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Comic Book Theater Festival, Week 2: A Van and Naked People IN SPACE!

Review

I kind of missed the Tony Awards this weekend. I tuned in just as Sutton Foster was losing her shit thanking her dresser (he must have been a very good dresser). There was a time in my life when the Tony Awards seemed like the most wonderful thing in the world. I would tape the ceremony every year and watch it for months afterwards. This year, I just…forgot.

I guess I have become disillusioned with Broadway in recent years. I do not like that it has become this bloated, over-priced monster powered by movie musicals and stunt casting. I hate how…you know what? I’m just going to let Uncle Scar explain:

I’m thankful that theatres like The Brick exist. Beyond Broadway is a motley army of artists striving to make theatre exciting and accessible again. These theatres don’t have huge budgets or name stars, but they have wonderful original stories, fresh ideas and a spirit that will endure longer than, say, Sister Act: The Musical (dear God, that is a thing that is happening). Kudos to those fearless warriors of theatre. Broadway can suck it.

And now that I’m off my soapbox, let’s look at three more shows from The Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival.

Mrs. Perfect and the Unexpected Visit of Evil!
Written by Crystal Skillman
Directed by James David Jackson

Parked on Lorimer Street outside of the theatre is a whimsical-looking van. Inside the van are comfy cushions and a live musical. “What?” you say. “A musical in a van? That’s impossible! Musicals can only be performed in huge theatres with sets and orchestras and special effects that could kill you.” Hard to imagine, I know, but it’s true. Someone fit a musical into a van. My mind is blown, too.

Presented by the aptly named Theatre in a VAN! Company, Mrs. Perfect… is a brief, buoyant show about the rise and fall of a super hero couple performed by three actors and a guitarist. For five dollars and ten minutes of your time, you get an entertaining show and the most fun you have had in a van since that last fun thing you did in a van.

See, this is what I’m talking about. Theatre does not get anymore accessible than this. Mrs. Perfect… is a little gem of a show that won’t break you bank or crunch your schedule. How great is that?

Nerdlesque, Vol 1 Issue #5

Late this past Saturday things at the Brick got a little bit hotter than usual. Because of the nudity. I’m implying that it was hot in the theatre because the show inside it was sexy. The air conditioning is working just fine, if you were worried about that.

I’m not very good a sexy segues.

Nerdlesque has been running at the Brick since November. The world cried for pasties that said “BAM!” and “POW!” and Nerdlesque, like a true superhero answered the call.

The show brings a cheeky sensuality to geek culture. This special Comic Book Festival edition of the ‘lesque featured an array of teases and strips inspired by books such as X-Men (Ginny Jems portraying a naughty version of the Dark Phoenix Saga), Batman (Danger Doll as a love-struck Robin) and even Watchmen (Dr. Fluxxx, who gets extra points for going the Full Manhattan). The stand out of the evening, though, had to be Mary Sin as the Joker from the Dark Knight. Yes, you read that right. Ms. Sin performed as one of the most disturbing movie villains of the past twenty years, and by God if she didn’t completely own it. No doubt she left a lot of the audience titillated and confused.

I did not stick around for the post-show game of Strip Pictionary, but there’s always next time. Nerdlesque will be returning later this summer for Gameplay, the Brick’s video game themed festival. If someone choreographs an Angry Birds number I am so there.

Galactic Girl in: Attack of the Starbarians
Written and Directed by Jon Hoche

Finally, we have Galactic Girl, a fast paced, hilarious show that takes all your childhood cartoon memories and force-feeds them ecstasy. It’s the type of play that features not only opening credits but opening credits that explode. Amazing.

The show follows the adventure of Galactic Girl (Erica Swindell) and her crew as they fight for justice. IN SPACE! That’s pretty much all you need to know. The rest is a swirl of lights, video, fight sequences, cartoon references, color, sound, and awesome. IN SPACE! Halfway through the show, the action stops so the cast can dance to a J-Pop song. Why? IN SPACE, THAT’S WHY!

Galactic Girl creates an action-packed night of escapism at a fraction of that Spiderman musical’s budget. Writer and director Jon Hoche, a veteran of Vampire Cowboys, brings that theatre’s action-heavy aesthetic to the proceedings. A special mention needs to go to fight choreographer Rod Kinter and the athletic cast for the highly engaging fight sequences. I always want to recognize costume designer Candace Thompson, who made Galactic Girl and her cohorts sexy, but not sleazy (practical footwear on super heroines has always been a pet peeve of mine. How can you save the world when your calf muscles are messed up?)

The show ended on a cliffhanger, leaving open the possibility for a sequel. I, for one, cannot wait to see the further adventures of Galactic Girl and friends. IN SPACE!

That’s all from the Fest this week. If you’re in the New York area and would like see some of the shows, check The Brick’s website for times and tickets.

IN SPACE!

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.