Fringe Review: One Small Step

Musical about students putting on a musical about astronaut Chris Hadfield is uneven but there's lots of fine emerging talent onstage and some of the music soars

ONE SMALL STEP by Barbara Johnston and Anika Johnson (Edge of the Sky Theatre). At the Randolph Theatre. July 6 at 12:45 pm, July 7 at noon, July 8 at 4:45 pm, July 10 at 6:30 pm, July 12 at 8:45 pm, July 15 at 7 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN

There’s lots of potential in Barbara Johnston and Anika Johnson‘s affectionate love letter to theatre school geekery.

When their drama class musical is yanked, a huge group of Milton, Ontario students, headed by aspiring actor/director Jill (Kelsey Verzotti), agree to independently mount a musical about Milton’s astronaut hero, Chris Hadfield.

There’s way too much story to pack into a 75 minute show about putting on another show, and many scenes, especially the comic ones, feel either rushed, underdeveloped or strained.

But Johnston and Johnson’s music is frequently inspired, particularly choral numbers about learning to love musical theatre and pursuing dreams. And although the young cast is large, by the end almost everyone has had a chance to shine.

Krystyne-Mai Ancheta is especially effective as an aspiring composer.

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