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What Is, Columbia: the life and death of Rospo D. Oro?


There’s a simple answer: Columbia is a new musical directed by Liz Muller, with book and music by Collin Simon, and lyrics by Liz Muller.

The more complex answer: Columbia is a romantic, comedy, drama, adventure, fantasy, musical based on Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows.

Then there’s the multiple choice answer:

A.) The life and death of Rospo D. Oro
B.) The story of searching for your destiny
C.) Who knows!
D.) Anything you want it to be
E.) All of the above

For the answer, turn your computer upside down.


Toad’s Wild Ride

Actually, there aren’t any toads in this version – or rats, or badgers.  In fact, the story is only loosely based on The Wind in the Willows.  For those who haven’t read the story, don’t worry – you don’t need to!  And for those that have read the story; there will be plenty of surprises for you – trust me.  Even after you’ve seen the show once, you’ll want to come back again to get all the fun side stories, references, and symbolism – well, that, and you’ll want to hear the songs and see the wonderful performance again and again.


Columbia is a story with something for everyone.  You can watch it as just an exciting tale, or you can delve in deeper to the many different meanings and story lines.  In fact, it’s hard for me to even write about it without giving things away!

At it’s most literal, the story is of a man, Rospo D. Oro, with a mysterious past, obsessed with vehicles – always trying to go farther and faster.  His flagship vehicle, Columbia, is his pride and joy.  With the help of an orphan named Jewels, he continues to modify and improve it.  Along the way, he meets many colorful characters that both help and hinder him in his quest.  The help comes with the hunt for Rospo’s perpetual motion engine, the M.I.U.  The hindering comes from the townsfolk and law that are none too happy with the accidental destruction Columbia causes when Rospo takes it rocketing through the streets of Cradle Island and the forest villages of The Wild Woods.


Each of the other characters have their own hopes and dreams, and forces helping and hindering them as well.  There’s Netty, Radcliffe, Jewels, Aric, Pan, Handsome John, Lady Atrous, Doctor Fish, The Chairman, and more.  Don’t worry, we’ll get into all of them in the next few blogs – along with the mysterious creatures; The Obscure, the world of Columbia, and more.  Can’t wait till then?  Go over to the official site and watch the trailer HERE.

Keep checking the blog and your email for more articles when they become available.  And while you’re waiting, you might as well head over the the Telecharge site and buy your tickets HERE.  If you buy the whole house you get to hang out with the cast and crew after the show for a Q&A and hugs… Okay, maybe no Q&A, but definitely hugs.

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