The Orion Experience. XL Nightclub (see Off-Off Broadway). Conceived and directed by Travis Greisler. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 15mins. No intermission.
The Orion Experience: in brief
Drawing equally on new wave, ’60s pop and modern radio rock, the band known as the Orion Experience impresses with its buoyant, hooky tunes, which make awesome use of a coed tag-team vocal approach. Three times a week, the combo takes control of the XL nightclub for a full-scale theatrical extravaganza (directed by Travis Greisler), featuring dancing and drinking as well as talking computers and space vampires.
The Orion Experience: theater review by Raven Snook
Having mindless fun is harder than it looks. All this immersive, glam-rock sci-fi musical wants to do is show the inhabitants of Earth an out-of-this-world time. So from the moment you come on board, bedazzled beauties ply you with cocktails, glow sticks and face paint (all for a fee, of course) in anticipation of the main event: a giant, glitter-filled, interactive dance party.
But The Orion Experience more or less crashes and burns upon takeoff. Less a show than a showcase for the eponymous power-pop band, which looks like a cross between Ziggy Stardust and the Andromeda space rockers from Buck Rogers, everything about the evening smacks of been-there, done-this. The bouncy songs recall bigger and better hits; the acrobatics (save for a sensual, flexible aerialist) are underwhelming and the plot, about the group being captured by the evil Queen of White Lies (fierce drag diva Sir Honey Davenport) is incomprehensible.
All of this could be forgiven if the spectacle were truly transporting like Fuerza Bruta or the long-closed-but-still-missed Donkey Show. But The Orion Experience never reaches those hedonistic climes. Naïve tourists and the greatly inebriated might mistake it for an outrageous night out but everyone else is better off skipping this ride all together.—Theater reivew by Raven Snook
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