REVIEWSREVIEWS BYTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

She Kills Monsters – Garage Rep


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She Kills Monsters

Directed by Scott Weinstein

Produced by Buzz22 Chicago

As part of the Steppenwolf  Garage Rep series

Noisy, chaotic and spoof of Dungeons and Dragons falls flat

Filled with colorful customes, shadow puppets, and loads of stage combat, Qui Nguyen’s ridiculous comedy, She Kills Monsters, is highlighted with much screaming, physical comedy and over-the-top performances. This wild and unworkable mess is the story of a most unlikable lead character, Agnes (Katherine Banks) whose life is tuned upside down when she stumbles upon her late sister’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook. Why Agnes is so determined to get to know her now departed 15 year old sister is never convincingly explained making her participation in the D & D game seem implausible. Add the fact that Agnes is presented as a most unlikable hereone that we never care about. Why she would partake in the D & D games when she neither like it before nor was she very close to he much young sister is a mystery.

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This razor-thin excuse  fuels the action-packed parody that depicts loads of weak stage combat that attempts to be satirical with too much camp by a lesbian-infused group of D & D players  led by the reincarnation of Agnes’ sister.  This manically wild show is thin on story and equally unfocused camp. It is tedious, over staged, and filled with weirdly unlikable characters with whom we don’t care much about so this show reverts into a lot of meaningless action. Since I have no knowledge of D & D and many of the 90’s pop culture references, I was miffed as to where the game fantasy started and ended. I also thought that the production tried to incorporate too many theatrical elements including shadow puppets, extreme lighting, and loud sounds that together with homicidal fairies, raunchy ogres and blood thirsty cheerleaders were just over load that didn’t work.

There was no particularly effective performances to anchor this sprawling incoherent  show.  This show proves that, indeed, more can be way too much. When a show depends on wild action  to cover an implausible story with unsympathetic characters, it grains on our patience. I couldn’t wait until this show  ended!

Not Recommended

Tom Williams

As part of the Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep series along with Blacktop Sky by Theatre Seven of Chicago and See What I Wanna See by Bailiwick Chicago, at Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre,  1624 N Halsted, Chicago, IL, call, tickets $20 for each show or $45 for a three-play pass, She Kills Monsters is 90 minutes without intermission, in rep until April 21, 2013

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