When The Unauthorized O.C. Musical hits Los Angeles on Sunday, viewers are going to be transported back to a highly specific time and place: The Bait Shop, circa 12 years ago.
Coming off their success with Cruel Intentions: The Musical, co-creators Jordan Ross and Lindsey Rosin are once again bringing their signature style to the stage. “A lot of the stylistic things that we’re now referring to as our Cruel Intentions style — the way we integrate music and dialogue — we’ve taken into The O.C. I think we did a really good job of matching the style of Cruel Intentions to the movie,” Rosin said. “That’s what we’re trying to do with The O.C. The way it sounds, the way it feels, the way it looks — is really match it to the feel of The O.C. We learned that if you play on the playing field that you’re given, that’s when we can have the most success.”
Ross added: “For The O.C. it’s such a really cool and different process because doing this as a staged concert, you feel like you’re at the Bait Shop. We’re doing songs that were very iconic within the series, so you feel like you’re getting to watch those performances.”
And because The Unauthorized O.C. Musical is a staged show — meaning all actors will be on stage the entire time — the musical will have a narrator “to help us walk through the pilot, which is where the show is grounded in,” Ross said. “But we will be having some images projected, so you will visually be able to know where we are but also we’re going to tell you where we are.”
With the base of the show set, here are the other highlights you need to know:
The musical has acquired Original Penguin, the brand that dressed Seth Cohen in the television series, as a presenting sponsor. “Brendan [Robinson] in the show will be wearing a signature Original Penguin short-sleeve collared shirt that we think is Seth Cohen come to life,” Rosin said.
Furthermore, Rosin added that there will be a leather choker for Ryan, a puka shell necklace for Luke, and a bathing suit top for Summer.
As for Marissa, expect to get some early 2000s vibes. “In season 4 when Julie asks Ryan to tell her about the first time he saw her daughter, he vividly remembers her wearing jeans and a white tank top thing — I think that’s the exact line,” Ross said. “Marissa’s style in the series developed as it went on but we’re definitely trying to bring Marissa back to her roots and if you think of the early 2000s, it was very much Abercrombie and Hollister. [We’re] trying to go in a similar direction for Marissa in the show as well.”
And of course, Marissa won’t go anywhere without her favorite accessory: vodka.
WATCH: EW’s Sam Highfill on why “The O.C.” musical will be your California dream.
The OMG Moment
When it came time to narrow down which major music moments would be included in the musical, Ross and Rosin agreed that there was one they couldn’t overlook: Marissa shooting Trey in the season 2 finale. “You couldn’t do The O.C. justice without doing something with that, so that was one that was really big for us,” Ross said, adding, “It spawned a million Internet memes.”
Also included in the show will be Ryan and Marissa picking out “their song” a la season 3 — spoiler: it’s “Forever Young” — and then, foreshadowing the couple’s eventual break-up later that season.
Fact: The O.C. cast list would not be complete without Captain Oats and Princess Sparkle. Ross went on eBay to find both. Princess Sparkle, being that she’s a My Little Pony, wasn’t too difficult to acquire; Captain Oats on the other hand, took a bit of searching.
Let’s just say that Ross’ first attempt resulted in him having a tiny horse figurine that now sits on his mantle. But thanks to a helpful person the Internet, Ross tracked down an exact replica of Oats. The only minor difference from the show: this one is without a saddle.
With those props locked in, Ross and Rosin have also discussed what items they should have in the background in order to properly set the stage. Examples? Ryan’s bike and Sandy’s surfboard could both make an appearance.
The Dream Project
Currently, Ross and Rosin are fully focused on The O.C., but that hasn’t stopped them from discussing their dream project to adapt. And let’s just say it’d take them away from the coast to what some might call a devil town. “We would really like to do Friday Night Lights after doing The O.C. It’s a show that Lindsey and I both love,” Ross said. “To me it’s one of the perfect pieces of television. The music choices that were made on Friday Night Lights tell a completely different story and that’s definitely a story that I think is worth exploring.”