Captured Aural Phantasy Theater | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Captured Aural Phantasy Theater

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CAPTURED AURAL PHANTASY THEATER, Park Avenue Produce, at the Beat Kitchen. Based on an intriguing premise--that stage adaptations of comic book stories from the 50s, 60s, and 70s would be a hoot--Captured Aural Phantasy Theater never lives up to its promise. Where other, more disciplined companies might have found interesting ways to translate the action from the page to the stage using, say, props, costumes, or sound effects, these folks are content to line up and perform the material as a radio play.

This might have been a bold choice if director Wes Bailey and the uncredited adapter of the two stories that make up the evening--"The Secret Origin of Bouncing Boy" and "Supergirl Goes to College"--had given any thought to using the medium of radio to stimulate our visual imaginations. Instead Bailey and his ensemble of woefully underrehearsed actors take the easy way out at every turn. Instead of finding the right comical voice for every character in every story, Bailey's actors just blurt out their lines. Sometimes they hit on a decent interpretation--Miss Mia does a pretty good Supergirl--but more often they miss by a mile. Most annoying was Christina Irwin's tendency to deliver all her lines, even those private thoughts floating in cloudlike balloons, in the same loud, singsong voice.

--Jack Helbig

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