Closed 1h 30m
The Outer Space
East Village
74

The Outer Space NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(75 Reviews)
Positive
72%
Mixed
25%
Negative
3%
Members say
Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Quirky, Slow

About the Show

Joe’s Pub at The Public presents a bittersweet and off-kilter new musical about a couple who join a colony in outer space. Directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman.

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Member Reviews (75)

68
Slow, Quant, Disappointing, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if You're a fan of folksy story telling. This was an OK story/show with one phenomenal number. Almost worth seeing just for that one song.

Don't see it if You want to actually see a musical...or a show...this is a concert or a podcast at best.

70
Fine, Funny, Unabsorbing, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if you like stories told in a cabaret style.

Don't see it if you'd be frustrated by a show exploring stark interpersonal issues all of a sudden turning around with a happy ending out of nowhere.

Critic Reviews (17)

March 8th, 2017

“Sly, grumpy and just delightful…In numbers that lean on jazz, soul, funk and pop, Lipton turns his raspy tenor to clever rhymes…Do we really need another show in which a white guy vents his economic insecurity and foul mood? Turns out we do…This thumpingly humane show isn’t about getting away from it all or getting back to it all. It’s about learning to get over yourself, wherever you are, and adopting the small practices and habits that make you and yours a little happier.”
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March 8th, 2017

“Dressed in a blue jumpsuit, Lipton delivers this tale with unassuming charm…But although it’s often clever, ‘The Outer Space’ gets trapped in too strict an orbit around its central joke: interplanetary travel as a metaphor for leaving the big city and moving to the country. By the time Lipton got to the pleasures of a Mercury Public Radio pledge drive, I found myself spacing out a bit."
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March 15th, 2017

"A charmer...I realize this probably sounds unbearably twee in the telling, right down to the William Accorsi-like rocket ship hanging over the stage. But in the performance by Ethan Lipton, who wrote the whole thing with Vito Dieterle, Eben Levy and Ian M. Riggs–brilliant instrumentalists who also add vocals–it’s ruefully hilarious and pretty irresistible."
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March 8th, 2017

"Remarkably, Lipton is able to sustain this thinly veiled allegory through a gentle deadpan delivery. His dulcet growl is reminiscent of Garrison Keillor…At first glance, this jovial evening of story and song doesn't ask much, but if you listen closely, you'll notice that it brushes against the most personal of questions for New Yorkers: When will you admit that the rat race you found so intoxicating as a twentysomething is tiresome and fruitless?"
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March 9th, 2017

"'The Outer Space' looks and sounds pretty much like Lipton's previous entry, except this time the fellows are dressed in faux-astro jumpsuits...The collection of melodies is certainly a pleasant one, mixing various degrees of jazz, bluegrass and pop rock, and Lipton's whimsical lyrics and plainspoken vocals have a warm everyman attractiveness that draws a listener in, but 'The Outer Space' merely orbits around its simple theme, with little gravitational pull of its own."
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March 14th, 2017

"It's probably not an entirely fair criticism to say that nothing really happens, but I doubt that Lipton cares about that...What starts out as an amusingly oddball evening becomes more and more like one of those Mercurian days, as the premise is stretched ever thinner. If you're already a Lipton fan, you'll find this to be an evening of gravity-free fun. If you prefer plots, characters, and tightly structured songs with perfect rhymes, don't blast off with this one.”
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March 8th, 2017

“The show is an attempt to recast Everyman issues in sparkling new terms…That's the direction in which Lipton is trying to head, but too much of what he does is setting our troubles against a different backdrop without much adaptation...More often than not the result feels fake and forced…The songs could elevate things, but they're constructed around the same down-to-Earth philosophy…This is exacerbated by the light, genial country flair of the music."
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March 8th, 2017

“The show's musical numbers are an enjoyable, melodic mix of American styles— notably folk and soft rock. All are vibrantly delivered by Lipton and his back-up trio of musicians…It's the music and the musicians presenting it that make ‘The Outer Space’ an enjoyable theatrical ride…Mr. Lipton also has a wonderful way with words which is evident in his lyrics as well as his spoken dialogue…Silverman's direction enhances the flow between narrative and musical numbers.”
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March 9th, 2017

