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LA Theater Review

The Superheroine Monologues

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Developed by John Kuntz and Rick Park as a contemporized parody of "The Vagina Monologues," this funny and affectionate look at some of the most iconic female comic characters presents itself on a bare stage and dishes the dirt on life in the super–fast lane. Starting in the 1940s with Wonder Woman (Jen Ruckman), the production marches through the decades for 70 minutes, wittily recounting the perils of life as a superheroine. The only extraneous mortal in the group is Lois Lane (Sarah Moreau), but it's clear that without her, Superman wouldn't have had a chance.

The procession continues with Catwoman (Liz Holt), Batgirl (Kellie Spill), Supergirl (Brynne McManimie), Storm (Alex Bueno), and finally Older Wonder Woman (Karen Webster). Each shares her own perspective on the world she helps protect, flinging a zinger or two at some of the men in their lives. References to global warming, Sarah Palin, fashion accessorizing, and a little adult humor propel this show forward. One-liners and a few double entendres also keep the audience chuckling throughout.

Director Oanh Nguyen keeps it straightforward, allowing each character to develop her story as a simple standup comedian. The intimacy of the theater is also important to the mood, particularly as the women go into the audience periodically.

The actors are universally proficient in their characterizations, from feminist to Valley girl. Holt is a hit as the delightfully tipsy Catwoman with her whiskey bottle by her side. Ruckman captures the glamour of the patriotic Wonder Woman.

Erika C. Miller's costumes are bright and bold, with liberal use of spandex and a nod to the historical authenticity of the characterizations. Standouts are Wonder Woman's recognizable ensemble and Catwoman's sinuously sexy garb. Masako Tobaru's bright lighting adds to the comic effect along with Casey Long's projections of some of the heroines' male counterparts.

For those who grew up with comic books or cartoons like the Super Friends and the Justice League on television, this spoof is particularly amusing. The 10:30 p.m. starting time makes it a late-night treat.

Presented by and at The Chance Theater, 5552 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim Hills. Apr. 29–May 21. Fri.–Sat., 10:30 p.m. (Also Tue.–Wed., May 17–18, 8 p.m.) (714) 777-3033. www.chancetheater.com


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