Monday, March 10, 2008

Fight Girl Battle World

Ever wondered what it would look like to see Star Wars live on-stage? Now's your chance. Fight Girl Battle World may be the most relentlessly fun show Vampire Cowboys has staged. And if you've ever seen a show by them, you know that's really saying something. If you've never seen a show by them, now's the time to start.

Everyone on board, led by writer/fight choreographer Qui Nguyen and director/video designer Robert Ross Parker, has brought their A-Game to Fight Girl Battle World, which, from the fights to the puppetry to the soundtrack to even the hilarious opening PSA with Boba Fett and a tauntaun (if you don't know what a tauntaun is, to hell with you), is pure fun from start to finish.

Fight Girl Battle World tells the story of ex-military General Dan'h (played by Temar Underwood) who, after feeling guilty about annihilating the human race, goes on a quest to find E-V (Melissa Paladino) and Adon-Ra (Noshir Dalal), the last humans in the known galaxies, and get them to...well...mate (what E-V and Adon-Ra have to say about this is irrelevant) before Commander G'Bril (Andrea Marie Smith) and President Ya-Wi (Jon Hoche) hunt them down and destroy them.

Along for the ride is LC-4 (Paco Tolson), E-V's endearing-yet-kind-of-a-dick robot sidekick and J'an (Maureen Sebastian), General Dan'h's ultra-sexy pilot (oh, wait; J'an's a dude).

Many kick-ass battles, chases and fights ensue.

Fight Girl Battle World riffs on many tropes familiar to geeks like me (Star Wars, Tomb Raider, even Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics) but still manages to stand alone as its own coherent story. It's also funny as all hell.

Some things I particularly got a kick out of (that I'll describe in a cryptic enough way so as to not spoil it for y'all):

* An outer space dogfight a la Star Wars/Battlestar Galactica done as hand-to-hand martial arts combat scene.

* General Dan'h's ship's "warp drive."

* The President's shape-shifting.

* The use of frames and pantomiming.

* The lizard J'an and E-V ride.

* pretty much every single fight scene in the show.

* Gree-Gree (I ain't explaining this at all, folks. Just buy your damn ticket and see for yourself).

I've always been amazed - and continue to be amazed - by how Robert and Qui manage to make the action and humor in their plays simultaneously over-the-top, yet never push the jokes too far into straight-up camp. It's funny, but it's never so ridiculous you stop caring about the story or rooting for the characters.

I'm also amazed that the Vampire Cowboys folks have never repeated themselves. Even though it clearly has the company's sticky little fingerprints all over it, Fight Girl Battle World is a completely different theatrical experience than Men of Steel, Living Dead in Denmark or A Beginner's Guide to Deicide.

This is definitely the company's most ambitious show to-date: the ambition that the cast and crew have brought to the table with Fight Girl Battle World has clearly paid off.

I really can't recommend it enough. Tickets for this thing are gonna go fast, so get them as soon as you can. Trust me, you're going to have tons of fun seeing this.

Off quarding himself,

James "Flimrack" Comtois

Also features Elena Chang and Kelley Rae O'Donnell.

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