"A funny, insightful allegory...Lipton’s songs are quirky delights. His rhymes are original and satisfying and his lyrics are joyful in their simple brilliance. Each time he sings, he employs a unique concept and executes it in a way that brings pleasure derived from experiencing truth and heartfelt wit...Occasionally the monologue part of the tale got a bit lengthy. The allegory wears a little thin...My only complaint about the show is the venue itself...I had to strain to hear the words."
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March 8th, 2017

"Directed by Leigh Silverman, this trippy captivating piece is drenched with humor and a folky charm. Lipton leads us down the most charming path through discovery and exploration with his beautiful voice and fun eccentric style...The non-sensical imagery that Lipton creates with his wacky hilarious delivery and wonderful honky tonk sound is a joyous experience to behold."
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March 8th, 2017

"Lipton, as both writer and performer, still makes an excellent everyman, with nerdy honesty, gently acerbic wit, and sweetly sincere enthusiasm...The band is versatile and the songs well-crafted, drawing on elements of different American musical traditions...But polish has also smoothed off a few of Lipton’s spikier edges and more pointed critiques...The show is charming and genuinely funny but the commentary hits less hard...It’s a hopeful message–and one that feels a little oversimple."
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March 8th, 2017

"A funny, pointed, and strange story…‘The Outer Space’ makes something of an art form out of off-the-wall and out-of-left-field…In keeping with this approach, ‘The Outer Space’ is full of non-sequiturs and digressions. But these are funny non-sequiturs and digressions full of a kind of folksy urban social commentary…In short, ‘The Outer Space,’ helps the audience, just like that space-traveling couple, get away from it all, albeit just for 80 minutes or so.”
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March 9th, 2017

"Lipton charismatically carries us along this journey in a soft-spoken, NPR kind of way. His baritone vocals won’t blow the roof off of Joe’s Pub, but it’s a soothing, unique delivery that complements his band’s terrific musicality...Lipton is at ease under the direction of Silverman, who gently guides this mission to outer space and inner exploration...I’m not sure I was any closer to discovering 'the dream of letting go.' But it was still worth the ride."
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March 15th, 2017

"Lipton’s witty imagining of outer space sounds less like the final frontier, and more like a pretty conventional suburban street, but the stage of Joe’s Pub is too small for anything too elaborate, so Lipton’s lyrics must marry instead to costume and scenic designer Zinn’s interplanetary-themed drapes, lit enchantingly by Ben Stanton...The songs are a warmly waspish marriage of the domestically mundane and the Space Age."
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March 9th, 2017

"This is what cult classics are made of–storytelling genius mixed with musical mastery...Ethan Lipton has written the stellar book and lyrics...The four musicians have composed a score that is complex and stirring...Director Leigh Silverman has created a tight ship–with just the right pace, so we receive every nuanced word and lyric with ease. There is a fantastic balance between humor and heartache...Take yourself to 'The Outer Space'–you won’t want to come back."
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March 15th, 2017

"Lipton is an oddly engaging performer, with a singing voice that hovers around a half-whisper and an endearingly understated comic sensibility...Lipton creates a charming fictional world...The success of 'The Outer Space' hinges on Lipton’s unassuming charm, his chipper songs, and his endearing way of delivering them. Lipton is backed up by a very skilled set of musicians, who collaborated with Lipton on the score, but who nonetheless looked rather bored with the proceedings."
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December 2nd, 2016

“Intriguing and humorous, but at times, depressing…Most entertaining, for me, was the music. The narrative is crazy and inventive, and we could follow it and relate it to our own lives. What makes the production so unique and captivating is the use of music in telling this tall tale…'The Outer Space' is a new imaginative musical journey that explores many of today’s day-to-day situations in a wisecracking science-fiction context…A zany yet thought-provoking evening!”
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