatre: “MacGyver the Musical,” 3/5-8 & 3/12- 15!

Telluride Theatre: “MacGyver the Musical,” 3/5-8 & 3/12- 15!

Don’t miss your chance to see the premiere of Telluride Theatre’s “MacGyver the Musical Workshop” with shows March 5 – March 8 and March 12-March 15, 7 p.m. at Telluride’s Bob Saunder’s Memorial Theatre at the Palm complex. Tickets are $15 for children under 18; $25 for adults. (Recommended for ages 10+.) A bar and concessions are available at the show. For more information, visit

Over the course of seven seasons, Agent Angus MacGyver wowed audiences with his resourceful inventions: he created a rocket-powered harpoon gun out of cleaning fluid, mothballs, and an old telescope, and a lie detector from a stethoscope and alarm clock. MacGyver became a pop phenomenon, a cultural meme. Since the show began, the name “MacGyver” came to be used as a transitive verb: to MacGyver something means to be handy and resourceful, fix a seemingly impossible problem – or create something entirely new.

Which is exactly what Telluride Theatre has done with its latest production.

Telluride Theatre teamed up with the original creator of the MacGyver TV series, Lee Zlotoff and Up & Down Theatre, to bring the world’s favorite problem-solver to Telluride in the workshop premiere of “MacGyver the Musical.” Music and lyrics are by NYC composer Peter Lurye.

“This is the biggest show Telluride Theatre has ever done,” said Sasha Sullivan, artistic director. “We are bringing in theater professionals from all over the country to mount this incredible show for the greater Telluride community. Audiences here will be the FIRST to see this production!”

“MacGyver the Musical Workshop” is guaranteed to surprise and intrigue, as the part of MacGyver will be cast out of the audience for every performance – and chosen by the audience in a brief pre-show audition from willing volunteers.

“There’s a MacGyver in everyone and everyone can be a MacGyver,” Zlotoff explained. “Which is why we said, ‘Let’s turn this whole thing around and see if we can cast the role of MacGyver out of the audience.’ It’s about empowering ourselves because I believe we all have within us the resources to deal with whatever challenges we face, both personally and as a civilization.”

MacGyver was born in 1985 with a pilot for the original TV series. Zlotoff knew he needed to create an action adventure hero who could be family friendly, witty, and creative, someone who could make an impact without the use of a gun, a fast car, or superpowers. With those core values in mind, Zlotoff created MacGyver.

With limited resources, MacGyver worked to solve big world problems:

“We gave him a Swiss Army knife and maybe some duct tape,” Zlotoff said. “You never quite knew what was going to happen or what he was going to do or how it was all going to turn out. You just knew it would be something unusual:McGyver was going to have to pull something out of thin air to make it work.”

Over the years, MacGyver has become a comic book series, a graphic novel, and now a new TV series, but Zlotoff said with this production he strived to recreate the family experience for which the program was originally devised.

“More for my grandchildren and their children, I wanted to try to bring this character back because he is exactly what civilization needs to see in this century, namely: how to avoid conflict; how to turn what we have into what we need; and, perhaps most importantly, doing all that while maintaining a sense of humor and humility,” Zlotoff added.

Zlotoff also explained that portraying MacGyver with a musical element helps to expand the show’s reach:

“Even if a story has to change from country to country, MacGyver could still be global,” adding that the music looks back to the ’80s, around the time MacGyver was first conceived.

“Many of the songs are funny, but the show is not a spoof. There’s a real human, emotional story here,” Zlotoff said.

Sullivan explained that “MacGyver the Musical” is written like a true American musical:

“The music is scored to the scenes, but there are songs to move the plot along at the right times. The music is iconic and fun. And it spans many different genres.”

“The things you loved about MacGyver are going to be in this show,” Zlotoff said. “And if you don’t know who MacGyver is, then you should come and find out. But, be prepared: just because you were not chosen as MacGyver does not mean you are not going to end up in the show!”

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