Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009

Benefit for Wauwatosa Community Theatre Group

By Russ Bickerstaff
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This weekend, the Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa presents its production of a recent stage comedy spoof. The Tosa theatre group is hoping to compete against other regional community theatres for the opportunity to represent Wisconsin in the Great Lakes Regional Community Theatre Festival—and a chance to go onto other national community theatre competitions in the big American Association of Community Theatre Festival (AACTFest.)

The play being performed to raise money for the Village Playhouse’s entry is a stage super-hero spoof entitled The Adventures of Captain Neato-Man. It's the story of an awkward guy answers an ad in the paper looking for a super-hero sidekick for Batman/Superman hybrid named Captain Neato-Man whose mother “might be King Kong.” Weird. But you didn’t expect sophisticated comedy with a title like that anyway.


Most non-comic book superhero parodies have been pretty bad. Like much of the rest of the best super-hero stuff, the best hero spoofs have always been comic books. Ben Edlund’s original mid to late ‘80’s Tick comic book was an extravagantly bizarre twisting of the genre. By far the most clever super-hero comedy had to be Bratpack--Rick Veitch’s dark super-hero sidekick parody from the early ‘90’s. The series delved into commercialism, pedophilia and the strangely subtle fascism that can be read into the heart of the superhero concept.  Captain Neato is guaranteed to be considerably lighter, but it’d be a reasonably fun trip to the suburbs for anyone looking for a reason to get out of the county for the evening. Kind of an offbeat choice for Valentine's Day evening, but it DOES run next weekend as well.

The Village Playhouse’s benefit production of The Adventures of Captain Neato-Man runs February 13-14 at The Pewaukee High School Auditorium and the 20th and 21st at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts.

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