The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

Edison launches ovations for young people Oct. 5

The critically acclaimed one-man-show The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer comes to Edison Oct. 5. Photo by Michelle Robin Anderson. Download hires image.
The seas have risen and covered the Earth. A few soaked survivors cling to mountaintops and tall buildings. Scientists have tried everything, but the floating islands sank, the icecaps failed to refreeze and the giant sponges — visible from space — slowly rot in the salty water.

Winner of:

* The 2011 “Best Theatre Show” at the Auckland Fringe Festival.

* “Outstanding Solo Show” at the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival.

* “Best Puppetry” at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2010.

Among the survivors are Alvin Sputnik and his wife Helen, who, despite all odds, have built a happy life in a small cottage atop a once-proud skyscraper. But when Helen takes ill and dies, the bereaved Alvin sets out on a dangerous mission to save what’s left of humanity.

So begin The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, an inventive, heartwarming and visually spectacular mix of puppetry, mime and animation.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, the critically acclaimed one-man-show — performed by Australia’s St. John Cowcher — will launch Edison Theatre’s 2013-14 ovations for young people series.

A heart as big as a whale

Like a post-apocalyptic version of Orpheus and Eurydice, Alvin Sputnik tells the story of one man who braves the depths of the Earth for the sake of enduring love.

Still mourning Helen’s death, Alvin overhears a call from scientists at Earth HQ, postulating the existence of a lost paradise at the bottom of the sea. A hero is needed to find it. Alvin, with nothing left to lose, dons a deep-sea suit and dives headfirst into the watery underworld, in search of salvation and — perhaps — Helen’s soul.

Alvin Sputnik combines puppetry, mime and animation. Image courtesy of Tim Watts. Download hires image.

“If Pixar had a theatrical division, one would think (and hope) they’d create something like this show,” said The New York Times adds that Alvin Sputnik’s “mix of environmental disaster, twee humor and cutie-pie whimsy makes it something akin to a theatrical Wall-E.”

“Is it odd to call a play set in a post-apocalyptic world charming and delightful?” asked “Probably so, but be that as it may, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer is a charming and delightful modern fable.

“While it deals with environmental issues, Alvin Sputnik is mostly a story about love and sacrifice.”

ovations for young people

The ovations for young people series will continue March 15 with Black Violin, a.k.a. Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, two classically trained musicians who combine classical music with jazz, funk and hip-hop. Concluding the series April 12 will be 500 Clown in Trapped, a bouncy yet surprisingly philosophical rumination on ensnarement and escape.

Tickets and sponsors

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer begins at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Tickets are $12.

To maintain the intimacy of the performance, seating is limited to 200 seats per show. Tickets are available at the Edison Box Office and through the Edison website. Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.

Subscriptions to all three ovations for young people events are available for $27, or $24 for WUSTL faculty and staff.

For more information, call (314) 935-6543, email or visit

Edison programs are made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis; and private contributors.