CHICAGO -- Chicago's female warriors return to conquer anew when Babes With Blades opens Feb. 19 with all-new material. Running through April 25 at Footsteps Theatre, this version will again showcase the skills of female combat artists.
A break-out cult hit which played its third engagement at Footsteps a year ago, Blades recently played the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
Director Dawn "Sam" Alden, a fight choreographer, said in a statement that she conceived the show to display, "the myriad of relationships between women and weapons, and to demonstrate to the arts community the large number of skilled female fighters available for film and stage productions."
The previous Blades edition included a sendup of Showgirls, a final call for "Xena" auditions, a duel for family honor and a group demonstration of the Makulele (a Brazilian martial arts dance). This year's line-up features scripted sequences from Cyrano de Bergerac and Waiting for Godot, with fights evolving from the dialogue.
Performers include Alden, Jen Albert, Michele DiMaso, Brooke Elliott, Susan Foley, Vicky James, Marcy Konlon, Laurie McNeilly, Tere Parkes, Rachel Rasinski, Stephanie Repin, Kathrynne Rosen, Kerry Smith and Leigh Anne Wilson. According to Alden, weapons on view will include: "sticks, staffs, ropes, rapiers, small-swords, drapes, quarterstaves, fisticuffs and more." Critics beware!
For tickets ($14) and information on Babes With Blades at Footsteps Theatre Company, 5230 North Clark St., call (773) 878-4840.
-- By David Lefkowitz
and Lawrence Bommer