The Adventures of Rex Danger: The Vengeance of the Black Lama | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Adventures of Rex Danger: The Vengeance of the Black Lama

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THE ADVENTURES OF REX DANGER: THE VENGEANCE OF THE BLACK LAMA, Corn Productions, at the Cornservatory. This send-up of James Bond action films is vintage Corn: rough, silly, energetic, with a smidgen of gratuitous drag. Boyishly suave Danger (Stephen Lydic) and his sidekicks Fred and Ginger (Tom McGrath and Liza Kayne) battle a stream of bizarre thugs--shape-shifting demons, homicidal teddy bears--to thwart the Black Lama's attempts at world domination. An unflappable mastermind, Danger possesses superhuman knowledge of science, criminal psychology, and the martial arts, allowing him to triumph in impossible situations. Similarly empowered are Ginger and Fred: she has a razor-sharp mind and paralyzing sexual allure (one kiss induces a three-week orgasm) while he has a gift for...well...stamina, surviving gunfire, falls off mountains and skyscrapers, and a ninja ass kicking. The chase leads the characters from the arctic circle to New York's East River to hell (and back) to the San Andreas Fault, with a stop in Paris--no small trick given the Cornservatory's little black box.

Thanks to Tyler Lansdown's whimsically tyrannical Black Lama and a tireless ensemble whizzing through costume and character changes, the action is easy to follow and maintains its humor and momentum (though the ending is a bit of a letdown). The three actors playing the heroes also hold their own, though Kayne's performance needs to come more from the groin. Still, it's obvious that the bad guys, as usual, are having way more fun.

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