Imagine — or “blue sky”, if you will — that the “brains on a stick” scientists from The Big Bang Theory were involved in the planning and design of the Apollo manned space mission of the 1960s.
Thanks to playwright Deborah Brevoort’s whimsical mash-up of discovery, history and comic book heroes you really don’t need to. She has captured that it all, creating an entertaining and winning evening of theater.
Set in 1961, in a man cave for geeks, chock full of wires, dials scopes and gizmos, three young engineers have just been handed their assignment: to get a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Shunning the lab coat, white shirt and tie, these three find inspiration when they “blue sky.” To “blue sky” or spend some time “blue-skying” is to spend time thinking, not limited by conventional notions by or what might be viewed as practical or feasible. As “blue-sky boys” Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and — whoops, I mean Berman, Caldwell and von Volp (played here by actors Andrew Mueller, Shayne David and Etai Benson — all first rate), spend their days “blue-skying” their way into space, they call on the talent and intellect of muses — Icarus, Gaileo, Apollo and Buck Rogers.
‘The Blue-Sky Boys’
WHERE: Capital Reperatory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St. Albany
WHEN: Through April 3
HOW MUCH: $60–$20
MORE INFO: 346-6204, www.capitalrep.org
Yes, all make an appearance to inspire and boost our boys to infinity and beyond with some clever critical thinking.
Without blinding us with science, Brevoort’s script — which may or may not blue sky a bit with historical facts — is wildly inventive and very funny. Free form ideas fly wild. Could it be that the Apollo lunar module actually was inspired by hot coffee in a cardboard cup? Did a dead upside-down duck provide a key clue in solving capsule re-entry?
Sounds a bit fantastical, but possible, very, very possible. Inspiration comes in different ways and from many sources.
Skillfully directed by Cap Rep vet Gordon Greenberg, the evening perks with a balance of science, smart stagecraft and whimsy. Dead scientists, mythological figures and space travelers (and others) are well represented by the talented trio of Tom Templeton, Orville Mendoza and Michael Goldstein. Each offer memorable moments, even as the as the boys’ starchy new boss from MIT, Howard Haggerty (a full of bluster Joseph Kolinski), uses his best efforts to keep them at bay.
As opening night’s rather enthusiastic curtain call confirmed: This show has broad appeal. It’s a great night out for grandma, mom, or a favorite uncle and for a kid with a penchant for comic books and video games to experience the freeing power and creative world of theater.