Captain Nick Di Gaetano of the Echolalea is an astronaut aboard Earth’s first spacecraft capable of reaching light speed. Not this, Earth, mind you. He’s just stopping by to visit. After a two year journey out to where the first test of the light speed drive is to happen, he runs into an anomaly that leaves Captain Nick unstuck and bouncing between parallel Earths, trying to find a way home to his wife and cat.
It’s science fiction, obviously. It’s part rock concert, part story-telling, part TV show. There’s sentient raccoons, wizard cats, and inter-dimensional war. Oh, and it’s weird as fuck.
I didn’t know I needed this in my Fringe experience. But I did. And if you have a science fiction bone in your body, you do too.
Unbridled Futurism was created by Nick Di Gaetano (who plays Captain Nick Di Gaetano, voices Ambassador Nick Di Gaetano, dons a mask as the Raccoon King, among other roles) and Teddy Ivanova (who voices Mission Control-the AI in Captain Nick’s head). It also features an appearance by Jordan Moffat as Garbage Earth Nick Di Gaetano. All do marvellous jobs with well written, well-presented material. The show is exceedingly entertaining and among the most original concepts and presentations I’ve ever seen. (Which is what I was hoping for and why I was looking forward to it.)
The cool tunes and reason for singing them is all directly tied into the story and there’s a fun singalong component towards the end of the show. There are a couple of video sketches scattered throughout the show, which aside from allowing visuals you can’t put on stage (like space battles), give Nick the chance to get off stage and get ready for the next scene. The only one of these that I didn’t feel served the story enough for its length, leaving it feeling more like a distraction, was the presentation of Google/Alphabet Earth.
If there was one thing that could have made Unbridled Futurism even better, it would have been to see more direct stakes for Captain Nick. We know he’s trying to get home to his wife and cat and we understand his plight, but he isn’t doing much to pursue it actively and it’s never presented as a real possibility. Don’t get me wrong, the down-and-out, nearly given up all hope, Captain Nick carries charm enough for this to already be a fantastic presentation, but being able to feel an emotional connection with him would, at least for me, push it over the top.
Whether you’re a sci-fi guy or gal, or just a theatre goer looking for a truly original theatrical experience (that doesn’t require any involvement on your part), buy your tickets to Unbridled Futurism right away. The raccoon wars might start tomorrow and you’ll be sorry you missed out.
My only question is how soon until we can we get an Unbridled Futurism 2? I’d also accept a full two-act version.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you thought. What was your favourite part of Unbridled Futurism? Are we ready for the Great Raccoon Wars?