THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Tattered Capes’ Out From the Shadows at the Hollywood Fringe

The “Shadows” of “Tattered Capes” at the Studio/Stage at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019.
(Photos by Matt Kimamura, courtesy of Theatre Unleashed)

Playwright and Producer Gregory Crafts and Theatre Unleashed production of “Tattered Capes” brings homage to prevalent and popular Marvel and DC Comic superhero films in a fresh, funny, and poignant new work after last year’s award-winning equally loving send up to the classic action heist, “A Very DIE HARD Christmas.”

While celebrating their wedding anniversary, Kevin (Travis Joe Dixon) and Stephanie’s (Joanna Mercedes) date is spoiled by a super-villain attack, resulting in the unmasking of Kevin as a superhero. However, what he soon learns is that Stephanie has a secret too. What follows is an action-packed and introspective take on the nature of real honesty, mutual acceptance, growth, and choice in contemporary relationships.

Muslin-covered frames provide transitions between scenes, as well as a canvas for some very beautiful shadow play choreography. Interspersed are some well-choreographed action and shadow ballet by Fringe veterans Corey Lynn Howe, director, and Soda Persi, choreographer–together and respectively–that provide a nice juxtaposition between the loving relationship between Kevin and Stephanie and the harshness of their realities.

Travis Joe Dixon, left, Ann Hurd, and Tanner Risner of “Tattered Capes” at the Studio/Stage at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019.

Travis Joe Dixon, left, and Joanna Mercedes, of “Tattered Capes” at the Studio/Stage at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019.

Craft’s lighting design and effects make grand use of the cyclorama (a unique plus in a Fringe show) and beautifully highlights the dance and transitional scenes between Kevin and Stephanie’s dates using “shadows,” played by Heather Rose, Melany Smith, Caroline Roncalli, Corrine Glazer and Gordon Meacham, and the conflicts that ensue with superhero characters Lady Voodoo (Ann Hurd), Jonathan Strong (Chris Clabaugh), Maximus (Tanner Risner), and THE Owl (Courtney King.)

Not just for fans of the superhero action genre, “Tattered Capes” takes a good, hard look at unconditional love and acceptance in modern marriage. Be sure to bring a date.

Tattered Capes” is at Studio/Stage – 520 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90004. Although the last remaining show is sold out for Saturday, June 29, 2019, at 1 p.m., audiences can be fluid, so check with the theater for a waiting list.  Also, watch this space for extensions and encore productions!

Studio/Stage is co-owned and run by Gregory and Jenn Crafts as part of Stage Crafts, which participants in the Hollywood Fringe Festival annually, and houses ensemble theatre company Theatre Unleashed. In the offseason, with its seamless and permanent cyclorama, the theatre space doubles as a film and photo studio.

About Monique A. LeBleu

Monique A. LeBleu is a writer, photographer, videographer, and shameless foodie and wineaux. A love of film history and a background in film production, post-production, and film theory provide unique insights into her movie reviews. As well, a background in technical theater fuels her passion on all-things theater. As a foodie, living in the ever-growing and diverse culinary landscape that is the City of Los Angeles feeds her never-ending pursuit of the perfect comfort food—the world's best Mac n' Cheese!
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