First and foremost, I was so impressed by the risks taken in this production. To put a story about superheroes onstage is no doubt a large feat, but Theatre Unleashed absolutely pulled it off. I think a large reason for that is due to the fact that at the core this play examines a marriage, as well as gender dynamics and stereotypes, all the while still playing with all of the fun genre conventions that come with telling a superhero story.
The actors captured the bravado of the heroes, as well as finding variety, nuance, and humor in each of their characters. The direction and fight choreography were also superb. The fight sequences could have easily been cheesy or over-the-top, but the speed, precision, and creativity in the choreography really made it hum. The use of shadows was also an extremely creative and resourceful storytelling element that also added to the epic nature of the tale.
I am always so impressed and excited to see risks taken at the theatre and I commend TU for committing so hard to telling this story!
What I didn't like
Truthfully, most everything worked for me in this production. There are some moments in the beginning that feel a little exposition-heavy, but I also understand the necessity of setting up the backstory for Stephanie and Kevin. Once THEFIVE arrive, though, things really begin to groove.
My overall impression
TATTEREDCAPES accomplished the difficult task of taking a genre that has traditionally existed solely in print or onscreen and making it work for the stage. Gregory Crafts does a terrific job of crafting all of the nostalgia, geeky fun superhero tropes, and social/moral discourse that surround these larger-than-life heroes. This is a must see! Surely it will be extended, so if you aren’t able to catch it at Fringe, make it a priority to keep an eye out for additional performances!