Review: The Orion Experience

Orion Experience

Resistance is futile. This show is so joyously silly, musically energetic and visually overpowering that it is impossible not to have a good time.

In The Orion Experience, the audience boards the Starship Orion (XL Nightclub outfitted with several additional screens for stunning full-surround projections by David Bengali) for an interstellar pleasure cruise. And that’s pretty much what you get. You don’t get traditional musical theatre, not by a long shot – lyrics aren’t foregrounded, and the plot is pretty simple and scematic, with spoken dialogue kept to a minimum.

Nope, The Orion Experience is more akin to a really exciting rock concert. In fact, conceiver/director Travis Greisler put this show together after hearing music by the band of the same name. The band Orion Experience sound like (and for that matter, look like) the Moody Blues, if they played hi-NRG dance music with 21st Century precision. Choreographer Misha Shields has surrounded them with dancers who are seriously getting down. Fun stuff!

The real alchemy of this show is the way in which all of these goofy elements – including Matthew Quinn’s Voice of the Computer who sounds very much like Fred Schneider of the B-52s – somehow arrive at genuine spiritual uplift by show’s end.

Part of that is the innate power of the rousing anthem “Love Saves The Day”, but I also think Greisler’s deft handling of the material’s mythic underpinnings has something to do with it. This is a band, after all, that has a song called “The Cult of Dionysos” (not included in the show). All in all, love does indeed save the day in this impressive, immersive joyride.

For tickets, click here.

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