A new folk-rock fable for the runner-up in all of us, '1969: The Second Man' explores competition and collective achievement through the story of Buzz Aldrin, one small man who became one giant myth. More…
After he became the second man to walk on the moon, reporters asked Buzz Aldrin if he wished he had been the first. “I really didn’t want that,” Buzz claimed, “because of the added heartache.” Why is it so hard to believe him?
“What ‘1969: The Second Man' could use is a song that acts as a mission statement, setting the tone and style for what's to come. But Giles' script is filled with lovely, striking passages and, in combination with Brandt's songs builds a strong case for Aldrin as tragic and absurd...Brandt's songs cast a moonstruck, melancholy mood...The cast of actors/musicians are personable and gifted...Bradley's production is sensibly proportioned and sensitively attuned to the script's pervasive sadness." Full Review
"While impressive that each cast member plays their own instruments, this show is equally impressive in the casual manner in which the actors transition from personal story to historical fact...Filled with heart-felt, lively, and, at times, unbelievably stirring folk music...It will only continue to strengthen as more readings and concerts are put on to workshop the material that is at times weighed down by the wallowing of Aldrin." Full Review
“A score of pleasing folk-rock melodies...But ‘1969: The Second Man’ is not really a musical. It’s far closer to a concert...Brandt’s lyrics seldom advance the story; they more often establish the general atmosphere...Unfolds not in scenes with characters, but through folksy storytelling by cast members...But if “1969: The Second Man” won’t take its place along 'Hamilton' or 'Fiorello' or even 'Evita' in the pantheon of biographical musicals, its subject is more intriguing than one might have... Full Review
"The mellow sound of Brandt's score proves to be easy listening, but the individual musical numbers do not build to any dramatic climaxes so that the show seems tamer than material concerning depression and alcoholism suggests it should be. However, the ballad forms and guitar/violin instrumentation are pleasant to the ear. Some of Giles' dialogue which is not part of Aldrin's story seems extraneous and the show takes a while to get started." Full Review
"Buzz seems, unfortunately, like kind of a jerk. It’s not a small flaw in the show....There’s a lot to enjoy anyway: a consistently inventive score, a cast of six actor-musicians who bring huge charm to the material...It’s fun to watch a young, multicultural, mixed-gender cast portray the crew-cut white men of NASA...But '1969' feels like a song cycle rather than a fully integrated musical. Giles hasn’t found a structure to tell Buzz’s story with sufficient depth, definition and emotional pun... Full Review
See it if You enjoy folk music (very well done) and want to spend a show thinking about how we judge success.
Don't see it if You are looking for a grand, traditional musical. This is a small show about a big idea.
See it if you are interested in the space launch and history but more than that it is a personal show about a man who comes in second, quite moving!
Don't see it if you hate music or you are so into the literal that you won't get how a black woman can play a white male astronaut - this is brilliant!
See it if you want a lively, musical, documentary-style show about Buzz Aldrin and the angst of being the second--and far less famous--man on the moon
Don't see it if you want a story arc or strong theme; this is about what happened. Whether it has real meaning for the rest of us is up for discussion
Also Really great actors and music, a very entertaining night
See it if On seeing a bare stage with instruments I wasn't sure what was up; but they did a credible job of telling a cohesive story. Much talent.
Don't see it if My date said, its basically an opera (big Opera fan he). It can be loud in the small theater. Really performers and instruments.
See it if You enjoy any of these artists: Glen Hansard/The Swell Season, The Bengsons, The Decembrists, Damien Rice, Bright Eyes.
Don't see it if You dislike musicals that live somewhere between concert and book-musical. You dislike folk-rock.
See it if you like folk/rock musicals or have an interest in outer space. This show is charming and full of really enjoyable songs.
Don't see it if you're expecting a musical–this is more of a song cycle in concert form.
See it if You are looking for an inventive concert experience with cool effect (film of moon landing projected on drum kit).
Don't see it if You are expecting a traditional musical as this piece has a very loose structure. Book narrative is practically nonexistent.
See it if You like song cycle shows. Great musicality, singing and playing. Clearly they enjoy playing together and sound great.
Don't see it if You want strong plot, or well written book. Songs are narrative in concept but not in lyric. It has a ridiculous framing device.
See it if If you want to see a clever musical telling of a true story that is absorbing and thought provoking, then this will be memorable.
Don't see it if You are bringing 4 kids under 5 years old. It's not for little kids, it's for 17-90.
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