Student-produced shows can be a mixed bag of low production value, amateur performances, and poor storytelling, but every once in a while, there is a hidden gem. A show that completely exceeds expectations and reminds you of the extreme talent possessed by young creatives. One Giant Leap definitely falls into the category of the latter, a gem—albeit a bit rough at its edges.
The satirical musical tells the story of how the moon landing was faked by NASA, with the help of a trio of amateur actors. Facing countless odds, this ragtag group works against the clock to get a man on the moon, which in their case was the Nevada desert. The show starts with a reporter speaking with someone who claims to have proof that the moon landing was faked. The story then jumps back and forth between the present day and the years leading up to the Moon landing on 20 July 1969. Blending satire with clever musical numbers and many fourth wall breaks, the show presents an engaging and hilarious take on one of the greatest conspiracy theories of our time.
The small, but talented cast might not have had the best American accents, but they made up for it with impeccable comedic timing. The breaking of the fourth wall was at times heavy-handed, but was overall a humorous way to engage with the audience.
Many of the musical numbers were lyrically smart and funny, the lyrics were sometimes difficult to hear due to voices fluctuating in volume. What was discernible were laugh out loud songs about conspiracy theories, Americans wanting to beat the soviets, and the soviets hating to be villainous stereotypes—a personal favourite of mine.
The set, while low-budget, was pretty impressive, especially going into Act II. The props used by the performers were another great part of the overall comic nature of the musical. These aspects of the musical seemed incredibly well thought out and added greatly to the story.
Overall this funny, clever, and heartwarming satire succeeded in what it set out to do. It’s take on the pervasiveness of conspiracy theories and the journalistic importance of reporting the truth is one that is important and timeless.
(Image courtesy of One Giant Leap)