One Small Step

Gavin Price, Emily Craver, Natalie Mack, Emily Pacilio and John Gasper perform One Small Step, part of Ice Factory at New Ohio Theatre. Original photo by Jack Frederick.

By Andrew Andrews

“Neil! I see you Neil. You’re dreaming of me again. Well kneel is what you’ll have to do / When you land on my rocky face.”
–SOMA THE MOON

The popularity of space travel began about 150 years ago, when Jules Verne shot three passengers from the Columbiad space gun in From the Earth to the Moon. Thirty-some years later, French silent film maker Georges Méliès imagined it again in Le Voyage dans la Lune; double that span and the Apollo 11 mission sent Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Michael Collins to the moon again–although plenty of people believe that trip was completely fictional. Around the same time, our dearly departed David Bowie sent Major Tom into the heavens, and nearly half a century later, Flight of the Conchords re-imagined the trip.

Which brings us to 2018 at the New Ohio Theatre, where Saint Fortune and Gavin Price take us back once again to the Apollo 11 moon landing with One Small Step, an immersive sound and video installation of atmospheric music and interpretive dance. Featuring Price, John Gasper, Natalie Mack, Emily Craver and Emily Pacilio, the piece opens with the first three “astrocousticnauts” working their way forward from the back of the stage, largely obscured by semi-opaque plastic screens that eventually serve as the backdrop for video projections live-streamed from cameras held and positioned by the performers themselves. Accompanied by sometimes-garbled recordings of the Apollo 11 astronauts, literally “garbled” recitals of transcripts from the mission (you’ll get it when you see it) and live music by The Tender Band, the performers take us on a trippy, surreal and increasingly humorous journey not only to the moon, but into the psyches of our three historic heroes. But for my money, the highlight of this show is Jack Frederick’s appearance as the taunting and singing SOMA THE MOON, whose rendition of I’m the Moon will have you not only singing along, but humming reprises on the way home after the hour-long performance has ended.

Check out One Small Step or any of the other seven shows that New Ohio Theatre brings us this summer as part of the 25-year Anniversary Edition of Ice Factory, then come back here and tell us what the highlights were for you. Because as always, your reviews help others decide whether they should attend, and your ratings help us help you discover future performances you’ll be glad you didn’t miss!

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Andrew Andrews attended One Small Step at New Ohio Theatre in New York on Thursday, July 5, 2018 @ 7:00pm to write this review.

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