Climate Change Musical Shuts Down After Getting Cold Shoulder, Guess Who Paid For It?

Robert Jonathan

A preachy, taxpayer-funded musical about man-made climate change ended its run early after receiving mediocre reviews from theater critics.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, The Great Immensity was produced by The Civilians theater troupe with a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, which prompted some federal lawmakers to argue that the cash could have been put to better use elsewhere.

After running for three weeks in New York City, the play was supposed to embark on a nationwide tour to sound the alarm on climate change/global warming. It apparently closed after one performance in Kansas City, however.

The Washington Free Beacon reported, "The musical was intended to tour the country in an effort to convince Americans to act on climate change. It ended up attracting meager audiences of theatergoers who were likely already on board with the play's politics..."

The convoluted plot, according to the Beacon, centers on a man named Karl who abandons his wife and "quits his job on Shark Week because the show did not emphasize climate change enough. He then disappears with a 15-year-old 'Earth Ambassador' for the UN, Julie, who convinces Karl to stage a kidnapping of young children during a global climate summit, on the eminently rational assumption that such an event would make the world act on global warming."

The website for the New York run of The Great Immensity (that ended May 1) claimed that the play "is a highly theatrical look into one of the most vital questions of our time: how can we change ourselves and our society in time to solve the enormous environmental challenges that confront us?"

According to one reviewer, the play was "impossible to understand" and resulted in "a painfully long evening." Added another critic: "Unfortunately, much as I'd like tell you that The Great Immensity is indeed immensely entertaining, that's not the case." The New York Daily News deemed it a "thoughtful but awkward musical about the environment... that is hard to warm up to." While praising the performances, the TimeOut New York theater critic chimed in that "Even the best adventurers can wander off course, and the Civilians do so on a global scale in The Great Immensity... the eco-thriller plot, bizarrely implausible in some regards and trite in others, proves too weak a nail on which to hang the play's sincere sense of urgency. It's not easy preaching green."

In a statement, the National Science Foundation was noncommittal as to whether this climate change/global warming musical served as a good use of taxpayer money:

This particular project just concluded in August and the final report has not yet been submitted to NSF. Final reports are due to NSF within 90 days following expiration of the grant. The final report will contain information about project outcomes, impacts and other data."

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