The 78th Street Theatre Lab
236 West 78th St., 2nd Floor
May 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31, 2008
Thursday through Saturday, 8 p.m.
Overman (Tom Shanley) — Patrick Shearer
Tigress (Karen Fisher) — Jessi Gotta
Ramses (Jeffrey Michaels) — Abe Goldfarb
Guy Madison) — Mac Rogers
John — Zack Calhoon
The Void — Marc Landers
The Peacekeeper (Mick Catton) — Ben VandenBoom
Johnny Patriot — Christopher Yustin
Pete Boisvert, Isaac Butler, Rebecca Comtois,
Stephanie Cox-Williams, Desmond Dutcher,
Brian Enk, Shay Gines, Matt Johnston,
Marsha Martinez, Brian Silliman
Director — Pete Boisvert
Playwright — James Comtois
Stage Manager — Stephanie Cox-Williams
Fight Choreographers — Qui Nguyen and Alexis Black
Lighting Designer — Phil Shearer
Sound Designer — Patrick Shearer
Makeup Designer — Leslie Hughes
Costume Designer — Meredith Magoun
Set Design — Pete Boisvert and Stephanie Cox-Williams
Projection Graphic Designer — Pete Boisvert
Projection Video Designer — Marc Landers
Projection Asst Video Designer — Ben VandenBoom
Projection Coordinator — Rebecca Comtois
Board Operator — Sandy Yaklin
Pete Boisvert, James Comtois,
Marc Landers, Patrick Shearer, Stephanie Cox-Williams
Colorful World is, as you will see, my take on the “superhero” genre for the stage. I suppose it differs from typical superhero tales in that it’s more concerned with the cultural and political landscape and the bruised psyches of retired crimefighters than with guys in tights and capes beating each other up (although Qui Nguyen has made sure there are some lovely fight scenes throughout).
I also suppose it’s a little more melancholy than your average superhero story, since it speculates that discovering the existence of a Superman-like being is ultimately depressing once the novelty wears off.
Even though I’ve been a fan of superhero movies and comics since I was a little kid, I don’t think I have it in me to write a conventional superhero tale. Once I start writing about costumed crimefighters, I start wondering what psychological problems they have or physical problems they would acquire.
I know you’re not supposed to worry about these things when you’re reading a copy of Batman, but when I’m writing a story like that on my own, I just can’t help it.
The script started as a loose adaptation of Alan Moore & Dave Gibbon’s landmark graphic novel Watchmen (and, in a slightly less obvious way, a riff on Frank Miller & Klaus Janson’s The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again), but ended up morphing into it’s own thing while simultaneously becoming indebted to even more sources (including Qui’s play Men of Steel and Dan Trujillo’s play Conference With the Bull).
Despite being beholden to several sources, I think the show stands on its own as its own unique story.
Many thanks to everyone in the cast and crew for making my convoluted script come to life on the stage. And many thanks to too damn many comic book creators for me to name.
A drunk in a cape,
James “Captain Awkward” Comtois
Colorful World (2008)
In 1988, the world discovered a man who was indestructible, impervious to pain, and able to destroy a tank with his mind. In the early- to mid-nineties, a craze where vigilantes dressed up in flashy costumes and fought crime took the nation by storm. Now it's 2005. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are still standing. Hurricane Katrina has decimated New Orleans. The Iraq War is coming to a close. And several former costumed crimefighters realize their marks on the world are more akin to those of has-been rock stars.
"Shrewd and funny… Director Pete Boisvert creates a very cohesive world. Colorful World is a show that left me
entertained and even a little introspective. It made me think a little about what I do in this world to help others. It didn't make me want to dress up in tights and fight crime but it did make me wish we had more heroes. Real heroes." — nytheatre.com
"…Witty and funny… its examination of governmental and media corruption of superheroic ideals is impressive and intriguing. Comtois examines the psychological problems of his uncaped crusaders and lampshades some of the sillier superhero tropes with a fan's nitpicky delight... The cast is superb—Abe Goldfarb shines with magnificence … Jessi Gotta simply owns the stage and Patrick Shearer is flawlessly spooky."— Broadwayworld.com
"Comtois posits a world in which the line between superhero and supervillain is blurred by human foibles, commerce and media spin… COLORFUL WORLD is above all else just plain entertaining." — ELJ Arts Annex
Photos by Aaron Epstein