First there was “Star Trek.” Then there was “Star Wars.” Now…there is “STARMITES,” which is certainly the mite-iest of the three intergalactic epics, a vest pocket musical nebulae of cheerful nuttiness. A near solo creative flight by Barry Keating—STARMITES might appeal to a constellation of space-trippers, adults as well as children.
Up against the wall of Mr. Keating’s youthful infatuation with superheroes, muscle-minded monsters and the zap-pow dialogue that onomatopoeticizes actions into words. The story is a Peter-Pannish foray into outer space with Milady, a young earthling, falling in with a never-never land group of arrested adolescents and their boyishly impetuous leader, Space Punk. They can never get anything straight, greeting their chief as “Grand Exhausted Leader.” “Exalted.” he wearily corrects them. They are all softies at their center, and a pushover for Milady, a damsel with a mind of her own and a gift for jujitsu.
Just to keep things egalitarian, the villains are also female, an Amazonian tribe of black-stockinged Banshees, led by the dragonly Diva, who has her legion forever groveling at her feet. The plot deals with the struggle among good guys, bad Banshees and a slithery snake named Trinkulus to possess a magic weapon that looks like a forced marriage between a French horn and a Kewpie doll.
When “Starmites” had its premiere, it was clearly the tiniest – and the most intentionally amusing – of intergalactic epics, a musical spoof the could bring smiles to the faces of the most ardent warrior or trekkie. What STARMITES has is a child-like fancifulness and a genuine affection for its genre, for its labyrinthine detail as well as its exclamatory dialogue…Mr. Keating’s score has a bubble-gum bounce…his music is flavorful…To its credit, STARMITES never takes itself too seriously and is always tongue in cheek. It remains a light-hearted space flight.