Monday, December 14, 2009

Superman Vs. Ultra, On Stage

Saturday night I attended my second and their third installment of “Super Heroes Who Are Super” at Plays and Players. The project features dramatic readings of real comic books, sometimes acted out as well on stage, and was created by Dan Student.

Tonight’s event directed by Ray Roberts comes from 1940’s Action Comics #21. It’s actually a classic Golden Age Superman story which became pivotal decades later in Roy Thomas’ All-Star Squadron as it features an early appearance of the evil Ultra-Humanite and scientist Terry Curtis who himself would go on to become the reluctant villain Cyclotron. Now, that’s waaay more than you need to know to enjoy the show, but you know me, yes, I’m a comics geek. All you really need to know is – Superman vs. Ultra for the life of an atomic scientist, case closed.

Whereas the last show, “Duel of the Super Heroes,” was done chiefly as a reading with seating arrangements more of a bleachers, this show was more spread out with tables and chairs more cafĂ© style leaving lots of room for the actors to move about for more "superheroic action." Also unlike the last show, there was more acting out rather than reading in this one as one might expect from a Superman story and actor Brian Cowden stands out in the role with deadpan superhero glory.

Props also go to narrator William Combs for his smirks and raised eyebrows in all the appropriate places and to the beautiful evil of Amanda Kerns’ Ultra, who earns all the right hisses and wolf whistles. This was a fun production and I look forward to the next, on February 13th. Be there!

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