BWW Review: THE BLUE-SKY BOYS Lands Safely at Capital Repertory Theatre
Who knew that a show based upon President Kennedy's promise to get a man on the moon could be so entertaining, humorous, and, to put it simply, magnificent? The Blue-Sky Boys, which opened Tuesday at the Capital Repertory Theatre, is written by Deborah Brevoort, under the direction of Gordon Greenberg.
The play is a witty and comedic tale of three engineers, Jed Berman (Andrew Mueller), CJ Caldwell (Shayne David), and Vencel von Volp (Etai Benson), faced with the difficult task to create a ship that will land safely on the moon by the end of the decade. Unsure how to tackle this large mission, they begin to "blue-sky," a method based upon their imagination that allows them to receive advice from their heroes and inspirations, including Galileo, Apollo, and Buck Rodgers.
Each member of the undoubtedly talented cast brings much energy and life into show, making for an intimate and beautiful production. Mueller, seen off-Broadway in Peter and the Starcatcher, Benson, best known for his run as Boq in Wicked, and David all have great chemistry onstage, developing a strong bond between men of three very different personalities. Mueller is the quirky one of the group, Benson being the smart and sophisticated member, and David being more down and dirty, often heading out to shoot ducks.
The root of the show's comedy is derived from the actors of the "blue-sky" scenes, including Michael Goldstein as Apollo, Icarus, and others, Orville Mendoza as Galileo and Red Baron, and Tom Templeton as Buck Rodgers and others. Goldstein's bold interpretation of the Greek god, along with Mendoza's comedic telling of the scientific genius, makes for many laughs and standout moments throughout the show. Templeton, who is making his professional production debut, has a noticeably fresh passion when on stage, a quality that plays very well in the role.
Rounding out the cast is Joseph Kolinski in the role of Howard Haggerty, an aggressive leader of the three engineers who, though once against the use of imagination, comes to realize that the "blue-sky" method may actually be the key to building the vessel.
The set design by Paul Tate dePoo III plays very well with the size of the theatre, making us feel right inside the engineers' lab. The lighting/projection design by Rob Denton is marvelous, particularly in the closing few minutes of the show, as the stage is transformed into a beautiful star filled view.
All in all, Greenberg does an extremely well job at bringing this production to life, pulling together a superb cast of actors who each contribute greatly to the show's success. The show's book is engaging and powerful, leaving the audience feeling inspired. It's safe to say that Houston, we have a hit.