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BWW Review: THE ELEVENTH HOUR is a Campy Night Out That Doesn't Take Itself Too Seriously

If you're looking for the perfect mix of campiness, catchy lyrics, and a clever plot, tied together by a cast oozing with talent, The Eleventh Hour may just be your one-stop shop. But get ready to not take this one too seriously.

BWW Review: THE ELEVENTH HOUR is a Campy Night Out That Doesn't Take Itself Too Seriously The new rock musical, being produced at Town Stages by Smugbug Productions, was written by David Seamon, who, at the opening night performance I attended, performed an opening act of original music and covers to get the audience in the mood.

The Eleventh Hour follows Amy Leonardo, played by the wonderfully talented Miranda Luze, an aspiring astrophysicist who gets the chance of a lifetime, to work an internship under Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Her boyfriend Nevin (Henry Fisher), a basement musician, has no desire to leave the couple's hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The musical is sprinkled with joke's at the state's expense, which made an audience seemingly comprised of mostly New Yorkers, laugh out loud at the familiarity.

Things are further complicated when we find out that the end of the world is coming. A black hole is headed for Earth, threatening the fictitious "spaghettification" of the human race. Amy decides to embark on a journey to New York to work alongside her idol, while Nevin stays behind.

When Amy arrives, she meets Tyson (Olivia London), who teaches her about how the world is going to end, and just how she can help save it. From the moment London, who was previously seen in ensemble roles throughout the beginning of the show, steps onstage as Tyson, the audience is sold. There were hoots and hollers throughout her song. Her captivating stage presence made the role endlessly believable.

Amy is told she needs to go back to New Brunswick with a device designed to download people's brains. By the river, she will find a power source where the brains can be uploaded via hard drive, and then put into essentially robotic versions of the people's human forms. The robots will live on a new planet, Earth 2. Without question, Amy embarks on this journey to save the human race.

Along her journey, she encounters new friends, including an actor from Medieval Times, mole people who live underground, and more. As more and more characters get introduced, the already far-fetched story becomes more bogged down and muddled. I started to lose track of the plot, as the characters had fights with cannibals and giant snakes, all before reaching their destination to save the world.

The ending was also abrupt. Amy and her new friends very suddenly arrived at the river, where Tyson had been helping Nevin power the brain-uploader via video chat. Amy quickly uploaded the brains of her friends and then she and Nevin walked off to go board a ship to Earth 2. There was little explanation as to why some people had their brains uploaded, while the main couple was able to just go to the new planet in their original forms.

The first half of the musical was fun, and there are extremely catchy songs throughout that I'm still singing in my head the next day. However, despite all of the positive elements, the show is still bogged down with too many fantastical characters and unfinished plot points. The second half can do for some serious editing.

The long, narrow, catwalk-like stage worked well, and made audience members, seated on either side, feel like they were a part of the action. They literally became a part of it when the cast started handing out plastic kazoos and blow-up guitars for the audience to join in the "ultimate basement show," as well as silver party hats for the audience members to use to upload their brains.

The Eleventh Hour is a fun, campy night out, for people of all ages. It is the type of show that doesn't take itself too seriously, so I recommend you do the same.


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From This Author Stephi Wild