Vote for your favorite Dish of the Day

The Groovy List celebrates Halloween with Jamie Lee

Battle of the Broadway Stars #35: 1979-80 Season

Revisit Port Charles' Deep Freeze of '81

10 Groovy Things to Do in October
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chicago Theater: Have a Mojito and Go See 'The League of Awesome'

The two guys sitting near us the other night seemed to be enjoying The Factory Theater's new play, The League of Awesome - but I think the fact that they were drinking beer helped a lot with their vocal appreciation of the show. Now I don't mean that in a snarky way because there's nothing wrong with a few cocktails to put one more in the mood for wacky humor, which is what The League of Awesome has in abundance.

Created by Corri Feuerstein and Sara Sevigny in their Factory writing debut and directed by Matt Engle, The League of Awesome tells the gripping tale of a group of superheroines called - you guessed it - The League of Awesome (in a nod to DC Comics' The Justice League of America), who love their liquor almost as much as they enjoy fighting crime. So having their audience members imbibe in a few Buds or PBRs during the show seems only fitting since the characters on stage are doing the same. The LOA's fearless leader is The Beacon (played by Feuerstein), and her team consists of Cat Scratch, Rumble and the delightful mojito-loving Sylvia (played by Sevigny). They must stop The SorrowMaker, a dastardly villain who is able to inflict sadness upon everyone in order to achieve his evil schemes. That's pretty much the basic plot - and although there is a lot of silly fun to be had in this comic book spoof, some of the jokes did fall flat for me.  I never did understand why the narrator was a homeless man, and I also kept wishing that the police commissioner's obnoxious deputy would be punched in the face by one of the ladies to shut him up.

For the most part, the performances are excellent - especially Feuerstein, Sevigny and Dan Granata, who succeeds in making his Sorrowmaker an entertaining bad guy. However, if I was handing out an award for Best Superhero, I would have to give it to Sara Gorsky as "Ms. Great", who not only wears the coolest costume but also has her very own catchphrase, "You're welcome". My favorite moment in the play featured Sylvia's sister, Penny (played by Angelina Martinez), as she tried to fit in with the rest of the women while striking a pose. I also liked Penny's superpower the most, in which she makes people suddenly sing Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better", Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" or some other groovy tune.

In addition to the acting, I must also mention Rachel Sypniewski's terrific costumes, Joseph Riley's creative comic book-inspired set design, and Engle's amusing fight choreography. There's definitely a goofy charm to The League of Awesome, and it's nice to see a play with strong female leads who enjoy getting drunk together and kicking some ass. These girls just want to have fun - and so will you - especially if you have a cocktail before or during the show.

The League of Awesome runs through August 21 at Prop Thtr (3502 N. Elston). For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or order online at Also, if you're looking for a good place to eat in the area, I recommend Chief O'Neill's at 3471 N. Elston (its artichoke dip and baked brie appetizers are both delicious). Below you can watch Factory Theater's promo video for the show.

No comments: