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Alecto Issue #1 - Super powers and a good time
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Alecto Issue #1 - Super powers and a good time

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Alecto Issue #1
Annex Theatre
Through February 20


The new play at Annex Theatre has a whiz-bang concept: Alecto Issue #1 focuses on a young woman, Jessica (Maridee Slater), who has a superhuman power: she can move super fast. She is asked to join a group of superheroes, which is basically a commercial front with synthetically augmented, "enhanced" people. Jessica, now given the superhero name Alecto, reluctantly joins the Team of Heroes - Cap'n, Madame Mayhem and Shock Wave (Jason Sharp, Tracy Leigh, Nik Doner) - in a weekly TV show. Their main adversary is Chaos Theory (Rachel Jackson). While it looks like a standard good guy vs. bad guy television show, it turns out that not all the good guys are good, and there is mischief afoot behind the scenes - a major Lesbian love story that threatens the earth.

Written by Alexander Harris and directed by Jaime Roberts, it's a fun romp, though it has some interesting deeper themes. We see Jessica first as a little girl who loves superheroes and has an imaginary pig (Chris Bell) who helps her survive the death of her mother at the hands of her father. After her father disappears, we're led to believe that she survives only on her street smarts and her superpower and is headed toward jail.

Slater does a great job as both the younger and older Jessica, making her a sympathetic and very watchable main character, and while special effects could have been cheesy, the technical feat of making her speed up and everyone else slow down is excellently done. There are many funny additions, such as an underwater sequence where each character becomes a Barbie doll figurine and is made to swim through the scene next to a porthole.

The play would definitely improve if it were made 30 or 45 minutes shorter (it's a long two-act), but it has some great creative ideas and pokes fun at the love of superheroes and the business of television. The one story that isn't wrapped up well is the one where Jessica is promised to find her father and resolve her childhood trauma.

It's been a great success at Annex. There are some big laughs and fun costumes. If you're looking for something "different," this will definitely fit the bill. For more information, go to www.annextheatre.org or www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006. Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.

Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.

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