A New Musical by Michael Federico, Seth Magill, and Shawn Magill

As bombs explode and sirens wail on the surface, an underground theatre Company does its best to stave offimpending apocalyptic doom by putting on a show they have performed every night for years. It's a sci-fi, comic, rock musical tale of Marie Antoinette, the first time-traveling hot air balloon, and legendary hero/hair-enthusiast Chase Spacegrove.

Photo: 2016 Joe's Pub Concert of On The Eve Produced by Theatre C

In the beginning, it was a story of revolution and hope, but at the hands of the dictatorial Talking Man, it has slowly transformed into a celebration of stereotypes and the status quo. As Talking Man's grip tightens and grows more violent, the Company fights to take back their show for one last run.

Battling Talking Man, they change the story and spin it out across time and space, and soon the play they're performing bleeds into their own reality and gives the Company one last great hope for survival. 

Things You Should Know

On the Eve follows the story of Marie Antoinette, the Montgolfier Brothers, and the first time-traveling hot air balloon. While Antoinette actually did play a significant role in the history of ballooning, her involvement in the development of time travel remains debatable.

The entire show takes place in an old, bombed-out theater as the end of the world approaches. Tonight might just be the last stand against the Orwellian nightmare that controls what’s left of society. While there is no proof, it’s pretty clear that On the Eve was conceived after The Threepenny Opera and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure spent a questionable night together. The result is a classically influenced indie-folk-rock musical in which band members play for their lives right alongside the actors, with percussive step-dancing as the sound of revolution.

Because it takes place in a run-down theater, costumes, props, and set pieces are cobbled together with whatever materials the old place has had in stock for decades. The result is a highly theatrical cacophony of eras and styles.


Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (26 August 1740 – 26 June 1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (6 January 1745 – 2 August 1799) were the inventors of the montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. On 19 September 1783, the Aérostat Réveillon was flown with the first living beings in a basket attached to the balloon: a sheep called Montauciel (“Climb-to-the-sky”), a duck and a rooster.

The sheep was believed to have a reasonable approximation of human physiology. The duck was expected to be unharmed by being lifted aloft. It was included as a control for effects created by the aircraft rather than the altitude. The rooster was included as a further control as it was a bird that did not fly at high altitudes.

This demonstration was performed before a crowd at the royal palace in Versailles, before King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette.The flight lasted approximately eight minutes, covered two miles (3 km), and obtained an altitude of about 1,500 feet (460 m). The craft landed safely after flying.

These early flights made a sensation. Numerous engravings commemorated the events. Chairs were designed with balloon backs, and mantel clocks were produced in enamel and gilt-bronze replicas set with a dial in the balloon. One could buy crockery decorated with naive pictures of balloons.

Photos: by Jeffrey Schmidt: 2014 Professional Premiere Producion at Theatre Three Dallas