Coming to Costa Mesa this fall will be one small step for man, one giant leap for immersive stage productions.
APOLLO 11-The Immersive Live Show touches down Oct. 10 for a limited engagement at OC Fair & Event Center, with tickets going on sale Sunday, June 23.
It was July 20, 1969, when mission pilot Buzz Aldrin (who would later reside in Laguna Beach for years) landed the lunar module on the Moon with Commander Neil Armstrong aboard. Armstrong and Aldrin would become the first and second men to set foot on the Moon respectively. (Or, if you believe the conspiracy theories, they set foot on Stanley Kubrick’s movie set.)
There are some Orange County connections beyond the fairgrounds when it comes to the production. Director Scott Faris was born in Brea and grew up here. Actor Nick Waaland, who plays “Younger Ben,” was born in Fountain Valley and raised in Irvine, and ensemble cast member James Michael McHale was also raised in OC and currently lives here.
“This truly immersive experience takes you from the thrill of the countdown to the enormous Saturn V rocket launch and on an unforgettable journey to the Moon and back,” Faris says in the announcement. “We are excited to tell this unique story to the world. It’s guaranteed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience audiences will never forget.”
Other cast members in APOLLO 11-The Immersive Live Show, which was written by Todd Kreidler, include: Mike Bash (ensemble), Raquel Cain (Sydney), David Edelstien (Lewis), Jackson Kendall (Ollie), Brian Knudson (Lewis), Brianna McClellan (Elizabeth), Herb Mendelsohn (Older Ben), Pete Navis (ensemble), Levi Petree (ensemble), Christian Prentice (Younger Ben), Dennis Renard (Ollie), Dylan John Seaton (ensemble), Jessie Sherman (ensemble), Malachy Silva (Frank), Ken Stirbl (Older Ben), Tory Stolper (Elizabeth), Tom Trudgeon (Frank) and Tyler Marie Watkins (Sydney).
Costa Mesa is the second stop on the 18-city tour of APOLLO 11-The Immersive Live Show, which makes its debut July 5 at the Rose Bowl and continues for the next three years. Due to popular demand, the run in the Los Angeles market has been extended through the middle of August. The length of the Orange County run has not yet been released. Houston is among the other announced cities on the tour .
The show is staged in a “purpose-built” LUNAR DOME with 40,000 square feet of 360-degree video projection. The spectacle also includes life-size rockets and a full orchestral score.
Here is the trailer:
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.