As I have mentioned on countless occasions, our city thrives with the work and energy of the young theater companies. Many of these companies are non-equity, with performers who love what they do, maintaining full time employment so they can pay their bills and performing so that audiences get a chance to see new work. Infusion Theatre Company, one of the younger troupes, seeks out new plays and “infuses” them with other elements of entertainment. This can be music, dance and or film. It is their intent to provide audiences with “something different” as entertainment that will be exciting and thought-provoking. Their current production, a Midwest Premiere of Qui Nguyen’s “Fight Girl Battle World” is one of these pieces. It is a sci-fi thriller/spoof that has some amazing concepts and ideas, a fairly strong cast, but is far to long and has a script that lacks in its content.
The story is about a world that has one female human left. She is E-V ( a powerful performance by Shelia O’Conner, who is high energy and very womanly). She is a fighter in what is the “battle world” where all planets send representatives to take on other species. General Dan’h ( solidly played by Rob Grabowski with a great sense of comic timing) feeling badly about his planet wiping out the human race returns to her in order to have her meet with the human male that has survived, Adon-Ra ( deftly handled by Zach Livingston), a trained killer and rebuild the human race. That is the basic story an dof course along the way other try to stop this from happening and there are many fights and battles ( David Blixt seems to have as much to do as director Mitch Golob as there are many fight sequences. The set by Dave Ferguson is extraordinary considering that most of these young companies are limited on budget and the projections (Rasean Davonte Johnson and Anna Henson) are quite professional. The fights are great, the sound (Stephen Ptacek), lighting (Charles Cooper) and costumes (Rachel Sypniewski) are all fun and help make this 2 hour production ( two acts, 10 minute intermission) almost work. One of the problems is that is runs 2 hours and has an intermission. Pare this down to 90 minutes without breaking the train of thought and the action and skip the opening sequence about humanity that begins the second act and the show will be tighter and stronger and in my mind, a better value for the dollar.
The use of puppets and men dressed in black to work the fight scenes is very clever and the strobe lighting has some great effects. In fact, I might use them even more during some of the fight scenes to make the “slow motion” feeling more effective as our heroine flies through the air to beat her oppressors. Other strong members of this cast,Kevin Anderson,Michael Allen Harris, Kimberly Logan ( as J’an J’an a male who appears as a female pilot),Meredith Rae Lyons, Elise Mayfield ( who is quite hysterical, but needs a better fitting costume),Kai Young,Jose Nateras and the incredible Josh Hambrock as the robot LC-4. As I said earlier, a solid cast, but a script that I feel needs some work for our Chicago audiences. I know that this play won some awards in New York, but to be honest, our audiences are much more sophisticated and expect a great deal more.
Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $25 OPEN seating (seniors and students $15 and Industry proffessionals ( Thursday and Sundays only) are $12.50
To place your order, you can call 773-975-8150
To learn more about this company, visit www.infusiontheatre.com where you can also purchase tickets
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com , go to review round-up and click at “Fight Girl Battle World”