By JAMES COMTOIS
The 78th Street Theatre Lab
236 W. 78 St., NYC
(212) 352-3101 or www.theatermania.com
May 8 through 31, 2008
Directed by PETE BOISVERT
Stage Manager STEPHANIE WILLIAMS
Fight Choreographers QUI NGUYEN and ALEXIS BLACK
Lighting Designer PHIL SHEARER
Sound Designer PATRICK SHEARER
Make-up Designer LESLIE HUGHES
Costume Designer MEREDITH MAGOUN
Set Design PETE BOISVERT and STEPHANIE WILLIAMS
Overman (Tom Shanley) – Patrick Shearer
Tigress (Karen Fisher) – Jessi Gotta
Ramses (Jeffrey Michaels) – Abe Goldfarb
Guy Madison – Mac Rogers
John – Zack Calhoon
The Void – Marc Landers
The Peacekeeper (Mick Catton) – Ben VandenBoom
Johnny Patriot – Christopher Yustin
Nosedive Productions’ latest production, COLORFUL WORLD, is playwright James Comtois’ foray into the overtly politicized, unabashedly comical superhero genre. Set in 2005, with flashbacks to 1988 and the years in between, Comtois posits a world in which the abilities of one man prevented 9/11 as we know it, in which we are no longer dependent on oil, and in which the line between superhero and supervillain is blurred by human foibles, commerce and media spin.
The discovery of a single man with unnatural abilities spawns a caped crusader craze that leads the government to act against vigiliantes of all types. As part of the bureaucracy, some are elevated to the level of crimefighter by virtue of joining the Alliance of Champions. COLORFUL WORLD tells the story of a world that has one real "superman" and many wannabes, and what happens when the "superman" that represents the hopes of millions suddenly disappears.
Meet Tom Shanley, known primarily as Overman. His existence is at the center of COLORFUL WORLD. Although the exposition surrounding his evolution from an ordinary guy impervious to pain and death to government employee and international hero is a tad lengthy, Patrick Shearer’s methodical and even mad portrayal make it all go down smoothly. In contrast, Mac Rogers, as the unassuming Guy, a hidden talent until the end, is slightly remininscent of his portrayal of the title character in Mr. Comtois’ THE ADVENTURES OF NERVOUS-BOY, but without the psychopathic tendencies. We are also treated to appearances by Abe Goldfarb as the slightly diabolical, slightly flamboyant and absolutely ambitious Ramses, Jessi Gotta as the perky token gal crimefighter and heartbreaker, Tigress, Marc Landers as The Void, Ben VandenBoom as The Peacekeeper, Christopher Yustin as the vibrantly costumed Johnny Patriot, and Zach Calhoun as John.
To compliment Pete Boisvert’s fast-paced direction, Nosedive has done well to tap the talents of Qui Ngyuen, of local theater company The Vampire Cowboys, and Alexis Black as co-fight choreographers. They appreciate both the precision required to stage effective scenes in a tight space, as well as the comedic edges that these scenes were meant to be imbued with. Meredith Magoun’s costumes and Leslie Hughes’ makeup design add just the right touches.
COLORFUL WORLD is above all else just plain entertaining. James Comtois definitely takes the opportunity of a captive audience to make political statements via his opinionated and vocal characters, as well as the choices of the television content projected on the walls, particularly during scene changes, and why not?
- Kessa De Santis -