For the next few weeks, the New York based Brick Theater Company is trading in their tights for… Spandex, actually, as the first ever Comic Book Theater Festival takes over until mid-July. Presenting plays and musicals by names familiar to comic book fans – Marvel’s Fred Van Lente, for one – and some not so familiar, the next few weeks are a chance to see some superheroics live on stage.
To find out more, we checked with some of the participants in the Festival… And here’s what they had to say, in their own words:
MTV Geek: What’s the MOST comic book moment in your show?
“The super sexy space girls fighting killer aliens is a big comic book moment of Galactic Girl, but the entire piece really pays homage to things like Barbarella & Flash Gordon with some Manga elements mixed in.” - Jon Hoche, writer/director “Galactic Girl”
“There are actually four occasions during the show on which our protagonist becomes completely immersed in different comic book worlds, which play out panel by panel on the screens behind him while he plays a different role in each story. The intention is to take the highly personal experience of reading a comic and blow it out in theatrical terms. It'll work, dammit!” – Jeff Lewonczyk, writer/director “The Bubble of Solace”
“The part where skin transforms and it looks like I'm suddenly wearing a animalistic superhero outfit.” – Adrian Jevicki, creator “The Deep”
“A pulse-pounding battle between Norse Gods turned bitter enemies through an evil outsider's influence! Or maybe it's when (SPOILER ALERT!) Sigmund Freud meets Adolf Hitler. “ – Ian W. Hill, director “Funnybook/Tragicbook
“For Action Philosophers creating the "Plato Smash" wresting moments (yes indeed he started as a wrestler people!) is pure gold. Oh good lord and to see our rockstar cast tackle the mini musical of "You're a Good Man John Stuart Mill!" and Marx as Rambo/GI Joe and .... well I shouldn't give it all away! :)” – Crystal Skillman, writer “Action Philosophers”
Geek: If you were going to adapt one theatrical piece into a comic, which one would it be?
“The musical 1776. Re-imagined so that it is set in space with Brent Spiner portraying John Adams as Lieutenant Commander Data.” – Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons, writer “All I Want Is One More Meanwhile”
“Julie Taymor's Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark” – Josh Mertz, writer/director “Batz”
“The exciting story of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark! By family, betrayed! By girlfriend, rejected! By ghosts, haunted! He takes two-fisted vengeance against a sea of troubles with a MOST bare bodkin! Next ish: "Who Would Fardels Bear?"” – Ian W. Hill, director “Funnybook/Tragicbook”
Geek: What are you bringing to the Comic Book Theater Festival that no one else is?
“Whimsy. A genius cat. A Fairy Dragmother. Ukuleles.” – Jillian Tully, writer “Five Things”
“A true story, from my point of view. I bet no one else can say they are the granddaughter of the real cartoonist. I am the maternal granddaughter of cartoonist Dale Messick who created Brenda Starr Reporter in 1940.” – Laura Rohrman, writer “Reporter Girl”
“Blow up dolls.” – Adrian Jevicki, creator “The Deep”
“The super hot original song PERFECTRA! Back in the day, our leading lady Jane was a Superhero – and a robot. Now a real woman and mother, Jane dances it out to her old theme song when she’s feeling blue. Inspired by She-Ra and Jem, written and recorded by NYC cult phenomenon Mel & El with music by Patrick Spencer Bodd, the Perfectra theme song brings the tradition of comic book origin stories to the stage in a fun and fabulous way.” – Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons, writer “All I Want Is One More Meanwhile”
“Superheros in a van is the unique fun Mrs. Perfect! And the Visit of Unexpected Evil offers as it totally unfolds in a van -only about 10-15 folks can see at a time. And I betcha it will be the 10 minutes you look back on remembering walking down the street the next day and still be laughing your ass off.” – Crystal Skillman, writer “Mrs. Perfect! A 10-Minute Episodic Rock Musical in a Van Episode One: “Mrs. Perfect and the Unexpected Visit of Evil!””
“Two words: "Bat" and "Man."” – Josh Mertz, writer/director “Batz”
The Comic Book Theater Festival runs at The Brick Theater June 2 – July 1