A little while ago I reviewed the musical recording of Willow (which is available at – https://rhysreviews.com/2020/10/03/willow-soundtrack-review/) which told the story of two different love stories from different generations that took place under the same magical Willow tree. Both ‘Willow’ and ‘Over and Out’ are part of the fictional universe of Averno which is a cinematic universe that spans comics, musicals etc. Think the MCU but with musicals (now the idea of the Incredible Hulk playing Shrek in Shrek the musical is stuck in my head.) Over time we will be able to track the whole Averno universe and do an almost marathon to watch characters we know/love as they interact with other characters within different situations. I love the idea of one universal piece of thread that ties together all the projects of this creative team as it means viewers can easily follow any backstories of characters without the intimidating title of “research.”
The writing team of Sushi Soucy and Morgan Smith have created this addition to the Averno universe which tells the story of Nova who is a non-binary individual who is searching for alien life but instead finds a girl called Solar. Over time Solar falls in love with the mysterious Nova which adds this wonderful sense of puppy love as the majority of the early stages of their conversation occur over wallow talkies (which is also a key element on their brand which is a great touch!) This is also cleverly referenced in the title of the show “over and out” as this is the iconic call signal that people often use of walkie talkies. Both this story and Willow contain incredible and honest depictions of LGBT+ Individuals without them seem like a token inclusion but rather a key element of the story. This can only benefit any LGBT+ people watching the show as they will feel seen/represented but also is an honest reflection of the people we will encounter in real life!
Due to the connection between all of Averno projects it does give a slightly different vibe to the musical numbers in this show. Rather than your classic cheesy, musical theatre type tracks that seem a lot more like songs that could be released as individual tracks by a popular singer. The song ‘Ketchup’ (yes you read that correctly) is an insanely fun song that is accompanied mostly by simply a ukulele. This song is performed by Nova (voiced by Janeen Garcia) and is extremely character-based and is crammed full of the jovial energy that will instantly lift your moods. There is some strong language within this song which does make it not suitable for a younger audience. My favourite track from this show would have to be ‘Cryptid Hunt’ which I have to admit I had heard on social media before listening to the recording of over and out. Despite this, however, this song was not what I expected from a show like this one. The number opened with spoken word but is also very upbeat and stays in your head hours after you have finished listening to it! I also really enjoyed the song “Nova phone phone” which was also performed by Janeen and contained some amazing vocals that were incredible to listen to. The bonus track on the Spotify album is a cover of this song sung by a different performer which is also amazing.
This is a wonderful addition to the Averno universe which continuous the amazing representation of the LGBT+ community with some wonderfully unique songs. I would rate this musical 4.5 stars out of 5 and would recommend this musical (and the entire Averno universe) to anyone interested in storytelling which spans across multiple media formats!