First, let's get one thing clear: Champ: A Space Opera is not a rock opera -- it's a rock ballet (choreography by John Heginbotham). The distinction is immediately clear when the performers, a quintet of male and female dancers, move in unison across the stage but don't speak, sing, or vocalize beyond one instance in which they count in unison. Rather, it's the indie rock band sharing the stage known as Champollion that sings and emotes for the entire duration of the performance. And since it's difficult to interpret what the band's singing, the lyrics are often projected on a screen, along with a video projection (by Supermarché) that includes a mash-up of retro sci-fi and other images.
Directed by Patrick Young, Champ: A Space Opera tells the story of a ship and its crew on a single-minded mission that's disrupted by Champ (dancer Jonathan Fredrickson), who receives a strange signal and decides to go outside the ship. But it's actually an excellent conceptual rock performance with some really great visuals and sounds.
Presented by Champollion and the Mediumship as part of the New York International Fringe Festival
at the Village Theatre, 158 Bleecker St., NYC.
Aug. 16-20. Remaining performance: Mon., Aug. 20, 5:15 p.m.
(212) 279-4488 or (888) 374-6436 or www.fringenyc.org.