Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Adventures of a Comic Book Artist" - Theater Report

The Planet X Comics table
The Comic Store West table
I attended the play Adventures of a Comic Book Artist yesterday at the York Little Theater. It is a kid friendly show so I decided to take my five year old son (he's the one dressed up as Spidey, of course!) It was my first time at the theater so I didn't know what you expect. I was quite impressed with the carnival-like atmosphere they created!
Inter-Company crossover
Spidey teaches Batman
how to webswing.

First, when you walked in the door you were greeted in a mini "comic book convention." Two local comic book shops had tables set up in the lobby. Both stores were giving away Free Comic Book Day comics and had a modest amount of merchandise to sell. Both stores had wisely selected only kid-friendly comics for display since the crowd was going to be full of kids. Both stores also had people dressed up in character for the kids. Comic Store West had the version of Batman from the Dark Knight movies and a great homemade Thor costume. Planet X had classic Batman, Green Arrow, and Indiana Jones, each with a publicity stills that they were signing. Also in the lobby they were serving refreshments and, of course, selling tickets.
Thor takes a fighting pose

York Little Theater is also celebrating its 80th anniversary and hosting a number of special events. They were featuring a decade at a time and were showcasing the 80's with a featured display.

Green Arrow had the best costume
During intermission there was a costume contest. My son dressed up as Spider-Man. There was also a Peter Parker, Supergirl, Captain America, Mr. Noface, and a weird skeletal alien thing. The contest was decided by the cheers from the crow with Mr. Noface and Captain America taking the prizes.

After the show we got to take a tour of all the backstage areas including rigging, rear projection, prop creation, the soundroom, and the lighting areas. Very nice!

The play itself was very cute. You could tell that it was written by a lifelong comic book fan because of the witty banter in it. Characters throughout the play make scores of references to both popular and obscure comic book characters and even slip into "geek-speak" to discuss these characters. For example, one character mentions Venom's weakness to fire and sonics while another analyzes Mr. Fantastic's motivation of guilty feelings at having mutated his friends.

Indy helps Green Arrow
make an adjustment
The costume contest at intermission
The main character is Stanley (This alone tells me the writer is a superfan... get it - Stan-Lee!), an aspiring comic book artist. He accidentally gets a hold of a magical pen that makes anything drawn with it come to life. Meanwhile, the staff of the comic book company uses the pens to create a supervillain that can freeze time... Dr. Shock Clock! To respond, Stanley creates the Fabulous Four - Starguy (with his Charisma Ray), Triple Time (superfast), Blossom (magical flowers for various effects) and Wombat Woman (burrow through anything!). This band of misfits fights Dr. Shock Clock unsuccessfully and Stanley himself has to become Eraser Man to fight Dr. Shock Clock!

The play and the atmosphere were highly enjoyable. If you're in the York, PA area I would suggest checking it out. I think it is only running for another week so get your tickets fast!

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