Reviewed by Nicholas McBurney
by Nick Di Gaetano with Teddy Ivanova
60 min / Comedy, Storytelling, Sketch / PG
Unbridled Futurism is a new work by Nick Di Gaetano that mixes live music and video elements to tell the story of an astronaut, the first man to break the light speed barrier. Now stuck shifting through parallel earths with the A.I. voice of Mission Control in his brain, he just wants to get home to his wife and cat.
With only a projector screen and guitar onstage Nick tells his strange and surreal story. The show’s strengths really shine when Di Gaetano picks up his guitar – a requirement for all astronauts since Col. Hadfield – and starts playing. The original music is what makes this performance stand out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the songs all make their way onto a Bowie-esque concept album one day soon. There’s title screen and opening credits the performance plays like a 3am basic cable show that you only half-remember the next day. The video segments allow Nick time to change costumes between himself, Puff Puff the omnipotent wizard cat, and a planet-conquering raccoon king. Alone on stage for almost the entire show, Di Gaetano is joined briefly by Jordan Moffatt as Garbage-World Nick towards the end.
While a few of the verses get a little repetitive, and the Google video sketch felt like unnecessary filler, the rest of the show makes for a fun, weird mixture of TV’s Sliders, David Bowie’s Space Odyssey, and Mystery Science Theatre 3000 special effects.
Unbridled Futurism is playing at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Ave) until Sunday June 18, 2017. Tickets cost $12 online and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the show schedule and box office details. Apt613 is trying to see every show on opening weekend of the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.