Captain Moonbeam and Lynchpin / Savior
nytheatre.com review by Ed Malin
June 21, 2011
The Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival continues with a program of two short and sweet theater pieces Savior and Captain Moonbeam and Lynchpin plus an animated short “The Confetti Myth.” All offer ideas on how to approach everyday life with enthusiasm, self-confidence, and superhuman strength.
In Savior by Brian Silliman, we find Savor Gattagis (Mac Rogers) working at a button-pushing office job he neither understands nor cares about. He is hostile to the idea of doing more work, since he could just re-read comics and eat junk food all day. Alana Regina (Kristen Vaughan) comes from management to motivate Savor. After all, he is the only person who can do the job. Their best solution is make Savor believe he has superpowers, which makes him enjoy his drudgery. Director Jordana Williams has these characters go through rapid, sweeping personality changes consistent with comic books and with many apparently meaningless jobs. This is a very funny piece, with biting one-liners.
As an interlude there is the animated short “The Confetti Myth.” A student is asked to draw a comic book for class, and hands in an exciting tale about blowing up the school. It was refreshing for me to think about how imagination can be used for good as well as evil.
Captain Moonbeam and Lynchpin features the writing and acting talents of James Comtois. The story starts when Alex (Jordan Ungerer) and Ben (Rick Cekovsky) are young and mainly interested in comic books and video games. Dad (James Comtois) seems preoccupied, and a few days later he puts on a superhero costume, shoots himself in the head, and leaves a note to the effect that he felt he was losing the battle against his arch enemy. As Alex grows up, he reads his Dad’s journal to see just how much of a struggle was going on every day against hidden evils in their neighborhood. Alex and Ben move to New York and live for a long time through selling off Dad’s precious comic collection. Once, a collector (Christopher M. Czyz) who just happens to be a slimy loser tries to hold up Alex and take the merchandise. Alex does not sit still for this, opting instead to fight and defeat the degenerate. By the end, all four characters are wearing masks and pledging to use the best parts of themselves to fight what’s worst about the world. Leigh Hile’s direction shows us the jagged surfaces of these characters, perhaps inviting us to step into their shoes. Ben VandenBoom’s costumes are definitely amusing. The darkness in this piece will make you want to join forces and spread more light.