Chicago Theatre Review
Two Dimensional Invincibility
Soon I will Be Invincible – Lifeline Theatre
Austin Grossman’s 2007 novel by the same gets the musical theater treatment at Lifeline Theatre. This adaptation, by company member Christopher M Walsh, takes a punch at comic book hero’s many faceted struggles and flaws.
I was hopeful for this fully capable cast and company; however, this bright, flashing extravaganza never really saves the day.
We are introduced to a group of comic book characters called the Champions. They are introduced to the audience one by one. Each super hero has their own special power. Mr. Mystic (Frederick Harris), Blackwolf (Tommy Malouf), Damsel (Corbette Pasko), Elphin (Sarah Scanlon), and Rainbow Triumph (Taryn Wood). One super hero, Andres Enriquez as Corefire, is a part this group, and then in the prologue battle presumably dies.
Cut to ten years later, and a couple of new heros have joined the Champions team. Fatale (Christina Hall) and Lily (Justine C Turner) join the remaining Champions, and begin to fight of the evil Dr. Impossible (Phil Timberlake). After Dr. Impossible escapes from prison, he then attempts another world domination. I think he is on his twelfth attempt.
But, before we get down to the fighting, the comic book superheros begin to reveal their self doubt and insecurities. Fatale, earnestly played by Ms. Hall, questions her place amoung the champions. Is her origin story worthy, can she get the job done? She explores this though several songs. We see the funny budding romance with her and Blackwolf. In another situation, Lily has joined the gang, but everyone is super suspicious because – gasp! – she is Dr. Impossible old girlfriend. Ms. Turner plays Lily with all the chilliness it deserves. Can she remain loyal to the Champions and keep he integrity?
Mr. Timberlake is universally smug and oily as the chief destruction officer. He meets his mark in all his evilness.
The Champions all gave great superhero realness. Posing and “putting up their dukes” when needed. The ensemble worked well together.
This comic book musical extravaganza seemed a bit TOO two dimensional to me. The story is about getting down to the feelings of our Champions, but the show style never quite dug deep enough for me. And the unfortunately, the music (Christopher Kriz) did not add any depth to the proceedings. It seemed like a lot of the same. The scenes and songs seemed one note.
The production values were high with amazing costumes by Aly Renee Amedei and great set by Alan Donahue. The lighting and projections (Becca Jeffords) were effective and helped to transport the audience.
In the end, you may enjoy this comic book musical for the simple story of good against evil. But like a comic book, sometimes its nice to just look at pictures and smile.
Reviewed by Lazlo Collins
Soon I will Be Invincible plays at Lifeline Theatre through July 19. For tickets go to www.lifelinetheatre.com or call 773-761-4477
Additional information about this and other area productions can be found by visitingwww.theatreinchicago.com.