In Jaki Bradley’s production... there’s a lot to enjoy anyway: a consistently inventive score, a cast of six actor-musicians who bring huge charm to the material, and a mod set for the band so period-fabulous that the Monkees would have been proud to play on it." -The New York Times
1969: The Second Man
After he became the second man to walk on the moon, reporters asked Buzz Aldrin if he wished he had been the first. “I really didn’t want that,” Buzz claimed, “because of the added heartache.” Why is it so hard to believe him? A folk-rock fable for the runner-up in all of us, 1969: The Second Man explores competition and collective achievement through the story of one small man who became one giant myth.
Concept, Music & Lyrics by Jacob Brandt
Book by Dan Giles
Directed by Jaki Bradley
Produced by Maddy Bersin
With Jacob Brandt, Paris Ellsworth, Lizzie Hagstedt, Angel Lin, Maya Sharpe and Tony Vo
Production Design: Oona Curley
Co-Scenic Design: Daniel Prosky
Co-Lighting Design: Stacey Derosier
Costume Design: Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene
Sound Design: Five Ohm Productions
Production Stage Manager: Elizabeth Emanuel
New York Theater Workshop: Next Door
"It’s fun to watch a young, multicultural, mixed-gender cast portray the crew-cut cookie-cutter white men of NASA, and in a staging that feels more like a rock show than a play, the performers share the spotlight generously. Mr. Brandt’s music is versatile, and in the hands of these performers it sounds great: optimistic and wholesome, moody and hypnotic, wonderingly weightless in a tune called “Zero Gravity.”
-The New York Times
"While impressive that each cast member plays their own instruments, this show is equally impressive in the casual manner in which the actors transition from personal story to historical fact...Filled with heart-felt, lively, and, at times, unbelievably stirring folk music"
"Giles' script is filled with lovely, striking passages and, in combination with Brandt's songs builds a strong case for Aldrin as tragic and absurd...Brandt's songs cast a moonstruck, melancholy mood...The cast of actors/musicians are personable and gifted...Bradley's production is sensibly proportioned and sensitively attuned to the script's pervasive sadness."
-Lighting & Sound America