Review: After 60 Years, These SPACE DOGS Finally Landed Off-Broadway, and Now They're Being Transmitted on BroadwayHD

Space Dogs is now available to stream on BroadwayHD.

By: Oct. 17, 2022

Review: After 60 Years, These SPACE DOGS Finally Landed Off-Broadway, and Now They're Being Transmitted on BroadwayHD

Bobby's rainbow reviews are back, in a whole new sandbox, about to give you our thoughts on some streaming theatre coming to you from the fab children at BroadwayHD! So jump in the stream with Bobby and let's go where our rainbows have never gone before.

BroadwayHD just premiered MCC Theater's SPACE DOGS, starring the show's undeniably creative creators Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire - and when we say creators we mean top to bottom. This show is their baby, for which they wrote the script, as well as all music and lyrics - under the incredibly capable direction of Ellie Heyman, with terrific choreography by Darrell Grand Moultrie. These artisans all came together to create one of the top 10 most creative pieces of musical theatre that it has ever been this rainbow writer's pleasure to see - and we were seeing it on a flat-screen!?

So, the first thing you need to know about this streaming presentation, my lambs, is this a true(ish) story of Laika, a stray mutt, and the scientist who was so TOP SECRET that he was only ever referred to by the ominous appellation "Chief Designer" and how said Cheif Designer sent little Laika into space during the very Cold War, out of a very cold secret base somewhere in a very cold Russia-Land. "What? Dogs in space, top secret Russians, the cold war... what are we talking about here, Bobby? This is musical theatre?" we can almost hear you shouting... and the answer is YES INDEED! Just like our frolicsome founding fathers declaring their independence and inventing fireworks returning to the Broadway this year in 1776, this remote tidbit of history has made for truly enjoyable and completely unexpected song and dance-ness.

Through the magical camera lens of Joe Lukawski (who directed this filming of the live performance staged by Heyman & Moultrie), the fact that you will see it in the One-dimension of your TV or monitor screen doesn't matter a bit because it all feels so inescapably alive and happening. This multi-media juggernaut of a show jumped off the screen, performed in our little living room, and then disappeared back to TV land, leaving us wanting more.

BroadwayHD is aptly named since the high-def of this video (plus the work of film craftsman Lukawski) took the show to a level beyond common garden variety "TV watching." This experience is one of the closest we have ever seen to capturing the feeling of sitting in a theatre on-the-night.

Curtain up and immediately we see Hughes and Blaemire, as they launch into the show's first, and imminently memorable, opening number (no kidding, Bobby is still walking around, singing the chorus of SPACE DOGS OF THE COSMODROME) and we are, as the saying goes, off to the races. This production is so fast, so high energy that it is baffling how these two individuals sustain the electricity for 90 minutes but sustain it they do, and more.

This pair of actor-writer-composers fills the stage with multiple characters (everyone from the Chief Designer to Nikita Khrushchev), musical instruments that just seem to appear in their hands or are rolled out in front of them to play, their powerful voices acting up a storm while singing Rock & Roll and... dogs... lots and lots of dogs. The puppet & prop design by Amanda Villalobos keeps these talent phenoms so incredibly busy presenting close to a dozen dog characters on various full-sized and miniature environments, all simul-projected on a back wall of video screens. The multi-media aspect of the performance is part of the show's charm, as well as a key piece of this constantly moving puzzle that makes it all come alive.

The scenic design by Wilson Chin coupled with Mary Ellen Stebbins' lights, sound design by Nathan Leigh, and the FAB-U-LOUS projection design by Stefania Bulbarella and Alex Basco Koch are a feast that just keeps coming, with the costume sauce by Haydee Zelideth Atuñano on top.

In all, what you have with SPACE DOGS on BroadwayHD is an unparalleled video presentation of cute boys singing, playing their own instruments, dancing to fab music with great choreo, all with a constantly moving set & lighting design... It feels like the most enjoyable 80s music video meets 2000s circuit party at the crossroads of theatre, performance art, and a history lesson. Every piece of music is a brilliant novelty number, while still being a great song with great lyrics that propel the story forward, and all so well performed. Hughes and Blaemire are both gifted vocal performers, whether speaking or singing, creating a group of characters that are all over the place.

Stuffy puppetry of Laika and the other dogs may seem like the most basic of children's theatre stuff, but mixed with loads of modern theatre tech and the show's creators, and they spring to life as completely relatable (and cute) characters throughout.

The dancing boys, the dancing puppets, and the dancing images combine in a presentation that had Bobby not only singing along but singing up for BroadwayHD on our little Apple TV as soon as the show was over, and we think that this show makes that service MORE than worth a look for all our Broadway musical fans out there... and so we can't help but give SPACE DOGS from MCC Theatre on BROADWAYHD our full...

Review: After 60 Years, These SPACE DOGS Finally Landed Off-Broadway, and Now They're Being Transmitted on BroadwayHD

5 Out Of 5 Rainbows - Check it out.

Go To Your App Purveyor On Your Phone, Streaming TV Service, Or Your Computer And See What The Fab Folks At BroadwayHD Have To Offer: HERE

Listen To SPACE DOGS The Cast Album On Your Spotify: HERE

Check out BroadwayWorld's Space Dogs Satge Mag!


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