August 12, 2015

“Everything I’m about to tell you is true,” Colin Summers says, and he dings a little yellow bell as his tale begins. But truth is an elusive thing when we know someone only online; we fill the giant gaps with guesswork, trying to discern what’s real. “Steve: A Docu-Musical,” presented by the New York Neo-Futurists at the Fourth Street Theater, is Mr. Summers’s cheerful and affecting solo show about an Australian man he’s never met. Which means that Steve might not be Australian. He might not be a man. He might not exist. His digital persona does, however, and it’s maddeningly chatty — 8,000-emails-in-seven-years chatty. He first got in touch back in 2008, asking Mr. Summers and Andrew Eckel to set some of his lyrics to music. The two young musicians had a songwriting business, and the middle-aged Steve quickly became their primary customer, commissioning hundreds of tunes over the years.