BWW Review: AGENT ANDROMEDA: THE ORION CRUSADE Comical Camp Cosmic Circus Caper
AGENT ANDROMEDA: THE ORION CRUSADE answers that age old question: "what would the love child of Cirque du Soleil and Flesh Gordon look like?". The answer is this riotously funny burlesque science fiction production that is part brilliant aerial work and part circus spectacle. The piece may have been inspired by sci-fi classics like Barbarella, but it has become its own wholly unique work that is simultaneously sexy, visually arresting and funny.
The set up is three girls who discover a comic book which unfurls the fifth dimensional tale of intergalctic superheroine Agent Andromeda (Caroline Poe) and her quest to find the Overflowing Chalice, defeat The Dark Queen (Shannon Grounds) and the evil Galactiprax Corporation and ultimately claim the title of Absolute Slut, all while promoting sexual freedom, pleasure, and responsibility. Narrated by Big Bang Betty (Jennifer Coy Jennings), the show features original songs by Tyler Mabry all sung beautifully by Jennings. The finale song alone is worth the price of admission.
Director Rudy Rameriz has, along with playwright Reina Hardy, created a body-positive, sex-positive, adult comic sci-fi romp that will remind you of that first time you discovered an adult comic book. The work is burlesque in nature and Ramirez has crafted an entertainment that is rife with comic inventiveness. The cat court scene alone had me in tears of laughter. The acrobats in the show even manage to contort their bodies into space weapons. It is almost like he asked his cast what unusual talents they had and then went out of his way to work these skills into the action. The end result is skating singers, cat puppets, saxophone playing lotharios and visually stunning ariel work. The original run of the show won B. Iden Payne Awards for Outstanding Original Score, Dance, Choreography, Fight Choreography, Stage Management and Featured Actress in a Comedy, and was nominated for Outstanding Production and Direction of a Comedy.
Patrick Anthony's lighting is absolutely beautiful, enhancing the top notch ariel work. Lily Poe's costumes are a wonderfully sensual take on the classic sci-fi look. Tyler Mabry's score is catchy, especially that finale number, (the title of which is totally unprintable), beautifully sung by Jennifer Coy Jennings.
All fourteen performers are all great fun, but I especially enjoyed Shannon Grounds as The Dark Queen, a role which makes great use of her ability to handle snarky humor, and Olivia Jimenez as a succession of clones, which she interchanges on a dime to hilarious comic effect in the cat court scene. Ginger Snaps is marvelous as cyborg Hyper Harlota, making the most of her light up pasties. Also worthy of note is the physical comedy of Lady Lola LeStrange as Dr. Melia Medium as she interacts with the ariel artists.
While there is no great message to be found in AGENT ANDROMEDA: THE ORION CRUSADE, there is a whole lot of fun to be had and some impressive ariel artistry on display. If you'd like to just disengage your mind and enjoy a sexy comic space opera, then you can't go wrong with this highly entertaining original piece of highly creative theatre.
AGENT ANDROMEDA: THE ORION CRUSADE by Reina Hardy with Sky Candy Ensemble and director Rudy Ramirez
Running Time: Approximately Two and a Half Hours, including intermission. Contains strong sexual themes. For mature audiences only.
AGENT ANDROMEDA: THE ORION CRUSADE, produced by Galaxy Corps Productions and Blood and Glitter Productions, performing at Ground Floor Theatre (979 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX, 78702).
Performances February 23 - March 10, 2018 at 8 PM, Sundays at 6 PM.
Tickets: $10 - $80 available at: https://m.bpt.me/event/3321150