This weekend and next bring another fun theatrical production from Brian Brophy and the fine thespians of Caltech’s TACIT, this time about the whack job who co-founded JPL: Jack Parsons. Supposedly acknowledged by Wernher von Braun as the father of America’s space program, Parsons pioneered the use of solid fuel and helped develop jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) units for heavy aircraft. He was able to make these breakthroughs, according to his Wikipedia page, because of his knowledge of alchemy, magic and Greek fire. He was a serious occultist, a disciple of Aleister Crowley, magical bffs with L. Ron Hubbard, possibly a Satanist (called himself the Antichrist) and definitely a sexual… free spirit (to put it delicately) — for instance, he tried to sire a Moonchild with a “living goddess” whom he “summoned” and later married.
So the play is about genius and its unintended consequences, i.e. all that nutty stuff. If it’s a tenth as interesting as the man himself, it’ll be brilliant.
Pasadena Babalon, presented by T.A.C.I.T.
February 19-21, 26-27, 8 p.m.
Ramo Auditorium, Caltech
332 S. Michigan Ave., Pasadena
Tickets $18; $9 for seniors & students
Visit events.caltech.edu or call 626.395.4652