After having their own blockbuster last summer, Chicago's Defiant Theatre will restage their 1998 hit play, Action Movie: The Play - The Director's Cut. Last season's production (apparently not the "director's cut"), was a critical and commercial success for the pop-avant company. The revisited production will run at the American Theatre Company (3855 North Lincoln Avenue), June 16-July 31.
Creating a spectacle of non-stop action and outrageous comedy, Defiant takes everything unstageable about the famed film genre and throws it on stage. The play has five heroes -- a Vietnam Vet, a cyborg, a police officer, a kung fu master and a computer expert -- all united by the mysterious Dr. Xylene to stop the evil Kreegar and his henchman from completing his ominous World Merge project.
Director Joe Foust received an After Dark award for the 1998 incarnation Action Movie.
Defiant Theatre, which moved to Chicago six years ago from Urbana, IL, has received six Joseph Jefferson Citations and four After Dark Awards. Defiant is noted for addressing complicated issued through a blend of theatrical traditions ranging from naturalism to Kabuki to vaudeville.
Comprising the company are Jeff Arena, B. Emil Boulos, Kati Brazda, Matthew Callahan, John DeLeonardis, Joe Foust, Jennifer Gher, Linda Gillum, A. Bryan Guthrie, B.F. Helman, Christopher Johnson, Jennifer Keller, Rob Kimmel, Stephen Kruse, Andrew Leman, Kara Loquist, Martin McClendon, Anne McKernan, William J. Norris, Rich Norwood, Nick Offerman, Michelle Primeaux, Richard Ragsdale, Lisa Rothschiller, Will Schutz, Cherise Silvestri, Sean Sinitski, Jim Slonina, Gregor Mortis, Barb Thometz, Chris Thometz, Kevin Wade and Jonathan Watkins. For tickets ($10 - $15) or more information on Action Movie, call (312) 409-0585.
-- By Sean McGrath