Sunday, December 12, 2010

Alien Queen - only 3 more chances to be rocked!!!!!!!


  How in the world did Scott Bradley get the idea for this show? 
I attended  the second night performance of the latest from The Scooty and JoJo Show.
The world premier of “Alien Queen” is playing through
Dec.18 at
Circuit Nightclub, 3641 N. Halsted. 

Photos by Timmy Samuels, Starbelly Studios

It’s described as a “genre-blurring, gender-bending rock parodyssey”, and “a synergy of suspense satire and soaring harmonies”.  I couldn’t agree more.  The music of the rock band Queen has been added to a parody of the first two “Alien” movies and the finished product is brilliant.  It’s very, very funny and the music couldn’t fit better if it had actually been written for the show.
Photos by Timmy Samuels, Starbelly Studios

“Alien Queen” is in two acts with one intermission.  The first act covers the action of “Alien” and act two continues the story of “Aliens”.  Besides the great use of music, it’s amazing how much of the plot and iconic movie dialogue they managed to squeeze into approximately 90 minutes.  As well as covering the first two Alien movies there is also what seems to be a brief nod to “Alien Resurrection” in the first glimpse we have of Ripley. 
Photos by Timmy Samuels, Starbelly Studios

As I’m writing this review I’m watching “Aliens” again for about the millionth time.  Full disclosure – it happens to be my most favorite movie of all time:  it’s the ultimate chick flick.  And I loved the last Scooty and JoJo show, “Carpenter’s Halloween”.  So I was predisposed to like this show even though I was trying to stay as objective as I could.
Photos by Timmy Samuels, Starbelly Studios

Most of the cast are playing two different roles, as well as singing and dancing.   Also, most of the roles are reverse gendered with male actors playing female characters and vice versa.  The cat Jonesy and Newt are portrayed by clever puppets and each has a personality and attitude.
Photos by Timmy Samuels, Starbelly Studios

Everyone was fabulous, but of particular note:  Ryan Lanning makes a luscious Ripley.  The famous stripping down to her underwear scene from the first movie was greeted with appreciation by the audience.  In addition to being very talented he has great gams and a very cute little tush.   Jon Pernisek almost out-Freddie-Mercurys Freddie Mercury.  Anne Litchfield plays Paxton (Hudson in Aliens – “Game over, man!!”) with just the right hilarious mix of Hudson’s crazy-ass phoney baloney machismo and cowardice.
Photos by Timmy Samuels, Starbelly Studios

Scott Bradley who created and directed the show makes not one but two stunning entrances as the magnificent Alien Queen.  The fight scene he has with Ripley was hysterical!  And how the heck did he manage to walk on those stilts?
Photos by Timmy Samuels, Starbelly Studios

Alien Queen is not only genuinely hilarious but is an even more ambitious show than “Carpenter’s Halloween”.  The choreography, props and costumes are more elaborate, with the outfits for the first alien and for the Queen being particularly impressive.   The chestbuster alien is very imaginative and the most darling little deadly puppet creature I’ve ever seen.
Photos by Timmy Samuels, Starbelly Studios

I have only two small quibbles with this production.  The first is that the music, supplied by a terrific four piece rock band, covers up the dialogue at times.  However that may be worked out in future performances.  Second, the show felt a little slow getting started.  There seemed to be a lot of dialogue in the first couple of scenes, funny and perhaps unavoidable but a bit draggy (no pun intended).  However the pace picked up quickly and never lagged.

For only the second public performance ever the show felt tight and the performances were all on target.  In case you can’t tell, I am completely sold on the show and look forward to seeing it again.  It bears a couple of visits because I don’t think anyone will catch all the funny stuff going on at the same time.

What were my favorite bits?  Too many to count, but the face hugger/singing vaginas were a real hoot (“We are the champions!...”).  C’mon, what are you waiting for, get off your duff and go see this show!

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