By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette
I’ve had a lot of unique experiences throughout my reviewing career, and after seeing longtime Fantastic Four nemesis Dr. Victor von Doom (Evan Perry) grace the stage of the Warehouse Living Arts Center, the Marvel Spotlight production a new one for Corsicana live theater.
But the characters from Marvel Comics have indeed come to life in this youth-oriented production, directed by Jason Pack. Telling two tantalizing one-act tales during its hour and a half runtime, fans of comics, superheroes, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe will find new adventures here.
The first adventure is titled Squirrel Girl Goes to College, featuring Hailey Taylor as the titular Squirrel Girl. The character, while not as perhaps mainstream familiar as Captain America or Spider-Man, is indeed a real superhero, known for her ability to speak to (you guessed it) squirrels, and being essentially unbeatable by even the strongest of Marvel’s villains.
Going to college with her squirrel companion Tippy-Toe (Jadyn Gillen), the hero makes friends (Kaitlyn Warren and Diego Monreal), outsmarts enemies (Perry and Janna Pack), and may become involved in a dance-off or two. To say the story is light and silly is an understatement, but it provides a lot of charm and humor (and a singing squirrel chorus).
The second story, Hammered, features Norse god Thor (Lane Fowler) his half-brother Loki (Raistlin Janeway) in a tale of brotherly jealousy, mischief, and bonding. This story is bookend in a creative way by sharing the printed adventures of the Thor comic book from one person to the next, introducing the stories to the next round of fans.
For fans of the MCU movies, the characters of Thor and Loki will be familiar faces, and their personalities are well featured here.
The ensemble cast takes on new characters between the two stories, allowing the young actors an opportunity to play both serious and comedic in the compilation. There are enough deep-cut references and “Easter eggs” for Marvel fans, while allowing newcomers an opportunity to learn more about these characters and the printed books they come from.
Marvel Spotlight is new and unique, and a break from the more traditional youth-oriented stories, though considering many of these characters are now reaching anywhere from their 60th to 80th anniversaries, the medium has been a longer part of our public consciousness than one realizes.
There is a matinee show Sunday, July 31 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the show can be purchased here.
A big THANK YOU to our supporters:
The Hull Creative Arts Foundation and the Lampier Family.
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