In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Carnegie Hall will present a multimedia show created by historian John Monsky that incorporates a 30-piece orchestra, Broadway artists, film and photography, and his own narration.
The performance will be held in Zankel Hall on two occasions: the day of Apollo 11’s launch on July 16 and the day of the moon landing on July 20. Mark and Kali Armstrong, son and granddaughter of Neil Armstrong, will make a special appearance during the July 16 show and perform “A Flight of Fancy.”
The musical selection for the two nights is inspired by America’s race to space. The program includes David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” Elton John’s “Rocket Man” and Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence” among others.
The songs will be presented by four Broadway stars — Shonica Gooden from “Cats” and “Hamilton,” Adam Kantor from “The Band’s Visit” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” Elena Shaddow from “The Visit” and “La Cage aux Folles,” and David St. Louis from “Side Show” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
Complementing the singers, Orchestra St. Lukes, conducted by Broadway music director Kimberly Grigsby, will also be performing throughout the night.
The musical talent will be accompanied by recently discovered footage from NASA, including iconic photographs and archival interviews with astronauts and their family members.
Finally, Monsky himself will also contribute to the mishmash of artistic media by narrating the story of the historic mission.
“We Chose to Go to the Moon” is a part of Monsky’s “American History Unbound” series, which explores watershed moments in American history through multimedia productions. The series’ first installment, “The Vietnam War: At Home and Abroad,” was presented at Carnegie Hall in 2018 as a part of the citywide festival “The ‘60s: The Years That Changed America.”
Developed at the New-York Historical Society, “American History Unbound” uses each production to examine one of the country’s pivotal events, and incorporates a script often inspired by Monsky’s own memories and observations. Besides live music, photography, and film, the productions also utilise historic flags and material culture from Monsky’s personal collection.
Tickets to the “We Chose to Go to the Moon” shows are available on the Carnegie Hall website.
— Kristine Liao