R. Sikoryak’s Masterpiece Comics Theater, which I caught last night (June 17) at The Brick, is smart, very funny, direct, and unencumbered by stage artifice.
The “production” exists as a series of chapters in an ambitious graphic novel, projected as stills while actors masterfully embody the characters’ voices. These voices, as in a the bygone era of radio dramas, carry us through what amounts to an epic historical journey from the book of Genesis through drastically compressed classic works of literature (including Dostoyevsky and the Marquis de Sade.)
Brought to life through beautiful and convincingly accurately drawn familiar comic book and cartoon characters, these stories are nostalgic and yet feel completely original. The live narration (particularly well articulated by Paul Boocock) creates an intimacy with potential for human error. This simple vulnerability is a theatrical essential, allowing for a dynamic experience for the audience, rather than the slick (to a fault) film it may have been if the actors voices had been pre recorded as was the back round musical score.
The references are for the literate but it is a wonderful entertaining merger of high and what is still considered lowbrow art that makes Masterpiece Comics accessible to any theater goer. More info about R. Sikoroyak.
The Comic Book Theater Festival, Issue #2
June 3-29, The Brick