The brilliantly, hilariously offbeat “History of Future Folk” is a sci-fi comic thriller folk music musical.
Even its genre is a hoot.
There’s this goofy janitor (Nils d’Aulaire) and dad who tells his daughter funny bedtime stories about a distant planet, Hondo.
And after she’s gone to bed, he dons a space suit and a bucket helmet, picks up a banjo and hits a New York city club where he tells that same story, in between bizarre little banjo ditties. And it’s TRUE. He’s a general in the Hondo military, General Treus. He’s come to scout out the best way to invade.
Only he got distracted. By music (Very “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”). Bluegrass music, it turns out.
We don’t take him seriously until the assassin Kevin (Jay Klaitz) shows up and just misses his chance to kill the treasonous (he’s not done his duty) General Treus. But Kevin, too, gets the bluegrass bug. He picks up the guitar. He sings.
Next thing you know, they’e an indie late night New York sensation — burbling marvelously catchy ditties “farming space worms” on Hondo, in between bluegrass covers of “Hava Nagila” “The Moonliht Sonata.”
“The History of Future Folk” veers from daft offstage scenes to deliriously musical onstage ones as Klaitz and d’Alulaire work the crowd into a “future folk” frenzy. Whatever the “story” about the clock ticking down to an alien invasion as the two aliens struggle to reconcile their feelings for Earth, Earth music and Earth women, the musical moments in this are just magical.