The Untitled John Mayer Project Debuts This Weekend in California

Those of you who are fans of Theme Park University know I am a huge fan of immersive theater. A huge trend in entertainment is slowly breaking down the barrier between audience and performers and blurs that line between their space and yours. For example, take The Untitled John Mayer Project opening Friday, September 12 at the Merc Theater for only a few performances in Temecula, California, which is about an hour away from Los Angeles.

Photo by Steven Cardona

Photo by Steven Cardona

The theater is more like hanging out in some hipster’s basement. Hardwood floors, oriental rugs, and of course, a small band. While there are padded chairs available for general seating, if you spring a few extra dollars, you can chill on a sofa to watch the show. The idea is to create a relaxed atmosphere, just like you are at a friend’s house watching their band’s jam session. Except this band only plays John Mayer tunes.

Photo by Steven Cardona

Photo by Steven Cardona

Before I go any further, I need to put some rumors to rest. Regardless of what you have heard on other blogs or gossip sites, John is not creating a play to air his dirty laundry about any of the famous relationships he has had. Taylor Swift, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jennifer Aniston can all breathe a sigh of relief as the book writer for this workshop was Jordan Beck. John Mayer, while he has been collaborating on the project and giving input, did not actually write this. In reality, this show is being presented to Mayer and Columbia Records in hopes for their full blessing and also in an effort to find financial backers.

Taking a page from Tony-award winning musicals like Once and even What’s It All About, the John Mayer Project features a cast of actors who can not only sing and dance, but they play their own musical instruments as well. Instead of just pressing play on an iPod with a John Mayer track list on shuffle, this show takes 15 of Mayer’s songs and completely reimagines them with many songs becoming mashups.

Photo by Steven Cardona

Photo by Steven Cardona

I recently got a chance to chat with Steven Cardona, who is choreographing the show, about the unique challenges of a workshop like The Untitled John Mayer Project and learned what it’s like to create a brand new musical.

Photo by Steven Cardona

Photo by Steven Cardona

“What I love about choreographing theater is that there are no rules,” said Cardona. “I don’t have a book to go by because each project is different. This show was different due to the actors playing instruments and having all of their movements look natural.

Untitled John Mayer Project

“It was important to me that the audience didn’t think they were watching traditional musical theater. I wanted the actor’s movements to feel very natural and organic. Even Top 40 bands that don’t do any actual dancing on stage often have a choreographer who helps them move on stage. So I kind of put myself in a rock star’s shoes and thought, if I was singing this song in a small intimate setting, what would I do?


“I started playing with microphones. How you hold a microphone, how you twirl it… even being able to kick a microphone stand with your foot and pick it back up is all choreography.”

The John Mayer Project

Steven calls this “micography.” He also wanted to include contemporary dance, something rarely seen in more traditional jukebox musicals. Keep in mind, this is a workshop and thus, still forming into a full on show. There are costumes and set pieces, but very minimal at this point. You can be a part of the next step: Audience reaction. If you’re interested in tickets you can visit!


Make sure to follow Theme Park University on Twitter and take a moment to like our Facebook page!

This entry was posted in Immersive Theater, Outside The Parks and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Search Theme Park University

  • Categories

  • About Theme Park University

    TPU covers how attractions are designed, constructed, operated and maintained.

    In addition to theme parks, we cover anything in the world of themed entertainment from dinner shows to immersive theater, haunted attractions to miniature golf and much much more.

    Contact Us

  • Subscribe to Theme Park University Radio on iTunes

    TPU Radio

  • Support TPU on Amazon

    Doing any online shopping? Search Amazon using this link. It helps TPU pay the bills and costs you nothing extra.

  • Latest Tweets

    Got a chance to walk on glass yesterday at Skydeck Chicago! @ Skydeck Chicago…

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 121 other subscribers

  • Log in to comment

Powered by WordPress. Built on the Thematic Theme Framework.

The views and opinions of Theme Park University Staff are not associated with any themed entertainment company and are clearly our own. Please don't sue us.

%d bloggers like this: