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Sex Lives of Superheroes

Presented by the Horse Trade Theater Group as part of the HA! Comedy Festival at the Red Room, 85 E. 4 St., NYC, Jan. 17-Feb. 7.

Stephen Gregg's sitcomish "Sex Lives of Superheroes" follows an unlikely love triangle in which one girl seeks to replace another in a guy's pathetic real life and rich fantasy life.

Months before, Michael (wryly played by J.C. DeVore) broke up with Lisa (a sexy, menacing Constance Zaytoun). But instead of simply taking her things and leaving, Lisa has decided to extend the pain with weekly visits in which she browbeats him and splits with one of his possessions. Sadly, Michael lets this happen-in fact, he masochistically looks forward to her visits as if someday she'll take him back.

Now, in a half-hearted attempt to move on-and with barely a stick of furniture remaining-Michael asks out Elenor (a beatific and charming Eden Riegel, better known as Susan Lucci's lesbian daughter on "All My Children"), a geeky beauty whose own tragicomic flaw is obsessively rewriting the endings of love stories so that they turn out badly. After one terrific date, they fall in love and she vows to defend him against Lisa's cruelty.

The 35-minute one act has some terrific moments-mostly sprouting from the rich relationships created among the three actors and director David McDermott-but ultimately the play itself is too slight and sophomoric to memorably engage or even amuse more than a chuckle.

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