Great Geek Theater for Kids! Comic Books Come Alive in The Intergalactic Nemesis at the New Victory Theater
When I heard The Intergalactic Nemesis described as a "live-action graphic novel," I immediately got tickets for my comic book loving son. Although I didn't know what to expect, I was sure it would be offbeat, geeky and something both my kid and I would enjoy. Guess what? I was right. We caught the show at the New Victory Theater this past weekend and it's clever, comical and unlike anything we've ever seen.
The Intergalactic Nemesis: Book One: Target Earth (yes, that's the full title) isn't a traditional stage production; it's a modern take on old radio plays. Actors stand at old-fashioned microphones giving voice to a variety of characters, a foley artist whips up cool sound effects, a pianist underscores the action all while comic book panels are projected onto a giant screen. The effect is unique and very engaging, which is good since you need to be able to process all of the different things going on in order to follow the super-pulpy story.
Robot Planet's The Intergalactic Nemesis: Book One: Target Earth is a period sci-fi fantasy about three unlikely heroes: Molly Sloan, a spunky Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (Danu Uribe, doing her best Rosalind Russell from His Gal Friday) , her country bumpkin assistant Timmy Mendez (David Higgins) and Ben Wilcott, a time-traveling librarian (the amazing Christopher Lee Gibson) as they set out to save the Earth from an alien invasion. As befits the genre, the story is full of twists and turns, super-villains, evil extra terrestrials, mind control, exotic locales, space travel and even a bit of romance. To give away more would be unconscionable, anyway the plot isn't the main attraction.
In addition to their main roles, all three actors portray a bunch of other characters—Gibson in particular is a wonder, a master of accents who often ends up having long heated exchanges with himself. I was also fascinated by Cami Alys, who conjured up all of the sound effects in creative ways, like shaking a box of mac and cheese to emulate the chugging of a train. There is so much happening on stage, sometimes is hard to figure out what to focus on. But after a while, you get used to taking it all in at once.
The New Victory recommends The Intergalactic Nemesis for children ages 7 and up, and after seeing it, I think it skews a little older. While there's nothing inappropriate for younger views, the show is long (two hours) and the plot is pretty convoluted. My eight-year old followed it more or less but he didn't get a lot of the funny references (Peter Lorre, Mae West, the Hindenburg). Meanwhile the almost 10-year-old in our group thought it was awesome—as did all us fortysomething moms. It actually would make a great grown-up nerd date night.
The Intergalactic Nemesis: Book One: Target Earth is playing at the New Victory Theater through Saturday, April 13. Tickets are $14-$38.
Find out about other cool things to do this season in our Spring Fun Guide.